The Triumph of Agrippina

Wonderful production ….superb singers with Joyce Di Donato as Agrippina …..directed from the harpsichord by new superstar Maxim Emelyanychev.
Superb stage direction by Barrie Kosky.
Real direction where the singers become real actors, the skeleton sets merely an insignificant detail.
Unforgettable the hilarious Feydeau type direction when a superb Lucy Crowe tries to hide her suitors one from the other whilst singing magnificently.
Joyce Di Donato is superb throughout but when she takes up her star studded mike and lets rip in a star turn worthy of Barbara Streisand she has a real show stopper on her hands.
But it was the counter tenors that really stole the show.We could only marvel at the Marilyn Horne type quality of voice allied to an agility and volume of sound from Franco Fagioli that had us cheering from the rafters.

The dress rehearsal of Agrippina Friday 20th September
The sound that the conductor created was like a great wave that swept everyone along on its crest.
Allowing his superb players all the freedom they needed from an Orchestra that was indeed “Enlightened,” as their magnificent captain steered them through high and low.
Sudden injections of energy after the calm of Handels beautiful score were like bolts of lightening where sparks were flying high.
What a discovery …….Handel opera is like a refined Rossini opera maybe sacrilege to say but thats how it seemed today!
My first encounter with baroque opera I remember years ago when a young student friend asked if he could put the baroque opera La Calisto on in a semi staged performance in my newly opened theatre in Rome.

The Ghione Theatre in Rome just off St Peter’s Square
I knew many of the orchestra and singers and was delighted to help out.
I let them rehearse right up until performance time thinking there would be a very poor audience.I got an urgent message from the box office that there were so many people the roads around the theatre were blocked.
Rinaldo Alessandrini has since gone on to worldwide recognition for his authentic performances on original instruments.
It is now 30 years later a quite established norm.

The cast list for the Dress Rehearsal Friday 20th September

Joyce Di Donato

super star conductor Maxim Emelyanychev


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