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Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Tear ...
Alan Opie ...
Traveller / Elderly Fop / Old Gondolier / Hotel Manager / Hotel Barber / Leader of the Players / Voice of Dionysus
Michael Chance ...
Voice of Apollo
Gerald Finley ...
Paul Zeplichal ...
Jozik Koc ...
Youth / Jaschiu's Father
Christopher Ventris ...
Hotel Porter / Youth / 3rd Gondolier
Gordon Wilson ...
Youth / First Gondolier / Strolling Player
Iain Paton ...
Glass Maker / Youth
Aneirin Huws ...
Youth / 2nd Gondolier / Priest at St. Mark's
Heather Lorimer ...
Girl / Danish Lady
Linda Clemens ...
Girl / Strawberry Seller
Graham Stone ...
Ship's Stewart / Restaurant Waiter
Jonathan Veira ...
Lido Boatman / Hotel Waiter
Karen Hoyle ...
French Girl


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Very well sung and a very good interesting production on the whole
3 August 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Death in Venice is not my favourite Britten opera, partly because I am more familiar with works like Peter Grimes, Albert Herring and Turn of the Screw, but as with any Britten opera(that is if you like his music) it is worth a listen. I found this Glyndebourne production very good on the whole. Is it perfect? No, I personally found that the costumes and sets in the opening scenes could have been more imaginative, Alan Opie's Elderly Fop is like Truman Capote come back to life, and I wasn't entirely sure whether it worked. The sound quality is also a little boxy at this point, and some of the staging a little compact even on Glyndebourne's small stage. However, once Aschenbach is in Venice the production values largely improve and the sound gives more atmosphere. The orchestral playing is strong, and the conducting becomes more and more confident as the performance progresses. The staging has some interesting touches, the dancing is superb, the idea to have Tadzio not look directly as Aschenbach but look in his direction was a moving touch and Robert Tear's softer and more embarrassed exclamation of I love you was a nice change from it being the more insistent way. The performances are wonderful, Gerald Finley and Christopher Ventris would give better performances later on, Finley as Figaro and Oppenheimer and Ventris as Parsifal, but it was a pleasure to see them towards the start of their careers and seeing their potential before their rise to fame. Robert Tear gives a very involved and moving portrayal of Aschenbach, his voice not the most beautiful but nobly used. Michael Chance is a commanding Apollo and sings with a strong tone. But the production belongs to Alan Opie, who is in magisterial voice and gives each of his multiple roles a distinct personality, of note he is hilarious as the Traveller and he is the very definition of the Hotel Manager from Hell. All in all, well sung, interestingly staged and very good on the whole. The opening scenes and boxy sound are a little disappointing compared to the rest, but a vast majority of the production makes it a worthy one in regard to Britten's work. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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