<< -- 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
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, 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.
Copyright © 13 December 2002
Roderic Dunnett, Coventry, UK