For me, this Persee is one of the best productions of any opera I've seen recently. The opera itself is such a subtly powerful one dramatically and musically from a composer who revolutionised French opera and I think opera in general. It is a gorgeous looking production with sumptuous costumes and some of the most beautiful sets I've seen in any opera production. They don't just look gorgeous, they give the king's court such a rich atmosphere. The staging is entirely respectful to the story and the style of the opera, and succeeds in making an opera from centuries ago accessible to modern audiences. The orchestral playing, while sometimes a little too prominent in the woodwind section, brings out the beauty and depth of Lully's music seamlessly. Hervé Niquet conducts superbly with attention to textures, dynamics and orchestral tone and he chooses tempos that compliment the drama. The cast are without a weak link. Monica Whicher in particular stands out, she is very moving and sings with such radiance. Cyril Auvity has one of the loveliest voices of any tenor singing early music, it is not a large voice nor did it need to be. Colin Ainsworth has a countertenor voice of great purity, Marie Lenormand's singing is like the softest silk and Stephanie Novacek's extremely creamy. Vilma Vitols has a rich voice that she uses subtly, Oliver Lacquerre is both hilarious and commanding. In conclusion, a stunning production, with one of the easiest 10/10s I've given. Bethany Cox
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