Living proof that an opera production doesn't have to be traditional to work...
I admit I am more of a traditionalist myself when it comes to opera, but as long as it looks good and isn't done in bad taste I do not mind modern dress. And this production of Les Boreades is living proof that modern dress can work. Visually, it looks beautiful, especially with what is done with the seasons from the summer carpet of flowers to the rain-soaked spring. The staging works very well, intelligently done by Robert Carsen, who has been responsible for some questionable touches but overall an interesting opera stage director. The best bits were with Cupid and with Apollo floating down from the rafters. Musically it is also fantastic with orchestral playing full of energy pathos and William Christie's conducting buoyant. The singing is really wonderful, with Barbara Bonney vocally and dramatically sparkling and Paul Agnew's tenor voice is appealing and agile and dramatically he is suitably apprehensive. Nicolas Rivenq has some intonation problems in the high register of his basso range, but is a commanding figure on stage and sings sonorously on the whole. Anna Maria Panzarella sings beguilingly also. There is one point of controversy though, the choreography. Initially I did find it rather bizarre, but once I got used to it I found it creative. All in all, very well sung, well recorded and has much to admire in general. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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