Bryn Terfel’s magnetic Mephisto in Amsterdam

Berlioz: La Damnation de Faust

Concertgebouw, 4 June 2018


Mephistopheles and Faust (ca 1871) by Alphonse de Neuville, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

It had been a while since Bryn Terfel sang a complete opera role in Amsterdam. Back in 2002 his larger-than-life Doctor Dulcamara hijacked the stage of what was then De Nederlandse Opera, now Dutch National Opera. So it was something of an occasion when he returned this week for a concert version of La Damnation de Faust by Hector Berlioz at the Concertgebouw.

Full review on Opera Today.







Elizabeth Watts braves the flu in Amsterdam French song recital

Elizabeth Watts/Roger Vignoles: Berlioz/De Falla/Bizet et al.

Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, 4th October 2016


Théophile Gautier

Deep scores under penetrating eyes, thick wild locks and artfully loose-fitting clothing – Théophile Gautier is one of the most arresting portrait subjects of the 19th century. A painter and professional Bohemian in his younger years, Gautier became a pluriform writer, producing plays, novels, travelogues and poems. He was also an art, music, dance and literary critic. He wrote the scenario for Giselle and surrendered his heart to the role’s creator, the great ballerina Carlotta Grisi. She did not reciprocate, so he logically married her sister. Soprano Elizabeth Watts constructed her French song programme around Gautier’s poetry.

Full review on Bachtrack.

Roméo et Juliette: Dutch National Opera and Ballet seal merger with leaden Berlioz

Berlioz: Roméo et Juliette

Dutch National Opera & Ballet, 15th April 2016

Choral symphony, oratorio, symphonic poem — Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette does not fit into any mould. It has the potential to work as an opera-ballet, but incoherent storytelling and uninspired conducting undermined this production.


Alisa Kolosova © Monika Rittershaus | Dutch National Opera & Ballet

Full review on Opera Today.