<< -- 2 -- Roderic Dunnett RICH HARVEST
Indeed, the veteran conductor David Lloyd-Jones, who has now -- while also championing the likes of E J Moeran (on Naxos) and Delius -- conducted both these Tchaikovsky operas, has suggested that Cherevichki's frolics (the intermittent orchestral magic here was conjured up here by Garsington's equally seasoned and successful Strauss and Janácek conductor, Elgar Howarth) amount to an arguably even stronger piece than his (ultimately) melodramatic The Enchantress, which climaxes -- by no means the only whiff of impending Puccini in Tchaikovsky's operas -- as violently as Il Tabarro. Garsington's third opera was a capably directed Così fan tutte with the wholly admirable Jonathan Best already rivalling the great Sir Thomas Allen in the Don Alfonso role.
Michelle Walton (Fiorilla), Jeremy Huw Williams (The Poet, rear) and Tim Mirfin (Selim) in Buxton's 'Il Turco in Italia'
Batting on a safer wicket, Longborough have staged a pretty impressive in-house Madam Butterfly, notable especially for Richard Studer's direction and sets, Cari Searle's fine low-mezzo Suzuki and Melinda Hughes's Cio-Cio San (saving her voice in rehearsal when I caught her, but striking nonetheless; while Robert Secret's consistently fine Stowe Opera have followed their superbly atmospheric Rusalka and almost as striking Hänsel und Gretel (which in turn succeeded a superbly staged Don Carlos, a disturbing and magically sung Lucia di Lammermoor and a particularly vivid Il Trovatore) with a raunchy new Carmen (review to follow shortly here at M&V); just as an on-form Glyndebourne mounted its own revival of David McVicar's wonderfully seamy staging of Carmen with the astonishing Rinat Shaham in the Anne-Sophie von Otter role -- and hot on the heels of Sergei Leiferkus searing souls and shunning all pity at the Sussex venue as Rachmaninov's rarely seen The Miserly Knight.
Sergei Leiferkus as The Baron in Glyndebourne's 'The Miserly Knight'. Photos © Mike Hoban
Copyright © 8 August 2004
Roderic Dunnett, Coventry UK