'The simplicity of the production is welcome ...'
World-conquerors are an unmitigated nuisance, whether they be Tamburlaine, Napoleon or Hitler. Even if it seems a bit unfair, in the inevitable absence of a castrato, to cast the marauding Mongol as a woman (here Monica Bacelli), I am all for making him a figure of fun, adorning him in voluminous robes of white, green, mauve, and black with towering white wig, planting what I assume is his enlarged foot atop a gigantic globe, and giving him a first entrance enlivened by extravagant dance steps. Little elephants parade occasionally above the back wall, and a huge one carries the much wronged form of Jennifer Holloway as his wife, newly arrived from India.
Handel celebrated the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of his death with a DVD containing music of tragic power. It is a dark-hued score, even if many of the ingredients concern love misunderstood or spurned....
Copyright © 28 January 2010
DVD INFORMATION: HANDEL: TAMERLANO