Two thirds of Puccini’s Il Trittico are better than no Trittico. And these were two splendid ones. English Touring Opera presented its revival of the 2011 production at Hackney Empire as the initial run of its spring 2018 tour. Michael Rosewell was the conductor of a reduced size orchestra (but we never missed more volume). He did a very good work keeping different moods for each score: oppressive in Il tabarro and comical in Gianni Schicchi.
Second night with the English Touring Opera after a wonderful Giulio Cesare. This night the treat was Jean-Philippe Rameau brilliant Dardanus. Even if both are baroque operas and they were composed only 15 years apart they are totally different worlds. It was amazing how well The Old Street Band under Jonathan Williams direction adapted so well to such different styles. Here we were presented the 1744 revision, in what I think was the UK premiere.
Second part of Handel Giulio Cesare at Hackney Empire. Wait? Second part? Yes, because English Touring Opera took the risky decision of splitting the into two separated parts. And, from what I saw (2nd part), it worked pretty well. A quick surtitles recap during the sinfonia puts us in context to start right away in the middle of original Act II. Surtitles (displayed on two side LCD panels) were not a direct translation of the sung text: sometimes they simplified the dialogs to make them more understandable.