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.
Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beachart
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
- 2 UK pirates will get four warning letters a year
- 3 Fight Club 2: Chuck Palahniuk sequel is a 'meta-fictional comment on the cultural response to the original'
- 4 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 5 Israel-Gaza conflict: Deadly flechette shells 'used by Israeli military in Gaza Strip’
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains