A failsafe start to the first season in the new house in 1994: Haitink conducts young rising stars in the house composer's most charming romcom. Interestingly a narrowed stage created with a wings-height set recalls the proportions of the old house and the cross-hatched style design rings with the seminal Rake's Progress design Hockney contributed to the house in the past. Something new, something old...
At the head of the ensemble is Renee Fleming rolling out her honeyed soprano in most luxuriant advertisement for those who hadn't heard her already. Finley and Hagley are a perfectly matched couple of put upon downstairs mischief-makers and a host of old favourites ensures the fun and value of the show. It would take Graham Vick and Peter Sellars to really kick the place into life over the next couple of years though. 6/10
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