CD and Other Review

Review: Grétry: L’Amant Jaloux (Pinchgut Opera)

Without André Grétry (1741-1813) there wouldn’t be opera as we know it. The first French composer to successfully marry French and Italian styles in the Classical period, Grétry’s melodic and dramatic gifts coupled with a strong desire to push opera to its limits ensured his lasting fame. First performed at Versailles in 1778 before Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, L’Amant Jaloux, ou Les Fausses Apparences(The Jealous Lover, or False Appearances) was an immediate success. The setting is Cadiz, Spain. The rich Don Lopez (baritone David Greco) forbids his widowed daughter Léonore (soprano Celeste Lazarenko) to marry again. But she is in love with the eponymous jealous lover, Don Alonze (tenor Ed Lyon), who has a sister Isabelle (soprano Alexandra Oomens), who is Léonore’s friend and the beloved of French officer Florival (tenor Andrew Goodwin). Without giving too much away, much mayhem ensues before the happy ending. Erin Helyard directs cast and orchestra – both of which are uniformly excellent – from the keyboard with great attention to detail yet with a sure grasp of forward momentum. We also get snippets of English dialogue which must have made live performances from which this recording was made…Continue reading Get unlimited digital access…

June 9, 2017
CD and Other Review

Review: Gluck: Iphigénie en Tauride (Pinchgut Opera)

Based on the premise that far more operas were written before 1750 than since, Pinchgut has been unearthing a rich stash of rediscovered treasures for Sydney audiences since 2002. Starting off with one production a year, the company under its Artistic Director Antony Walker has moved to two short seasons at the intimate City Recital Hall. For its 2014 offerings Pinchgut moved to the decade before the French Revolution to stage two contrasting works, Salieri’s comedy The Chimney Sweepand Gluck’s Euripidean saga of parricide, matricide and near-fratricide, Iphigénie en Tauride, which marked the 300th anniversary of the composer’s birth. You can now share the performance of the latter, containing some of Gluck’s finest music, with this live two-disc set. Premiered in Paris in 1789 Iphigéniewas an instant hit and this disc shows why – the vocal and orchestral writing are both wonderful. The mystery is why it has taken so long for it to re-emerge from relative obscurity. Gluck pitches the listener straight into the dramatic action. Dispensing with an overture we hear the timpani signalling an approaching storm at sea off Scythia where Iphigénie, exiled after the goddess Diana saved her from being sacrificed by her father Agamemnon,…Continue reading…

February 18, 2016

Opera à la snuffbox

How a Parisian composer’s experimental efforts resulted in a stylistic movement much closer to home. Continue reading Get unlimited digital access from $3 per month Subscribe Already a subscriber? Log in

November 27, 2015