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Roderick Earle's Talbot was all it should be: noble, dignified and sung with a firm, focussed line. Philippe Fourcade was equally notable in the role of Cecil. Neither role is exactly large but both are important and must be filled strongly and suitably, as here.

As Maria's companion, Anne Marie Gibbons was almost luxury casting. A member of the ENO company, she has sung some notable roles there and here made a sympathetic and dignified Anna.

Orchestra and chorus filled the Cadogan Hall stage to overflowing, filling the hall with sound. They responded to Tecwyn Evans' direction and provided a lively but disciplined performance. The orchestra have made something of a speciality of this period of Italian opera in recent years and the style seems to suit them. As ever there was fine individual playing in the wind and a superb sense of ensemble and a feel of real enthusiasm for the music.

This was Chelsea Opera Group's final concert at Cadogan Hall. On 29 March 2008 the group be back at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, performing Verdi's 1847 version of Macbeth with Nelly Miricioiu as Lady Macbeth. Definitely to be looked forward to ...

Copyright © 1 December 2007 Robert Hugill, London UK




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