Music and Vision homepage Jenna Orkin: Writer Wannabe Seeks Brush With Death - From the heights of greatness (the Juilliard School; musicians Rosalyn Tureck and Nadia Boulanger) via way-ward paths to the depths of wickedness these reminiscences will entertain and enlighten.


<<  -- 2 --  Roderic Dunnett    APOTHEOSIS OF THE MADRIGAL


Anna Dennis's Fortuna got the show off to a rollicking start : terrific flair, a buzzy personality right for the role, and a meaty, cutting, gutsy tone, aptly offsetting Rebecca Bottone's perky, genuinely puerile Amore, who chirped suitably here and went on to produce terrific punch for Amore's wicked final triumph.

Amore (Rebecca Bottone). Photo © 2002 Jonathan Dockar-Drysdale
Amore (Rebecca Bottone). Photo © 2002 Jonathan Dockar-Drysdale

The muttering soldiers, who ponder with delightful cheek the goings on in high places (Neil Williams, Edward Lyon) -- another ironic Shakespearian conceit -- were the first of the many strong minor parts; their nervous culminating 'tacciam -- Neron'e qui' -- 'look out, the boss is here' (actually their boss was Ottone, who should have bumped the tyrant off sooner) was wonderfully mischievous yet terrified.

Owen Willetts (Ottone) and Jenny Ohlson (Drusilla). Photo © 2002 Jonathan Dockar-Drysdale
Owen Willetts (Ottone) and Jenny Ohlson (Drusilla). Photo © 2002 Jonathan Dockar-Drysdale

Owen Willetts (Ottone, doubling with David Bates), a scion of Sheffield and Lichfield Cathedral choirs, has a touching countertenor, though far from trumpeting and possibly too mellow here to make a real impact. He held us, just, though an overwimpish stage manner, not helped by some pathetic 'modern' costuming (he actually looked like a student on the way to the JCR bar) makes for rather tedious Monteverdi, and could hamper him in Handel later on; his sense of drama needs dramatic working on, to enable his delivery to grow, develop and vary; but a future Simpleton in Mussorgsky, perhaps.

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Copyright © 13 December 2002 Roderic Dunnett, Coventry, UK


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