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'Alceste' in the Madhouse

GIUSEPPE PENNISI files his last report
from the 2010 Aix-en-Provence Festival


I must start by emphasizing that I consider Christopher Loy to be one of the best metteurs en scène in today's world market. With his training in history, philosophy and Italian philology, and his unassuming gentle manners, he is also one of the most pleasant stage directors to talk to. He has a long list of excellent productions in his résumé; few mention a true masterpiece -- his staging of Richard Strauss' Arabella in Frankfurt in 2009. Thus, there is nothing personal if, based on the 8 July 2010 performance in Aix-en-Provence, I say that his direction of Christoph Willibald Gluck's Alceste was wrong from A to Z, and risked jeopardizing the excellent musical work by Ivor Bolton and the Freiburger Barockorchester, by the English Voices chorus, and by the principals -- Véronique Gens, Joseph Kaiser, Andrew Schroeder and Thomas Oliemans.

Alceste is not an ordinary opera...

Copyright © 20 July 2010 Giuseppe Pennisi,
Rome, Italy







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