1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
22 December 2011
My personal favourite of the Ponnelle-Harnencourt-Monteverdi trilogy
was L'Orfeo for its symbolism and visual opulence. L'Incoronazione was
also very good, but this Il Ritorno D'Ulisse in Patria ranks very close
I think of the three Monteverdi productions, Il Ritorno D'Ulisse in
Patria has the best cast. Phillippe Huttenlocher is every bit as
impressive as he was in L'Orfeo, Trudelise Schmidt is a very
charismatic Penelope and Janet Perry sings beautifully as Melanto.
This production is also notable for Mozart/Rossini specialist Francisco
Araiza, whose performance is one of his better ones both in singing and
in acting, and Simon Estes whose singing is as resonant as ever.
What I loved about L'Orfeo is also here, the production is visually
stunning, and while it is not symbolic as such it is very bold. There
are some great discreet jokes, L'Orfeo also did with the singing
skeleton, but the whole scene with the three suitors has a cracking
sense of comic timing.
Monteverdi's music is wonderful, and the orchestra's performance of it
throughout is evoked with power and emotion. Nikolaus Harnencourt
deserves credit for this, his musicality and sense of style is ideal
for these trilogy of operas.
Likewise with Jean Pierre Ponnelle, I imagine as I've said before that
trying to recreate the atmosphere of the times the opera was written in
is a daunting task, but Ponnelle does an exemplary job with it.
All in all, an excellent production. I've enjoyed Ponnelle's Monteverdi
work so much that I am eager to see more productions of Monteverdi's
operas to see if they are even better. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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