Demetrio (1740): Johann Adolph Hasse

Ray Chenez

★★★

(Opera Settecento at Cadogan Hall, 21 September 2016)

Another long-overdue post finally surfaces from the drafts folder! This time it’s Hasse’s Demetrio, to which I’d been eagerly looking forward. We don’t hear much Hasse in London and Opera Settecento had managed to gather a truly exceptional cast, featuring many of the singers I enthuse about repeatedly on this blog. Erica Eloff, Rupert Charlesworth and Michael Taylor were joined in a casting coup by Ray Chenez, whom I last saw as a manipulative and ultimately tragic Marzia at Versailles. On paper, it couldn’t fail. On the night, however, unsympathetic cutting of the opera resulted in a fragmentary show, which I felt didn’t do justice either to its splendid cast or to Hasse himself.

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Il Vologeso (1766): Niccolò Jommelli (1766)

Vologases IV of Parthia

★★★

(Classical Opera, at Cadogan Hall, 28 April 2016)

Another rummage in the drafts folder has unearthed several music posts which are now well out of date, but I would still like to publish them for my own records. Please indulge me! Let’s start with an opera, which I saw in a concert version at the end of April. This was part of Classical Opera’s Mozart 250 project, which was inaugurated by last year’s Adriano in Siria by J.C. Bach.

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Adriano in Siria (1734): Giovanni Battista Pergolesi

Pergolesi: Adriano

★★★★

(Opera Settecento at Cadogan Hall, 16 September 2015)

It’s no exaggeration to say that I’d been looking forward to this Adriano in Siria since the curtain fell on the last one. It’s the first full opera I’ve heard by the precociously gifted Pergolesi, who died at the age of only 26, and who is best known here in England for his haunting Stabat Mater. However, I suspect I’ll get to know Adriano itself pretty well by the end of the year. The production company Parnassus will soon* be releasing their own new recording of the opera, featuring a rather formidable cast, and Opera Settecento’s concert performance was perfectly timed to whet appetites and throw down the gauntlet.

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