La Donna Del Lago
From: Friday, 17th May 2013
To: Tuesday, 11 June 2013
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This impressive and enchanting opera is based on Sir Walter Scott's famous poem The Lady of the Lake and is set on the shores of Loch Katrine in the highlands. King James V is entranced when he meets a beautiful woman, Elena, in the Highlands. But he is dismayed to learn that she is the daughter of his enemy, Douglas. Elena, meanwhile, is in love, but not with James V or her fiance
18 May 2013
In his biography of Rossini, Richard Osborne says of La donna del lago that it’s “ill-suited to larger houses, however grand the piece can be made to seem scenically.” It’s a spot-on observation and one that Royal Opera Associate Director John Fulljames, in stepping onto the bigger stage, should have heeded. It would have been better to have acknowledged the dramatic weaknesses of the work and let Joyce DiDonato and Juan Diego Flórez just sing. After all, that’s what the audience is there for.
Fulljames would have been criticised if he’d done that, of course, so it’s a bit of a no-win situation for him. In fact, his new production can be a very enjoyable outing, if you go to indulge yourself in a gorgeous score and some world-class singing. The staging isn’t all bad, by any means. Fulljames has ideas, some big and bold, and some badly under-develo...
Latest User Review
Anthony Russell - 20 May 2013:
I would have no qualms about scoring 4 for the singing, but the staging is sucha a mess, it has to be an overall 3. The orchestra played well but the onstage band were awful - was that deliberate. The production was pretentious at best. It shows that the director has no faith in the work. A group of clansman act like a bad touring production of G & S in the old D'Oyly Carte days. The singing, however was specatcular from all the principals. They were all greeted with a barrage of cheers and applause, unlike the production team, which was roundly booed - and there was no counter-cheering at all. This is the worst booing I have heard at Covent Garden for a long time. Perhaps it is time for the directors to listen to the people who are actually paying for tickets, rather than critics, who, if they enjoy this sort of rubbish so much, would be willing to pay for their tickets in future....