One of the most fun experiences of any opera I've had
I like Britten's music, and along with Peter Grimes I find Albert Herring one of his finest works. It is a real gem with magical instrumentation and is very funny. And this production is an absolute joy, up there with 1984's Die Fledermaus, 1955 and 2007's Don Pasquale and 1970's(I think) Zar Und Zimmermann as the most fun viewing experience of any opera I've had. It looks lovely, with the lighting atmospheric and the costumes and sets sumptuous. The orchestral playing is just as magical as the score it's playing(even if the recorded sound is occasionally singer-heavy) and Bernard Haitink's conducting is well-judged always here, never flaccid, broad or plodding. The staging is witty and the comedy is genuinely funny with some nice understated moments also. The singing is as you'd expect superb, John-Graham Hall sings with ringing vocal beauty and plays Albert with wide-eyed innocence, frustration and defiance. Patricia Johnson is fun and intimidating, Felicity Palmer sings with her usual artistry and excellent singing(that could be heard in heavier roles like Klytemnestra and Fricka) perfectly showing ambition and frustration as Florence and Alan Opie is a sonorous(and I know from the recent Mass of Life recording he did, having been in the choir for the recording, that his voice still is that) and sly Sid. In conclusion, hugely recommended. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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