Royal Opera Revive L'Elisir d'Amore by ProQuest


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									                                                                                         L’Elisir d’Amore at Covent Garden

                                                                                                                                               Norma at the Grange –
                                                                                                                                              Bellini not at all Dreamy

                                                                                                                                               hen thinking of Norma, most of us
                                                                                                                                     W         remember dreamy music, as in the aria
                                                                                                                                     Casta Diva, the nocturne-like spell supposed to
                                                                                                                                     have given Chopin the impetus for his set of
                                                                                                                                     pieces bearing that title (though he was not the
Photo: Johann Persson

                                                                                                                                     first in that field). But Norma is actually full of
                                                                                                                                     sturdy stuff right from the splendid overture
                                                                                                                                     and that silly march – how fequently does
                                                                                                                                     Bellini sound like early Verdi!
                                                                                                                                         The performance at the Grange (I was present
                                                                                                                                     on July 1st) gave a good account of the opera
                        Dieskau he cannot convince me that he                 was particularly fond of singing Nemorino, he          with the English Chamber Orchestra in the pit
                        understands the true nature of Evil.                  seemed slightly ill at ease in Una furtiva lagrima;    well conducted by Stephen Barlow. Martin
                                                                              nevertheless, here is a voice which is destined        Constantine’s production was pleasantly straight-
                          Royal Opera Revive L’Elisir d’Amore                 for greatness. The vocal bouquet undoubtedly           forward, although he could not resist the
                                                                              went to Diana Damrau whose Adina has                   current fad of up-dating: electric light and what
                               aniel Dooner’s re-staging of Laurent           matured into a thing of beauty and sensitivity.        looked like Kalashnikovs – but why did the
                        D      Pelly’s 2006 Paris production of Donizetti’s
                        L’Elisir d’Amore, first staged at Covent Garden
                                                                              Of the other parts, Anthony Michaels-Moore’s
                                                                              Belcore was musically bellowed and dramatic-
                                                                                                                                     High Priestess of the Druids hang out in the
                                                                                                                                     kitchen? There was an impressive set which
                        the following year, certainly made the most of        ally lively. Simone Alaimo thoroughly enjoyed          turned and turned again on a revolve as often as
                        Pelly’s delight in ebullience and energetic move-     himself and succeeded in infecting the audience        the crescent moon shone and disappeared.
                        ments for both soloists and chorus on May 12.         with his Dulcamara, although I could have                  But a good Norma depends on the triangle
                            I still find Pelly’s decision to move the         done with fewer le
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