Music and Vision homepage Jenna Orkin: Writer Wannabe Seeks Brush With Death - From the heights of greatness (the Juilliard School; musicians Rosalyn Tureck and Nadia Boulanger) via way-ward paths to the depths of wickedness these reminiscences will entertain and enlighten.

 

<<  -- 2 --  Robert Hugill    STRONG PERFORMANCES

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ETO used a cast of just eight singers who took all the solo roles and sang the ensembles. They gave an attractive madrigalian feel to the musical textures rather than producing a uniform choral sound, which does not work so well in this music. Director Bernadette Iglich has a background in dance which, I think, helped enormously in her expressive use of the singers. The set was dressed simply with a group of platforms. For the most part, Iglich moved her singers into expressive groups, highlighting those actually singing. Costumes were contemporary casual.

A scene from English Touring Opera's production of Carissimi's 'Jepthe'. Photo © 2006 Keith Pattison
A scene from English Touring Opera's production of Carissimi's 'Jepthe'. Photo © 2006 Keith Pattison

David Stout made a strong Jephte, though this is not a particularly big role. Iestyn Morris impressed as Historicus. But it was Jane Harrington who stood out as Filia, delivering her intensely moving closing solo.

Jane Harrington as Filia in English Touring Opera's production of Carissimi's 'Jepthe'. Photo © 2006 Keith Pattison
Jane Harrington as Filia in English Touring Opera's production of Carissimi's 'Jepthe'. Photo © 2006 Keith Pattison

The oratorio was sung in Latin with English surtitles, but such was the communicative ability of the singers that surtitles were hardly necessary. I was dubious about the idea of staging Jephte, but this production proved moving and intensely involving. I was convinced.

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Copyright © 17 October 2006 Robert Hugill, London UK

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