L’Ormindo, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse - opera review
An inventive and witty production authentically lit by beeswax candles
Wednesday 26 March 2014
Having broken new ground by coming into existence, the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse has broken more ground by hosting the first collaboration between the Globe and the Royal Opera in a production of Cavalli’s rarely-performed L’Ormindo.
To see a 17th century Venetian opera in a charming replica of a Jacobean theatre – authentically lit by beeswax candles - is an experience in itself, and doubly so with a production as inventively witty as this one by director Kasper Holten and his designer Anja Vang Kragh.
Cavalli, who assumed Monteverdi’s mantle as Venice’s leading opera composer, was a prolific funster who delighted in setting up preposterous situations, and this work turns on seductions and disguises which Holten’s talented young singer-actors comically exploit to the hilt.
They also sing wonderfully, most notably the tenor Ed Lyon and the haute-contre Samuel Boden opposite Susannah Hurrell and Joelle Harvey as their paramours, both of whom excel with their expressive coloratura.
But what makes the evening magical is the delicate balance maintained between the raunchiness on stage and the exquisite tissue of arias, duets, and intermezzi spun out under Christian Curnyn’s musical direction, perfumed by the dark suggestiveness of the theorbo and the sweetness of the harp.
TV reviewBroadcasting House was preparing for a visit from Prince Charles spoiler alert
Glastonbury Michael Eavis reveals final headline act 'most likely' British pair
Film Ewan McGregor joins star-studded Beauty and the Beast cast as Lumiere
TVThe Island with Bear Grylls under fire after male contestants kill and eat rare crocodile
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 4 Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
- 5 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
Fast & Furious 7 overtakes Frozen to become 5th highest grossing movie of all time
Poldark, series 1 finale, review: How a costume drama became a Sunday night swoon-fest
Avengers: Age of Ultron: Nearly 700 German cinemas refuse to show film
Al Pacino admits he was nearly fired from The Godfather and it's still his most 'difficult role'
Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik tops Sunday Times Rich List
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
HSBC review into moving headquarters from UK 'underway'