Wednesday 19 November 1997
You want to know the difference between London's opera houses? Covent Garden relies on star names, but ENO makes them. Take Alan Opie. If you have been to anything at the Coliseum in the last 25 years, chances are you'll have seen him, as he has spent 23 of those years as a company principal. Opie is noted for his acting skills as much as his powerful singing. His Germont was far and away the best thing in La Traviata a few years back, so moving you ended up taking his side over the lovers. Now he joins this loudly-praised Matthew Warchus production which does full, colourful justice to Verdi and Shakespeare's comic genius. The sets are beautiful, Amanda Holden's smartly delivered English translation positively bounces, and Oliver von Dohnnyi conducts with real vigour. There are seats from pounds 2.50. You can barely rent a video for that.
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