Music and Vision homepage Classical Music Programme Notes for concerts and recordings, by Malcolm Miller

 

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Other male/female leads were mostly excellent, but special praise should be given to Amelia Farrugia as Maria Corona and Riccardo Bartoli as Il figlio muto. As the mother covers and pats the child's head, stage right -- with Desideria lying in the arms of Annina dying, left centre -- shading his vision from the atrocity that has taken place, his hands continue to flail helplessly like some blind person in distress. Great theatre, great acting!

Menotti: The Saint of Bleecker Street. Act II Marriage Ceremony. Photo: Bill Newman

The Spoleto Festival Choir (chorusmaster Donald Nally) was quite special, its diction, tone, and ensemble beyond praise. So too was the Spoleto Orchestra under Richard Hickox's direction. This provided easily the best Menotti opera performances since the late Thomas Schippers, and the overall production, scenery costumes and designs retain that essential authenticity from original stagings. I eagerly await the Chandos CD release next year.

Enjoying the light-hearted atmosphere before, during and after the performance, I was lucky to meet one of those special artists from yesteryear -- the Swedish singer Kirsten Myer, who I remembered from Glyndebourne Opera in the 1970s and the Kings Lynn Festival, where she sang with Barbirolli in Elgar's Sea Pictures a few days before he died. Fine musicians from different countries, together with younger talent of considerable promise still continue to flock to Spoleto and its American counterpart each year, both regular havens for members of the press and the music-loving public who love to compare older standards with the new.

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Copyright © 20 November 2001 Bill Newman, Edgware, UK

 

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THE SPOLETO FESTIVAL WEBSITE

BILL NEWMAN'S VISIT TO THE 2000 SPOLETO FESTIVAL

 

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