<< -- 3 -- Robert Hugill TAKING COMEDY SERIOUSLY
Constantine treated the ensembles lightly, often giving the chorus rather effective choreographed movements to do. (Tom Roden was the movement director.) The results were lively and appealing and never over-done. But despite his light touch, Constantine treated Nemorino and Adina's plight with complete seriousness; never sending them up, and making us feel for their plight.
Victoria Joyce as Adina, Quentin Hayes as Belcore and Colin Lee as Nemorino in 'L'Elisir d'Amore' at Grange Park Opera. Photo © 2006 Alastair Muir
Conductor Mark Shanahan drew fine playing from the orchestra. He kept the piece moving but knew when to relax and allow the singers to take their time. As a result L'Elisir d'Amore felt pacey, without being rushed, and we were able to linger on the lovely moments in Donizetti's score. Here I should also commend the hard working Elena Ferrari as Gianetta, who bore much of the brunt of the stage business with the chorus. The chorus members were admirable and convinced us that they were having fun on stage.
Eric Roberts as Dulcamara and Victoria Joyce as Adina in 'L'Elisir d'Amore' at Grange Park Opera. Photo © 2006 Alastair Muir
A sign of maturity in an opera company is not the capability of staging rarities, but the ability to stage the standard repertoire confidently and appealingly. Here Grange Park Opera did so, delivering, in Martin Constantine's production, a version of the opera which was enjoyable, distinctive and paid Donizetti the compliment of taking his comedy completely seriously.
Copyright © 20 June 2006
Robert Hugill, London UK
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