I can't really say that the weather for the opening of Albert Herring was more clement than the night before for Hoffmann. On the contrary, heavy winds blew the rain in the auditorium and on the stage making me wonder whether the performance would have to be interrupted. In the end, everybody made it, performers and spectators. The good news is that apparently the monsoon period is over now and we're supposed to have great weather for all of next week.
Working in an English-speaking country has changed my perception of Benjamin Britten's work a lot. In France or Germany only Peter Grimes seems to have entered the repertoire and most of his other pieces are virtually unknown. Seeing our COC audience enjoy A Midsummer Night's Dream last year was a surprise to me and I think everybody in yesterday's audience would agree that they had a blast with Britten's early comedy Albert Herring.
It was a very good performance with an exceptional cast, that kept the fine balance of British humour and slapstick in Paul Curran's witty production. Christine Brewer as Lady Billows and Jill Grove as her housekeeper Florence Pike were hilariously funny. Alek Shrader in the title role was just perfectly cast. It gives me a lot of pleasure that all these great artists will be coming to the COC in the future. I should name every single member of that cast, but let me just mention one more name, the Canadian baritone Joshua Hopkins in the role of Sid. I have followed him for a few years now and each time I see him he has grown. His COC debut is overdue, but we're working on it! Andrew Davis' love and expertise for Britten's tricky score was evident in every single bar. He inspired the Santa Fe Opera orchestra to give a truly charming performance.
Another good opera night in Santa Fe. I'm looking forward to more over the course of next week.
Posted by Alexander Neef / in Travel / comments (1) / permalink
Follow Alexander Neef on
Follow the COC on Twitter