Saturday, April 13, 2013

Review: A Masked Ball (Opera Australia)

Giuseppe Verdi

Any Verdi opera promises to be a feast of lavish music, with voices, costumes and set design to match.  We have come for the music, for the endlessly soaring melodies, and for the grand spectacle typical of the late Romantic period.

Soloists, Mexican Diego Tore (Gustave III), Hungarian Csilla Boross (Amelia) and Argentinian born baritone Jose Carbo (Count Ankarstrom), were warmly received, as was home grown talent Lorina Gore (Oscar) who thrilled with exquisite coloratura.

The dramatic highlight, below the gibbet towards the close of Act II, was the realisation of an intensely sinister overtone.

Orchestra Victoria, under the sensitive baton of Andres Molino, was silky smooth.

But all this was very nearly swamped. While I appreciate the artistic intention in contemporising this work through costumes and set design, it’s cold austerity failed to elicit any kind of empathy with the players, and occasionally distracted from the main event - the music. Continue reading on the Stage Whispers site here.

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