Maria Stuarda, Grange Park Opera
Riveting rumbles with Mary and Elizabeth
Sunday 19 June 2005
Succinct, vibrantly characterised, and containing some luminous Beethovenian woodwind writing, Donizetti's Maria Stuarda is well worth the journey to Hampshire. Stephen Langridge's production - designed by George Souglides and conducted by Sergio La Stella - references the funerary art of the Tudor period against a stark, angular, Germanic set.
Though Donizetti's sympathies are with Mary (Majella Cullagh) - she cutely dismisses the Babington Plot as "a terrible mistake" - his portrait of Elizabeth (Janis Kelly) is surprisingly subtle. Morally and politically compromised, and painfully aware of her relative plainness, Kelly's Elizabeth is riveting. Cullagh, whose weak point is usually her apparent invulnerability, has found a convincing balance of steeliness and softness for Mary. Their confrontation in Act II is electrifying.
Adrian Dwyer, a pitch-perfect but rather pinched Leicester, seems unsure of his emotions, while Jonathan Best and Quentin Hayes are wasted as Elizabeth's underwritten bookends, Talbot and Cecil. Harriet Williams (Anna) is the find of the season: a polished mezzo with natural authority. Like their peers at Garsington and Holland Park, the chorus have a tendency to wobble. (The vocal equivalent of dressing up in one's parents clothing.) They'd do better to celebrate their youthful ping.
To 5 July, 01962 868888
Art Piece taken off website amid 'severe security alert'
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
‘Remember the attackers are a cold-blooded, crazy minority’, says Blek le Rat
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
Benedict Cumberbatch says Hollywood is better for black British actors: 'I think as far as coloured actors go it gets really difficult in the UK'
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Photographer Matt Lankes' portraits of the cast of Boyhood influenced the film's storyline
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners