When Bellini was not churning out toe-tapping bass lines he specialised in plaintive, decorated melodies spilling like sighs. This was the aspect relished in the conducting of Daniele Gatti: huge ritardandi, tender instrumental solos, long pauses. The orchestra, sounding overexposed without scenic distractions, responded well. Lots of opportunities to compare and contrast Anne Sofie von Otter as a delicious straight-arrow Romeo and young star Amanda Roocroft as the cooing Giulietta.
The men in the all-new cast were less fascinating but included Keith Lewis, bright at the top, a bit unrelaxed as Tebaldo; a trenchant Mark Beesley as Giulietta's father; and Alastair Miles emerging with richness and finesse as the sympathetic Lorenzo.
Further performances 25, 30 Sep, 3, 6, 8, 14 Oct (071-240 1066)