This was the second Diana Damrau London visit in two weeks, this time to sing Strauss Four Last Songs with the London Philharmonic Orchestra with Antonio Pappano. But before that we got an interesting performance of Elgar Alassio. Even if the work is supposed to be Italy inspired it doesn’t really sound Italian. However it is an interesting musical piece showing Elgar mastery on orchestral color. Pappano remarked the work lightness which fit well as a prelude to Strauss music.
I took the picture from Tristram Kenton for the Guardian to illustrate this review because it describes perfectly how the first part of the concert was. Alice Sata Ott is a young modern super star, trendy on fashion and social media. But instead of coming here to do her thing as a star she focused on making music and making it together with a joyful London Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Antonio Pappano.
What a great Rossini we had at the Royal Opera House! Event if a priori it had all the ingredients for a good opera night (infrequent wonderful score, superb cast, brand new production, good conductor…) you still need to get this magic of the opera working. David Alden production is colorful and visually appealing. The action flows perfectly though it although it lacks a little bit of coherence (mixing North Korean with Soviet and western icons) and a main idea gluing everything together.