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Saturday, 9 October 2010

On Thursday we attended the first night of Radamisto at the London Coliseum, a review will follow shortly. But the production did set me wondering about the effects of production sharing on the production styles. Radamisto was created for Santa Fe, a festival in the USA which has the reputation for interesting choices of repertoire. But, as we learned when we visited there, the audience still needs introducing carefully to rarities. And, of course, in many places Handel is still quite a rarity. You felt that director David Alden was at some pains to create an attractive stage product, that he only touched the work lightly. That if he'd been working only for ENO then the production would have been rather darker and less fun as Alden could rely more on carrying the audience with him, as ENO audiences have become accustomed both to his style and to Handelian opera seria. The production of the opera at Opera North,in 1999/2000 with Emma Bell, Alice Coote and David Walker, directed by Tim Hopkins, seemed to more successfully present the work's essential seriousness and darkness.

We have not seen the new ENO Faust yet (we see it next week), but at least 1 review has said that the production seems marooned mid-Atlantic, not dramatic and daring enough for the Coliseum and not elaborate enough for the Met (with whom it is shared). But I suppose that, in this economic climate, we'll have to put up with these compromises.

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