This afternoon we had the opening performance of Idomeneo. I don't think I have to reiterate how much I love this piece and I will leave reviewing our production to the critics. Just let me say how pleased I am that everything has worked out so well. This is the third production of Idomeneo I have done in my career and I have seen a few more. François de Carpentries' production serves the piece well and we have a cast, chorus, orchestra and conductor that would do any other company in the world proud. Listening to our Idamante, Krisztina Szabó, when she sings "Chio mi scordi di te. . . . Non temer amato bene" with its wonderful solo part for violin, beautifully performed by our concert master Marie Berard, or Paul Groves with Idomeneo's bravura aria "Fuor del mar," or Isabel Bayrakdarian as the Trojan princess Ilia, or Michael Colvin with Arbace's heartbreaking aria in Act III, or to Tamara Wilson as Elettra, making this horribly difficult part sound so gloriously easy, or—my favourite piece in the opera—the wonderful quartet in Act III this afternoon just reminded me that there is nothing more profoundly human, insightful and breathtakingly beautiful than Mozart's music. First, there is Mozart. Then there's a huge gap. And then come all the others. At least, that's how it is for me.
All of our spring operas are now up and running and the audience reaction after every single performance has been enthusiastic. I am glad that our ever-curious public embraces a rarely performed bel canto piece like Maria Stuarda as much as the second return of our Flying Dutchman although I am a bit amazed that this production still causes as much controversy as when it was first performed by the COC 15 years ago. It was wonderful to have part of this discussion happening here on the blog. I would like to thank all contributors and encourage you to keep the discussion going!
To come back to bel canto for a moment: yes, we will perform more Donizetti. Two operas are planned within the next four years, a well-known and an unknown one. This should be enough scooping for today. Good night.
Posted by Alexander Neef / in Season / comments (5) / permalink
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