Cherevichki-The Tsarina's Slippers is not one of my favourite Tchaikovsky works, but it still has an entertaining story and the typically lush melodies that is associated with Tchaikovsky. I enjoyed this Royal Opera House production thoroughly. But I don't think it's perfect. Two principal singers didn't entirely work for me, Olga Guryakova and Vsevolod Grivnov. In all fairness though, Guryakova does have the most difficult role but while her acting is good I could tell by the frequent shrillness in her voice that she was vocally taxed. Vsevolod is pretty much the same problem, a heroic presence but a voice too lyric for the demands of the role. I loved the rest of the performances though. Larissa Diadkova really stood out to me as a genuinely foreboding Solokha, while Maxim Mikhailov makes for a very entertaining devil. Sergei Leiferkus proves again what a wonderful actor he is, he is very refined here and he sings powerfully and stylistically. Vladimir Matorin's booming, earthy basso voice is one that matches perfectly his towering height. The dancing is just as wonderful, the choreography has such a characteristically Russian feel yet with a lot of grace and precision as well. It is performed with great skill and has feeling to it. The staging helps to really draw you into the story and does so in an imaginative way, while the orchestral playing is deliciously lyrical and authoritative and the conducting loving towards the score(understandably, it is great music) and elegantly phrased. But the standout of the performance was easily the production values, there is a slightly bizarre feel to the sets but that was fitting and they were very bold and colourful to look at all the same. The costumes are equally audacious. In conclusion, an imperfect but still enchanting performance. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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