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Visions of the sublime

RODERIC DUNNETT on Covent Garden's 'Magic Flute'

 

Idyllic visions of perfect marriages seem de rigueur at today's Covent Garden : scarcely a year ago we saw Phyllida Lloyd's eerie vision of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as it might have been, all coy and domestic and as surrounded by cheerful imps as Lady Macduff on the day those black-look'd murderers descend upon Fife Castle. Now, in David McVicar's wonderfully engaging production of The Magic Flute, which returns to the Royal Opera House on Monday 16 June 2003, it's all romps and pillow fights when Papageno (Simon Keenlyside) and Ailish Tynan's slightly-too Essex Girl Papagena finally tie the knot.

Simon Keenlyside as Papageno with Ailish Tynan as Papagena. Photo © 2003 Catherine Ashmore/Performing Arts Library
Simon Keenlyside as Papageno with Ailish Tynan as Papagena. Photo © 2003 Catherine Ashmore/Performing Arts Library

Visions of the sublime. There's been quite a lot of that at Covent Garden of late. For at least three seasons, since its launching (not without the odd machinery creak) of the new stage with the Graham Vick-Bryn Terfel Falstaff -- recently revived in February 2003 -- the Royal Opera House has been on a continuing high, what with Macbeth (Anthony Michaels-Moore, Maria Guleghina, much gold and a lot of blood), Bellini's La Sonnambula (tenor Juan Diego Florez in terrific form), Cinderella (with the wonderful, ringing-toned Vesselina Kasarova), Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos and the triumphant farewells of Haitink amid Meistersinger fanfares.

Anthony Michaels-Moore as Macbeth and Maria Guleghina as Lady Macbeth in Phyllida Lloyd's ROH production. Photo © 2003 Royal Opera House/Performing Arts Library
Anthony Michaels-Moore as Macbeth and Maria Guleghina as Lady Macbeth in Phyllida Lloyd's ROH production. Photo © 2003 Royal Opera House/Performing Arts Library

 

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Copyright © 14 June 2003 Roderic Dunnett, Coventry, UK

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