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<<  -- 4 --  Roderic Dunnett    Swashbuckling parody

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A scene from the Hungarian première of Maxwell Davies' opera 'Resurrection'. Photo © 2001 Andrea Felvégi

Not all the cavorting was equally successful, mainly because the clarity of the advertisements was increasingly lost, as if ideas were becoming played out, old-hat or overworked. What was successful, however, was the way Kovalik maintained the momentum, with scenes folded skilfully -- and from the visual point of view, wittily -- into one another, amid a splay of garish proscenium and follow-spot colours, and -- even to a non-Hungarian speaker -- the obvious pithiness and singability of Dániel Varró's new translation of Davies's libretto, which seemed to graft Hungarian easily, naturally, seamlessly (and -- crucially -- extremely funnily) onto the composer's certainly ludicrous, and often hilarious, English doggerel original.

Anna Molnár (Antichrist) and Péter Takátsy (Dummy/Victim) in Balázs Kovakik's Budapest production of 'Resurrection'. Photo © 2001 Andrea Felvégi

This is the era of Berg and Weill seen, in European terms, through the prism of the Thatcher-Kohl-Mitterrand decade (it seems extraordinary that after its 1988 Darmstadt première Resurrection was not spotted and widely snapped up as a vehicle of hard-hitting Aristophanic satire). Some of Davies's specific targets may now seem dated, much as 1920s satire, which inspired it, has lost some of its cutting edge; but neither has lost its underlying relevance, or the spicy barbs and enjoyable overlarding of its brand of over-the-top satire. In an era of universal hyperbole, Resurrection's brash overstatement and swashbuckling parody may seem all the more timely to a modern audience. Certainly the Budapest theatre audience rose to the occasion, and Kovalik, Kesselyák, the enterprising producer and controlling force behind the scenes, Krisztián Kolesár, cast, orchestra and design team were jocularly applauded.

Copyright © 20 January 2002 Roderic Dunnett, Coventry, UK

 

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A REVIEW OF 'MR EMMET TAKES A WALK'

A REVIEW OF 'THE TURN OF THE TIDE'

THE MAXWELL DAVIES WEBSITE

 

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