The grandeur of the London Colosseum suited the character of this Opera perfectly. High, decorative ceilings and walls most definitely reflected the position of the characters on stage. The story of a princess’ secret lover having to be a cavalier for an ageing perverted nobleman and falling in love with the bride-to-be was immensely humorous and emotional.
Sarah Connolly gave a great performance as Octavian, the young boy hopelessly in love with two women. The ease in which she switched from being a lover, a lady-in-waiting and a cockney speaking fiance in disguise was done as smoothly, delicately and with as much grace as a swan in water. Sophie Bevan as Sophie (the bride-to-be) gave an electric performance as the lead soprano and the senses just tingled when she sang those spine chilling notes.
Though it is a four-hour production, each act greets with a performance more hilarious or emotional than the last. Loosing interest and falling a sleep was a worry but the beautiful direction by David McVicar wouldn’t allow it.
On a final and important note, the orchestra did a fabulous job of recreating Strauss’ vibrant, gentle sounds. Made even more amusing during the audiences insistent applauding when some musicians decided to leave. I assume they ventured to the pub to celebrate a fantastic performance- and rightly so!
Remember, the ENO have an Access all Arias scheme where students and 16-30 year olds can join up and get amazing deals on performances, money off programmes and free talks and social events. It is a great scheme and if you can, id join and start getting the benefits straight away here
Over and Out!