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Tamerlano review – a hit and miss evening
Browse our Comic-Con guide. Hearing Handel's operas through various opera productions over the past couple of months, I find the music very beautiful and like with Guilio Cesare and Rodelinda the stories generally compelling. This production of Tamerlano, directed by Graham Vick, was very good to me. The production is superior with more varied production values and a cast perhaps more suited to the roles in the opera.
However, I would definitely say this production is worth watching.
Derek Alsop's Handel Archive: Tamerlano - A Summary
The costumes do look very nice, and the sets while perhaps not the most ideal of all settings for a Handel opera are hardly ugly either. There is some symbolism here that I didn't really get, such as the silent groupies that would accompany some of the singing, but the drama apart from perhaps Leone never really felt static. The orchestral playing is stylish and suitably sensitive when it needs to be, and Paul McCreesh's conducting suitably forceful.
Monica Bacelli is an expressive Tamerlano, vocally she's vibrant even if the more colouratura elements are not as focused as they were in the earlier performance and dramatically while occasionally over-doing some of the gesturing it is very characterful.
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Apart from some garbled runs in Act 1, Placido Domingo's Bejazet is splendid, the vocal drama is all there and he is very moving in his final scene. Sara Mingardo is perhaps the most consistent of the principals as Andronico, her voice is beautiful and has plenty of vocal flexibility, while she also hits just the right amount of intensity. Ingela Bohlin's Asteria is full of pathos, I also liked how she could make some of her high notes float. Jennifer Holloway as Irene starts off unsteady but improves significantly later on.
In a nutshell though, I enjoyed it very much. Start your free trial. Find showtimes, watch trailers, browse photos, track your Watchlist and rate your favorite movies and TV shows on your phone or tablet! IMDb More. Keep track of everything you watch; tell your friends. Full Cast and Crew.
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As it happened, the opera opened with the cast in 18th-century costume picking their way through the darkness of the auditorium and climbing onto the stage illuminating their way with candelabras, carrying their props with them in wicker baskets like a traveling theatrical troupe. Parts of Vivaldi's score were outstandingly vital and dramatic - confirming that the narrow selection of his oeuvre currently performed gives a seriously incomplete picture of his range and suggesting that "The Four Seasons" should be put on ice for a while.
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The singers, even more so, seemed not fully to have come to grips with this style of work - though the Korean soprano Kim Sung Eun, in the relatively small part of Idaspe, stood out, her voice pure and attractive, and her diction clear and controlled. The score is inventive and accomplished - and Da Ponte's libretto lively and skillful. The sensation that the lunatics had taken over the asylum reached a new high on Sunday in the two one-act Neapolitan-style "farces": Giuseppe Farinelli's "Teresa e Claudio" and Rossini's "L'Inganno Felice," a moderately entertaining, if implausible, piece, staged as though being filmed by a Chaplinesque silent-movie crew - a potentially good idea, destroyed by overacting and the relentless upstaging of the singers by the extras.
Rossini was 5 years old at the fall of the Venetian Republic in , and his inclusion seems to signal that Verona, like other Italian opera houses, still regards an unadulterated program of baroque music as an impossibly risky undertaking - a bizarre state of affairs when Italian music of this period has for many years now been packing concert halls north of the Alps.
Style Opera on a Small Scale.