Transfiguration and Redemption
Vaughan Williams' 'Pilgrim's Progress',
appreciated by RODERIC DUNNETT
English National Opera's new production of Vaughan Williams' opera The Pilgrim's Progress scored on all fronts.
It revived for the stage a work that has been scarcely seen since its premiere in 1951, proving that Bunyan and Vaughan Williams' allegory is just as effective a stylised stagework as the Stravinsky/W H Auden, first seen just five months later. It proved once again that the current ENO artistic team, not least artistic director John Berry and music director Edward Gardner, who only recently programmed VW's rumbustious Falstaff opera Sir John in Love and mysteriously elusive Riders to the Sea, and has since staged both newly commissioned work and neglected twentieth century masterpieces (like John Adams' The Death of Klinghoffer and Martinu's Julietta), is prepared to stick its neck out. All these recall the sort of daring repertoire that typified the powerhouse trio of the 1980s: Mark Elder, Peter Jonas and David Pountney (who himself staged Julietta mesmerisingly for Opera North a few years back)...
Copyright © 11 November 2012