Calisto: Francesco Cavalli (1651)

Lucy Crowe

★★★★

(La Nuova Musica at Wigmore Hall, 28 November 2016)

Calistos are like London buses: you wait for months and then two come along at once. Mere weeks after English Touring Opera’s vivacious production, David Bates and La Nuova Musica presented their own version of Cavalli’s tale of lust, disguise and confusion. Conceived as a semi-staged performance, to make maximum use of the Wigmore’s limited space, this Calisto boasted a cast to die for and delivered some great voices; yet it didn’t eclipse ETO quite as thoroughly as I’d expected.

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Idomeneo: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1780)

Mozart: Idomeneo

★★★

(Trinity Laban at Blackheath Halls, London, 14 July 2015)

This is another post from the deepest, darkest depths of the drafts folder, as you can see from the date I saw this opera. Admittedly there’s limited point in posting on something more than a year after I saw it, but the post was almost complete and it would be a shame not to use it. Besides, it can still be interesting to see how different productions approach the same opera. And Trinity Laban’s performance at Blackheath Halls was a particularly intriguing choice last summer, because only eight months earlier we’d had another, much higher profile Idomeneo in London, which hadn’t exactly received rave reviews. It was a brave decision to put on another version of this challenging opera, so soon after it had come back to bite the team at Covent Garden.

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