Diana Damrau puts the sparkle into the RCO’s Opening Night

Mozart/Dvořák/Bernstein: RCO/Hengelbrock/Damrau

Concertgebouw, 14th September 2017

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Drawing of Antonin Dvořák by M. V. Nadherny

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra officially opened their 2017-18 season with a well-chosen, festive programme. In the presence of Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, conductor Thomas Hengelbrock led an all-Mozart first half, introducing arias with anecdotes and great enthusiasm. Antonín Dvořák’s optimistic Eighth Symphony took up the second half.

Full review on Bachtrack.

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Wrong rep sinks opera evening at the Concertgebouw

Devos, Blondelle, Oliemans/NOB/Marković: Mozart, Bellini, Verdi et al.

Concertgebouw, 12th July 2017

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The people deserve good opera. Even at popular “greatest hits” concerts, the quality should be as high as budget and availability allow. At this “Robeco SummerNight at the Opera” the audience had to make do with a couple of nuggets and a series of mismatches between repertoire and performers.

Full review on Bachtrack.

The Abduction from the Seraglio a soprano vehicle at Dutch National Opera

Mozart: Die Entführung aus dem Serail

Dutch National Opera & Ballet, 13th January 2017

odalisque

Odalisque at the Sultan’s Harem. From The Costume of Turkey by Octavian Dalvimart, published in London un 1812

 

Lenneke Ruiten is the main reason to see Dutch National Opera’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail. On opening night she triumphed as Konstanze, a soprano role that is the vocal equivalent of balancing a water jug on your head while walking a tightrope.

Full review on Bachtrack.

Daniele Gatti and the RCO make it official during showcase concert

Beethoven/Schubert/Mahler/Mozart/Respighi/Verdi: RCO/Gatti

Concertgebouw, 9th September 2016

“Love at first sight” is how Dutch culture minister Jet Bussemaker described the first encounter between Milanese conductor Daniele Gatti and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. As if officiating at a wedding, she sealed the union between the orchestra and its seventh chief conductor by presenting the maestro with a golden baton, previously owned by his predecessor Eduard van Beinum.

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Decapitation of Lamoral, Count of Egmont in 1568

Full review on Bachtrack.

Choice cast in bonbon-box Marriage of Figaro at Dutch National Opera

Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro

Dutch National Opera & Ballet, 6th September 2016

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Charlton Heston exercises his droit du seigneur on Rosemary Forsyth in The War Lord (1965)

Outwardly pretty, but mouldy on closer inspection, like a decaying box of bonbons. That’s the Almaviva household in Dutch National Opera’s Le nozze di Figaro. Although neither conductor Ivor Bolton nor director David Bösch plumbs any psychological depths, this season opener offers multiple delights.

Full review on Bachtrack.

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We left at the interval...

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