Completing the Bechtolf trifecta – Le nozze di Figaro

Sven-Eric Bechtolf’s stagings of the Mozart/da Ponte operas in Salzburg concluded in 2015 with Le nozze di Figaro.  I think it’s the most successful of the three.  Bechtolf’s strengths lie in detailed direction of the action rather than bold conceptual statements and Nozze is probably the least in need of, and the least amenable to, the big Konzept.  There aren’t any real dramaturgical problems to solve.  It just works as written.  I don’t think that’s so true for Don Giovanni or Così.

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Glorious Alcina

The 2011 production of Handel’s Alcina at the Wiener Staatsoper marked the first time Handel, or any other baroque work, had appeared in the house since Karajan’s reign in the 1960s.  In mounting it they went big.  There’s a starry cast headed by Anja Harteros, Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre – Grenoble, a large group of dancers and former Royal Shakespeare Company boss Adrian Nobel.  It paid off.

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