image1 624x374 - The HOT Take Abroad

The HOT Take Abroad

HOT General Director Simon Crookall is providing The HOT Take while abroad in England.  Enjoy!

Tristan and Isolde, English National Opera, London
image1This was a stunning, new production, with designs by the Indian sculptor, Anish Kapoor, famous for his large-scale installations. The set was strikingly dramatic, featuring large abstract structures in the center of the stage, with fabulous lighting by Paul Anderson.  ENO performs everything in English, and the translation by Andrew Porter was clear and simple – the supertitles were almost superfluous. The principal roles are exceptionally demanding, and Stuart Skelton (Tristan) and Heidi Melton (Isolde) did sterling work, with the Act 2 duet a highlight. There was excellent support from Scottish Mezzo-soprano, Karen Cargill as Brangane, and Craig Colclough as Kurwenal, and the orchestra was beautifully conducted by Edward Gardner, with fine pacing and structure, which is essential for this gargantuan work.

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On Sunday we attended Evensong at Westminster Abbey and heard the choir’s final service of the year with music by Purcell, Parry and Howells – his evensong setting written for King’s College, Cambridge.  An exquisite and moving service to bid farewell to eight choristers who were singing for the last time.

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All this and Andy Murray winning Wimbeldon!  Quite a weekend!!