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<<  -- 3 --  David Wilkins    BIZARRELY STIRRING


Radoslaw Zukowski's Baron Scarpia took the vocal laurels. His is a big-bad-bear of a voice -- capable of a menace akin to Samuel Ramey's. A bit of a shame, therefore, that the production reduced his attempted seduction to a chase around the furniture more appropriate to a Benny Hill Show. No doubt, though, that he was a nasty piece of work and got his just rewards.

The orchestra, passionately conducted by Tomasz Szreder, might not have impressed the claque at La Scala overmuch but they made-up in enthusiasm for what they lacked in finesse.

It's a bizarrely stirring work for all the banality of its rickety melodrama, and performances as level-headed and honest as this are to be cherished. All power (and much hard-currency) to the elbow of the Wroclaw Opera. We need them at least as much as they need us. I'm still torn, though, between buying a protective hound and calling him Alberich or a softy to christen Mimi. Or maybe you just can't win -- and Fido will have to do!


Copyright © 3 December 2000 David Wilkins, Eastbourne, East Sussex, UK





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