Fantasio - OAE, Opera Rara, Elder: Classical review
Royal Festival Hall, London
Monday 16 December 2013
Opera Rara were co-presenters of this Offenbach opera comique, and it really is a rarity: not since its first production in 1872 has it been performed in the original version we got here.
Written during the dark days of the Franco-Prussian war, it was conceived as a souflee to raise people’s spirits, and although there are occasional flashes of the magic which made Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann a perennial favourite, this work has no full-on magic of its own. Indeed, although Gilbert and Sullivan were to draw inspiration from such Parisian divertissements, a lot of it comes over simply as G&S avant la lettre.
But with Marl Elder at the helm of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Opera Rara chorus, and with Sarah Connolly leading a first-rate line-up of soloists, it got a brilliant re-launch. Connolly was not called on to deploy her sulphurous dramatic power – her job was simply to look handsome en travesti as the disguised hero – but her nuanced singing was gracefully offset by the tumbling coloratura of Brenda Rae as the princess she had to woo. Meanwhile, revealing an unexpected talent, Elder did a nicely comic cameo from the rostrum as an apoplectic Parisian tailor.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 2 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 3 George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
- 4 Saudi Arabia executes 19 in one half of August in 'disturbing surge of beheadings'
- 5 Brother and sister, Christopher Buckner and Timothy Savoy, arrested for 'committing incest after watching 'The Notebook''
Strictly Come Dancing 2014: Gregg Wallace joins line-up as final celebrities revealed
Great British Bake Off 2014: Diana Beard quits after falling ill
Great British Bake Off 2014: Ofcom receives 13 complaints about Baked Alaska episode
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
Friends reunion: Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox perform mini sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
- < Previous
- Next >