Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Strong cast lifts Wake-Walker's constrained staging in Glyndebourne Tour's Fidelio

Ben Glassberg (conductor)
Anna Jones (designer)
Peter Mumford (lighting designer)
Adam Young, FRAY Studio (projection designer)

Gavan Ring (Jaquino)
Carrie-Ann Williams (Marzelline)
Dingle Yandell (Don Pizarro)
Robert Lewis (First Prisoner)
Tom Mole (Second Prisoner)
Adam Smith (Florestan)
Jonathan Lemalu (Don Fernando)

Saturday 16 October 2021

Glyndebourne, East Sussex

Dorothea Herbert (Leonore) & the Glyndebourne Chorus
© Richard Hubert Smith
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827): Fidelio
(libretto by Joseph von Sonnleithner, revised by Stephan von Breuning and Georg Friedrich Treitschke)
(new spoken text in this production conceived by Frederic Wake-Walker, written in collaboration with Peter Cant and Gertrude Thoma. Leonore's poem written by Zoë Palmer)

Adam Smith (Florestan)
© Richard Hubert Smith

'Beethoven’s canonic quartet is surely one of the highlights of Act 1, and it certainly did not disappoint here musically, with well-balanced and blended singing from all four singers'. 

'Leonore and Florestan ... finally get the opportunity to engage in Act 2, and Dorothea Herbert and Adam Smith make the most of this, with the most moving singing of the show'.

'Smith’s opening piano high G was incredibly controlled, yet he was not afraid to use the strain of projecting Beethoven’s high tessitura above the orchestra to great effect'.

'Ben Glassberg and the orchestra’s attention to detail was strong, and they avoided the very real possibility in Beethoven’s scoring of drowning out the singers'.

'Wake-Walker’s staging, without the dialogue, leads to a lot of static, ‘stand and deliver’ singing from the key characters, relying on the video projections onto the outside of the cage for interest'.

Read my full review on Bachtrack here.

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