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CavPag ROH


Geoff
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Just back from the dress rehearsal for the new ROH production of Cav and Pag. No review or comments on the singing, but wanted quickly to post a note of reassurance.

 

The reason is that the director is the same person (Michieletto) who did the controversial / booed / etc William Tell at ROH earlier in the year. This show is in a completely different league in terms of competence, stagecraft, invention, taste and so on. In other words, if you have been holding back from getting a ticket because of William Tell, don't worry: just go!

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I thought it was excellent. Michieletto created a real sense of place and community in a small mid century italian towm populated by a chorus that for once wasn't just awkwardly parked on stage but created drama through their movement (or lack thereof in some scenes).

 

Cav is probably not entirely my cup of tea as an opera, but it was a pleasant started for a great Pagliacci with some Pag characters making a cameo in Cav and vice versa.

 

At the beginning of Pag, one of the chorus pieces was 'conducted' on stage by an actress?/chorus member?, and I nearly cracked up watching her conducting on stage and Pappano in the pit at the same time from my upper slips perch. At times, they made nearly the same movements, occasionally either one of them looked like a silent film satire of a conductor. 

 

The real strength of Pag was the drama unfolding on stage. At some point the story turned into an internal psychodrama, with the action of the play-within-the-opera turning into the inner monologue of the cheated husband - very meta, very effective.

 

Overall, I though it was a great production, musically as well as dramatically. Special kudos to the supportive roles, which occasionally outshone the main performers.

 

For some reasons only known to the booers, there was yet another episode of a small group of very vocal *^*%*^& randomly booing the production team. It felt like they enjoyed their last booing outing and were going to have another go, no matter what the production was like. The guy sitting next to us what utterly confused why anyone would be booing a production like this, and I can only concur.

 

Next time I'm going to a first night, I'm taking a muzzle just in case I end up sitting next to a persistent attention seeker.

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Agree fully with your review Coated.  As a fellow upper slips percher I've noticed over the years there is one stupid git that boos everything the RO does, good or bad, perhaps you've spotted him too.  More than one booer last night though so my pal and I tried to drown them out with bravos.  Odd that someone can get a couple of operas completely right and another hideously wrong though.

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Thanks for your review, Coated. The Standard gave it four stars today and said the same as you, that there was no reason to boo this production and that they were doing it just for the hell of it. He also mentioned, MAB, how the audience cheered even louder to drown out the boos!

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I am looking forward to seeing this in a week's time. Enjoyed Antonenko in Otello. Giannattasio isn't my favourite soprano vocally but she is a convincing actress and very easy on the eye. Shame about the reviews for Westbroek. From the photos, the sets look like a cross between the ROH's current L'Elisir d'Amore and Gianni Schicchi. Is this the template for mid-late 20th century Italy?

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A cracking evening! Thoroughly enjoyed it. I was standing and usually flag after an hour but it just flew by. I am no expert, just a casual viewer. Thought it was cleverly done though a small mean part of me was disappointed there was nothing controversial.

I particularly enjoyed the chorus. I have been playing my Cav CD to death recently and it was terrific to hear it live... And remembered not to sing along...

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