Sunday, December 16, 2007

My BYO production of Britten's ALBERT HERRING featured in Music OHM.COM Review of the Year 2007


Having seen pretty much everything the major opera companies put out during 2007, and quite a lot else besides, I found this generally a strong year. ENO certainly went through a very bad patch but they also did some terrific work. Deborah Warner's Death in Venice was marvellous and the Aldeburgh Festival's completely different production of the same opera was also very impressive.

In fact, it was a great year for Britten fans. I found British Youth Opera's Albert Herring the most enjoyable evening I had all year.

Glyndebourne's production was good too while David McVicar's Turn of the Screw at the Coliseum was wonderful. The concert performance of Billy Budd at the Barbican brought this difficult work alive for me. It was also a good year for Wagner, with the Royal Opera's first full cycles of Keith Warner's Ring and also Haitink's Parsifal. Like many people, I had very mixed feelings about The Ring but loved Walküre and Götterdämmerung. I enjoyed The RO's L'elisir d'amore much more than the same team's La fille du régiment but I was in a small minority there. Both Gianni Schicchi and Katya Kabanova at the ROH were marvellous, as was Opera Holland Park's production of Montemezzi's Re de Tre Amore. Back at ENO, I loved Handel's Agrippina. On the negative side, the run of four productions at the Coliseum (Kismet, Carmen, Coronation of Poppea and Aida) was a depressing period, a nadir in the company's history. I enjoyed meeting Keenlyside, Finley, Langridge etc and my favourite interview was with the directors Patrice Caurier and Moshe Leiser. Most memorable quote was the latter defining opera as "music meets meaning".


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