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This sense of the flow of the drama was echoed by Kreizberg's account of the score. The Royal Opera House Orchestra played well for him and delivered a fine account of the opera. Whilst his interpretation could never be described as light, it was certainly lighter and more lithe then some performances that I have heard.

The other roles were also well cast. John Relyea was a musical Banquo, though I would have liked a voice with more weight and darkness. His interpretation could have done with a little more gravitas, but he was in keeping with the tenor of this performance. Joseph Calleja made a fine Macduff, whilst never quite exorcising memories of Dennis O'Neill in his Act 4 aria. Robert Gleadow (the Doctor) and Andrew Sritheran (Malcolm) are both participants in the Young Artists Programme and I hope that we hear a lot more of them.

There was one curiosity about the performance; we had booked on the understanding that we were going to see a staging of the 1847 version of the opera. I am very fond of this early incarnation of the work and was disappointed when we discovered that we were to hear the standard 1865 version. It says much about the vividly gripping nature of this performance that my disappointment did not last.

Copyright © 22 February 2006 Robert Hugill, London UK




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