And so to the culmination of the contemporary opera section of the Grimeborn Festival, a double-bill in the form of Peter Maxwell Davies’ The Medium and The Wanton Sublime, a new work by Tarik O’Regan, to a libretto by Anna Rabinowitz. Robert Shaw directed both operas and the Orpheus Sinfonia conducted by Andrew Griffiths accompanied […]
Not everything in Grimeborn can work and while the commitment of all concerned deserves recognition, this adaptation cannot be considered wholly successful. As a better test of its worth though, I do hope further performances can be arranged with a full ensemble of strings, woodwind and brass. If all the main lines are present, the […]
After Monty Python and Blackadder it is not really possible to present this type of opera in full cross-gartered fustian without an ironic angle; so much better in many ways, therefore, to take it out of time and re-present it in another period altogether, or in contemporary dress – as here – where in effect […]
The evening as a whole provided a superbly invigorating beginning to the Grimeborn Festival at the Arcola. We were given new insights into an old work that made it seem much less forbidding and more accessible than usual; and in the second half the joyous, madcap side to the life of the clown and the […]
So in sum, the production did achieve exactly what Grimeborn sets out to do each year. It knocked old layers of varnish off an old favourite and found a new and convincingly thought-through scenario in which to relocate it. Director Lewis Reynolds has a lot of experience in presenting opera at the King’s Head Theatre, […]
So while this is a challenging night in the theatre in the best sense, it remains incomplete and unfinished and invites further revision and reflection on the part of the very able performers and highly thoughtful creators.
The evening was notable for reviving a work of genuine tuneful elegance and comic potential. The commitment and skill of the production overall makes you want to see the same company offer a fully staged run in a larger venue – and soon.
Montemezzi may have been something of a one-work composer, but this performance made the best case possible for his masterpiece, and we can only hope that the repute of this revival will stimulate a wave of further performances at home and abroad. The whole evening showed Opera Holland Park at its very best.