The opera by Thomas was a newfound discovery, and while it doesn't go into my immediate list of favourites it is a treasure. I do also prefer the production with Thomas Hampson and Natalie Dessay, however this is a very good Hamlet, with fine staging particularly the final scene and the mad scene and once again informative and beguiling hosting from Renee Fleming. The costumes and sets are sumptuous yet also have atmosphere, complete with excellent picture and sound quality. The music is wonderful and performed and conducted with no qualms at all. The performances are mostly great. Simon Keenlyside is outstanding in the title role, and Marlis Peterson is a poignant Orphelie and holds her own in her big mad/death scene. Jennifer Larmore puts her rich, creamy voice to perfect use, and excels also meeting the dramatic elements of Gertrude. The only real disappointment for me was James Morris, there are times where he does seem rather wooden and his voice throaty and over-tensed. Still, this Hamlet is very good. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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