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Richard Margison did not cut too much of a heroic figure as Bacchus, but he sang the role creditably. Whilst his performance lacked subtlety, we did not wince once which is saying a lot in this impossible role. During the final, rapturous duet Schwanewilms' voice lacked the amplitude it should have ideally had, instead she gave us a finely shaped, silvery steel performance which was fine and stylish in its own way and came with the great advantage that she was singing in her native language.

Anne Schwanewilms as Ariadne and Richard Margison as Bacchus. Photo © 2004 Clive Barda
Anne Schwanewilms as Ariadne and Richard Margison as Bacchus. Photo © 2004 Clive Barda

Colin Davis obviously loves this score and coaxed a sophisticated warm sound from the orchestra. The orchestral sound was notably transparent, especially so for Ariadne's monologues in the opera, thus allowing Schwanewilms to shape her line beautifully.

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Copyright © 17 July 2004 Robert Hugill, London UK

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