Die Tote Stadt - A Great Evening at Covent Garden by ProQuest


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									                                                                                                                                                              The Magic Flute at
                                                                                                                                                         English National Opera
Photos :Richard H Smith

                                    The Magic Flute at ENO                       twice but absolutely hit those notes where it       young manhood in Vienna but was hounded
                                                                                 mattered, earning her applause before she had       out of Germany and Austria by the Nazis,
                               NO’s ever-green Zauberflöte returned to           actually finished singing – which I always          moved to America where he became a star
                          E    the Coliseum for the thirteenth time on
                          23 January. Unlucky for some was British Rail
                                                                                 consider ill-mannered. Her ‘vengeance’ aria
                                                                                 (Die Hölle Rache in the original German) in
                                                                                                                                     cinema composer in Hollywood. Mahler,
                                                                                                                                     Strauss, Furtwängler, Sibelius and Puccini
                          whose trains truly did need doses of magic,            particular was full of raw energy and passion.      proclaimed his exceptional qualities, he had a
                          being late returning and totally absent going.         Her acting was good also in a role that often       ballet produced at the Vienna Opera when he
                               The original production dates from 1988           goes to a singer who can’t quite act or an          was still in short trousers, Schnabel played a
                          and was seen here last in 2007. Little has             actress who can’t sing those top F notes.           Piano Sonata Korngold composed when he
                          changed, perhaps the mildest of tweaks, but                Robert Lloyd returns on a rare outing as        was thirteen, he was made a professor at the
                          when it’s this good why would one want to?             the Speaker to show us how it should be done.       Vienna State Academy and his operas were
                          Robert Murray as Tamino was well cast,                 Stuart Kale returned as the vile Monostatos in      performed all over the German-speaking
                          seeming charismatic and tender by turns, his           a thoroughly entertaining portrayal.                countries and beyond. In 1920 Die Tote Stadt
                          rich baritone filling the Coli’s large areas with          The orchestra under the baton of Erik           was premiered simultaneously in Cologne and
                          ease. Opposite him Sarah-Jane Davies return-           Nielsen was pleasant without ever seeming to        Hamburg, and in Vienna a month later. It was
                          ed to her role of Pamina. Her portrayal is             rise to the occasion, sometimes to lose bite, and   about time that Covent Garden let us see and
                          subtle and nuanced and totally believable. She         others to be a little quiet. CHRISTOPHER MONK       hear that opera and the British premiere duly
                          has a rich, sweet soprano which was again                                                                  appeared on 27 January.
                          ample for the Coli’s acoustics.                                     Die Tote Stadt –                           I prepared for that premiere by listening
                               Roderick Williams returned again as Pap-              A Great Evening at Covent Garden                three times to a CD of the work and I confess
                          ageno, for which we must be grateful; his inter-                                                           to being underwhelmed. The music is, to my
                          pretation of the role in English must surely be         nterest in Korngold grows apace. His superb        taste, unfocused, brilliantly written for the
                          the mark against which others are measured.
                          Opposite him, Amanda Forbes as Papagena was
                                                                                 Ifilm scores (two Oscars) have made people
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