Discography: (UK) Gramophone Editor's Choice - Blue-Ray of the Month: " Alcina & Tamerlano, Handel by Les Talens Lyriques (dir. Christophe Rousset), Alpha" (by David Vickers)

Contributed by admin on Jan 13, 2017

"These productions began life a few years apart in Drottningholm before double-bill revivals at the Dutch National Opera and La Monnaie in Brussels. Pierre Audi’s post-Baroque stagings are often astutely deliberate in pacing and action, and are designed simply but artfully (beautiful 18th-century-style costumes, economical lighting, use of mechanical stage flats). At their best, they function as compellingly psychological dramas reminiscent of tragedies by Shakespeare and Racine. ...

Audi’s claustrophobic Alcina eschews magic and spectacle entirely, and is low on humanity, wit, variety and sentimental drama – the transformation chorus no longer shows the wondrous liberation of Alcina’s victims but instead is misrepresented as a premature finale that mourns a mature woman who has drunk poison after being forsaken by her younger lover (while Oronte murders Morgana in cold blood); the denouement is subverted entirely and the actual end of Handel’s opera is cut – as are the ballets." ...

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