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Director Jonathan Kent and designer Paul Brown devised a production that told the story in an easily understandable manner and made the magical aspects of it come to life. Their characters seemed able to live both above and below ground level. They created a fantasy that drew the audience into its spell.

Cyndia Sieden (Ariel) and Rod Gilfry (Prospero) in the Santa Fe Opera production of 'The Tempest'. Photo © 2006 Ken Howard
Cyndia Sieden (Ariel) and Rod Gilfry (Prospero) in the Santa Fe Opera production of 'The Tempest'. Photo © 2006 Ken Howard

The one character on whose shoulders the opera stands is Prospero. Rod Gilfry brought him to life singing with dark tonal colors and energizing the text with emotion. He was loving with his daughter, but a treacherous enemy to those who attempted to thwart his will. Adès' music is not easy to sing and some cast members had to handle notes at the extreme ends of their ranges. The Ariel, Cyndia Sieden, who also sang it in London, actually seemed comfortable singing pages of coloratura that made the Queen of the Night's music pale by comparison.

Toby Spence (Ferdinand) and Patricia Risley (Miranda) in the Santa Fe Opera production of 'The Tempest' by Thomas Adès. Photo © 2006 Ken Howard
Toby Spence (Ferdinand) and Patricia Risley (Miranda) in the Santa Fe Opera production of 'The Tempest' by Thomas Adès. Photo © 2006 Ken Howard

 

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Copyright © 17 September 2006 Maria Nockin, California USA

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Natalie Artemas-Polak - classical CD and book reviews, liner and programme notes, articles and lectures: CLICK TO CONTACT