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16 May 2006

Vanessa, Teatro Massimo, Palermo

Jeanne-Michèle_Charbonnet_small.jpgBy Francis Carlin [Financial Times, 15 May 2006]

With so much brazenly retro new opera coming from American composers, Palermo has commendably gone back to the superior source material. Barber’s Vanessa (1958) cobbles together ideas from other composers in a patchwork that often raises a sneer from knowing critics. But his cribbing from Janácek, Richard Strauss and Berg – the ball scene owes a lot to Wozzeck – is so cleverly filleted that only a jaundiced mind could object.

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