A glorious dip in the grotesque
RODERIC DUNNETT at
Welsh National Opera's revival of 'Salome'
If the only disappointment of Welsh National Opera's revival of Salome,
directed by André Engel -- who also produced WNO's memorable Carmen
and Der Freischütz, featuring as its Kaspar the superb young
American baritone (now a Met regular), Richard Paul Fink -- was that the
young lady declined to disrobe, we should count our other blessings. This
was a superb staging, whose brooding set alone, by Nick Rieti -- a dour Alhambra
laced with the look of the Victorian orientalists -- of whom the painter
John Frederick Lewis is a classic example -- deserved the operatic equivalent
of an Oscar.
True, WNO's outgoing music director, Carlo Rizzi (who is presently conducting
Verdi's Il Trovatore at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden) never
quite caught the music's shimmering detail and crystalline subtleties, tending
at times to a slightly monochrome overloading.
But Narraboth's riveting solo at the outset (Peter Hoare, hitherto WNO's
Tchekalinsky, Tito and Simpleton) was alone worth the price of a ticket.
Copyright © 5 May 2002
Roderic Dunnett, Coventry, UK
WELSH NATIONAL OPERA
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