A rather colourless Tamerlano (La Monnaie webcast, 2015)
…the wheels on the Handel bus keep on rolling 😉 These past two weeks have been a whirlwind and though I watched things (this one whilst cooking), I couldn’t find the time to write. Now I’m stuck at home with a sinus infection and thus have no excuse…
Tamerlano: Cristophe Dumaux
Bajazete: Jeremy Ovenden
Asteria: Sophie Karthäuser
Andronico: Dephine Galou
Irene: Ann Hallenberg
Leone: Nathan Berg
Zaide: Caroline D’Haese
Conductor: Christophe Rousset | Les Talens Lyriques
Tamerlano. A fine work well conducted. In the past I found it dragging but it seems it doesn’t have to be. Good job Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques.
Pierre Audi’s production. It’s a modern traditional production in the sense it’s traditional in the contemporary sense, not how the ’80s or the ’60s would’ve thought. The classical but abstract sets aren’t bad but the costumes sorely lack in colour. Why have period costumes if you’re doing away with the pizzazz? But it fits in with the other Drottnigholm productions.
The singing. With that cast I was looking forward to some top notch singing. It was indeed never below good. Dephine Galou, whom I don’t remember hearing before, impressed me favourably with her
proper mezzo contralto voice. During Andronico’s duet with Asteria I heard a bit of Mijanovic in her low notes = bonus, as Mijanovic sadly remains MIA. I’ll keep an eye out for other roles she’ll pop in.
Strange to say I didn’t think Irene fit Hallenberg’s voice. As I was saying to Leander the other day, I couldn’t find fault with the singing per se – and certainly not with her acting – but there was something elusive that just didn’t work for me. For instance my favourite aria in the whole piece, Par che mi nasca in seno, seemed unfocused emotionally. Very weird, as I normally think of Hallenberg as someone who excels at sensitive stuff. Bonitatibus’ cautiously optimistic rendition remains my favourite (from the Pinnock recording, currently unavailable on ze tube).
Dumaux was entertaining as usual in a bratty role, Ovenden sounded like he should sing Tito (which I know he’s done) and was suitably grand in his long dying scene. Karthäuser, whom I first encountered as Ilia in Jacobs’ Idomeneo, continues not to be a favourite voice with her grating top and indifferent middle.
Conclusion. Very listenable but not all that as a whole.