My second favourite so far of the six productions that were part of my Handel quest
Having been acquainted for a while with the oratorio Messiah, it struck me just weeks ago that after hearing just highlights that I needed to watch some Handel opera. So I did. My quest is not yet over, but generally I am really loving what I'm hearing. This Glyndebourne Rodelinda is just wonderful, and my second favourite of the six Handel productions seen so far, my favourite being Glyndebourne's Guilio Cesare(the other productions being in order of preference ENO's Xerxes, Zurich's Semele, ENO's Rinaldo and ENO's Ariodante). Rodelinda is a very moving opera, and the music is simply beautiful. And this production does nothing to cheapen it. It is all very lavish visually, reminiscent of the silent film aria with a lot of black and white but the beautiful sceneries and lovely colour and lighting contrasts make for a very striking production, enhanced by great video and picture quality. The orchestra play stylishly and with pathos, never sounding too swamped like in the case of the recent Met production, and William Christie gives a rhythmically tight reading. The staging is never dull and always creates an emotional impact. The sound is excellent even if the Bavarian State Opera version is a little crisper. And the singers are of really high standard. Anna Caterina Antonacci is very intense in the title role and apart from some wide vibrato sings with great musical shape and feeling. Andreas Scholl is just as wonderful, restrained and he sounds amazing, much better than his performance at the Met in the same role(I like his voice but I think it's too small for the Met). Dove Sei is incredibly moving especially. He and Antonacci give meaning to the term bringing the house down in their duet together. The supporting roles are equally impressive, Umberto Chiummo is suitably dastardly as Garibaldo. All in all, wonderful. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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