Dutch National Opera puts on a spellbinding Marian Vespers

Monteverdi: Marian Vespers

Gashouder, Amsterdam, 3rd June 2017

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The “Nappy Madonna” by Bernardino Luini (circa 1481-1532)

A body lies in half-shadow, surrounded by an expectant gathering. Our Father is intoned in Gregorian chant. The solo voices bloom into a chorus with a joyful flourish of brass. Then, for close to two hours, a spellbinding ritual unfolds. This was not a wake for a Catholic notable, but Claudio Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespro della Beata Vergine…

Full review on Opera Today.

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Pulsating new Andriessen with prosaic libretto at the Holland Festival

Andriessen: Theatre of the World

Royal Carré Theatre, 11th June 2016

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Design for Sunflower Clock from Magnes, sive De Arte Magnetica by Athanasius Kircher (c. 1643)

“Abandon all hope of comprehension, ye who enter here”, to paraphrase Dante. The elliptical libretto of Theatre of the World, Louis Andriessen’s fifth full-length opera, directed by Pierre Audi, should come with this warning, though not Andriessen’s masterly score.

Full review on Bachtrack.