Wonderful. Marvelous. That’s how the Chelsea Opera Group effort presenting these not so frequent operas is. And happily the results are, so far, equally wonderful and marvelous. Mosè in Egitto is a biblical themed opera by Rossini with kind of static action that suits very well a concert performance everything focused on the orchestra, the choir and the soloists. The orchestra played nicely with precision the whole night without any single mistake and thanks to the conductor Robin Newton with a very rossinian language, taking care of all the colors and contrasting dynamics.
What a marvelous night of Italian songs! The lovely Anna Bonitatibus brought some friends to present Italian songs from the 19th century. They ranged from solo voice to duets and ensembles. Serena Farnocchia has a resounding voice full of power that suited perfectly Mercadante cantanta. Rocco Cavalluzzi has an interesting voice too and sung his parts quite well. Anna herself was great, bringing her very expressive voice to those songs taking much care of the text.
Before even the concert started we could see the differences between London orchestras and this fine Filarmonica della Scala: although the first work, a Rossini overture, didn’t involve a piano the piano was already in place ready for the next work. Just in the previous week we saw two different London orchestras re-configuring the stage to bring the piano after just a work shorter than 8 mins: Spartacus Adagio before Rachmaninoff 3rd piano concerto with the LPO and Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune before Ravel piano concerto in G with the Philharmonia.
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.
London Philharmonic Orchestra 3rd concert of its London season. It was a very interesting programme with an unusual coupling: Beethoven 3rd piano concerto and Rossini Stabat Mater. The originally announced conductor, LPO Principal Guest Conductor Andrés Orozco-Estrada, was long time ago replaced by Carlos Miguel Prieto. But another last-time (24 hours before the concert) replacement happened: Hannes Minnaar, the young rising star pianist, withdrew for family reasons and got replaced by a younger rising star: Frank Dupree
Before going to this ENO production I had read that it was a National Institution (sic). Then, well, how low standards! I found the production boring, slightly dumb, with a slapstick humor too old fashioned. Settings were too-sweet and too-cute. Characters were plain, with an timorous/stupid Almaviva even making fun of himself. There was no intelligence in Figaro neither picardy in Rosina. Griffiths conducting missed a lot details in the music while exaggerating other parts.