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Sunday 26 May 2013

Ariadne auf Naxos at Glyndebourne: take 2


I don't often go to a show twice, but in the past few months I have revisited a few - the RAM Onegin, the ROH Don Carlos, the ENO Wozzeck and this Glyndebourne Ariadne, each excellent in its own way. I am very glad to have seen this Ariadne again - the second viewing brought a better performance from all the leads, and it confirmed to me everything that I had written in my first review - namely that this is one of the best pieces of Regie theatre that I have seen, and probably the best production of Ariadne auf Naxos that I have experienced. Read my first review to find out why.

This time, the Prologue flowed better musically I thought, Jurowski building more momentum and leaving the players more room to breathe. The orchestra sounded simply magnificent in the main opera, with Jurowski's fleet pacing more controlled, as well as greater confidence in the orchestral playing resulting in an even more convinving and beautiful reading than the already extremely impressive first night.

Soile Isokoski's Ariadne was more steady and beautiful this time, as was Sergey Skorokhodov's Bacchus who was still coughing but sang quite magnificently in the finale with a beautiful ringing tone - he can surely only improve as he returns to full health. Laura Claycomb's Zerbinetta is really a very good interpretation - this is Strauss singing to get very, very excited about - again it's the great legato, musicality, and controlled pliancy that sets her apart from her colleagues who currently interpret this role - it's a rare thing when the big show-piece aria doesn't just dazzle, but is musically satisfying and moving too. The nymphs and dance troupe were again very impressive, and far more exciting than usual.

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