In the middle of the London Handel Festival, mostly filled with English/London performers, we had the visit of one of the French baroque groups that better play Handel music: Le Concert d’Astrée. Major attraction of this concert at the Wigmore Hall was Sabine Devieilhe presence. Initially programmed Marianne Crebassa was replaced by the younger Lea Desandre. But the biggest surprise was Thomas Dunford playing a sublimely varied and rich continuo from his theorbo.
After the short summer break I came back to the Royal Opera House to see Die Zauberflöte. It had been little more than a month and I was properly fed by Grimeborn and some Proms. All the pictures and video I had seen from this production were elegant and very beautiful. And that is the main problem of this David McVicar’s production: its main virtue is the perfect visuals. But it stages the full of symbolism Mozart opera as a plain fairytale: no symbolism, no intra-story, no subtext.