By far and away the best production of The Rake's Progress
Stravinsky is one of those composers that has grown on me overtime but I more appreciate him and his importance in music rather than consider him a favourite. This 1975 Glyndebourne production is one of the main reasons why I have more of an appreciation for him now. The Rake's Progress is one of Stravinsky's best works alongside Oedipus Rex and his ballet The Firebird, and the production gives it perfect justice, more so than any other production I've seen.
It is visually stunning, with truly fabulous costume and set design, all of which are colourful and very clever, and done justice by the always focused video directing and sharp picture quality. The staging is full of grace and is very compelling throughout, especially the card-playing scene in the graveyard and when Nick Shadow disappears into the coffin. Musically the production excels also, with outstanding orchestral playing and conducting, always charming and incisive.
The performances are really great, especially from Samuel Ramey whose Nick ranks up with his Mefistofele and Attila on the incomparable level. His basso voice is sumptuous, and is always clear and musical, and his acting is smarmy and evil yet elegant and handsome. Rosalind Elias really bites into her role as the bearded lady Baba the Turk, and sings beautifully and fluently.
Felicity Lott is a very touching Anne Trulove especially in her rendition of Gently Little Boats, even early in her career her singing is nuanced and of great lyric beauty. Leo Goeke has always been mixed to me but his Tom here is very moving with some of his most even and un-strained singing. Richard Van Allen makes for a stern and forgiving Trulove, with his voice black-hearted and dignified at the same time.
Overall, really fantastic. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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