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22 Mar 2005
Handel's Ezio at the London Handel Festival
THE curtain rises on Black-adder-land — epicene monarch, black-clad baddie, hooped ladies and preening hero — and you think, hmm, three hours of trying to turn opera seria into comedy could be a bit wearing. Worst fears aren’t entirely realised, but if you don’t trust Handel to hold an audience with a serious exploration of relationship and motivation, why bother?
The London Handel Festival has brought us some notable rarities from among the man’s operas, and this one too has seldom been seen; but if the performance falls short, it’s not because the piece is rubbish.
Countertenor Tim Mead (Ezio)
Britten Theatre, London
Erica Jeal [The Guardian, 17 Mar 05]
Ditched after five performances following its 1732 London premiere, and only occasionally dusted off since, Handel's opera Ezio hasn't been staged in Britain for a quarter of a century - which makes it prime material for exhumation by this year's London Handel Festival.
Click here for remainder of article.
Click here for program information regarding the London Handel Festival.
Robert Thicknesse at Britten Theatre, SW7 [Times Online, 21 Mar. 05]
THE curtain rises on Black-adder-land -- epicene monarch, black-clad baddie, hooped ladies and preening hero -- and you think, hmm, three hours of trying to turn opera seria into comedy could be a bit wearing. Worst fears aren't entirely realised, but if you don't trust Handel to hold an audience with a serious exploration of relationship and motivation, why bother?
The London Handel Festival has brought us some notable rarities from among the man's operas, and this one too has seldom been seen; but if the performance falls short, it's not because the piece is rubbish.
Click here for remainder of article.