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Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Idomeneo at the ENO


The ENO boldly present Idomeneo this month at Covent Garden. Idomeneo is the young Mozart’s classical drama.

This production is directed by the award-winning Katie Mitchell. It is presented in modern day dress, an interesting concept but one that occasionally overpowers the drama. I definitely miss the grandeur of the antique costumes you might expect in a Mozart opera. The staging is immense, with an almost constant rippling sea as the backdrop. The theme of water is central to the drama and you are reminded often of its importance.

Performances are impressive from the four leads. British tenor, Paul Nilon leads the company as the great Idomeneo. Nilon’s performance is staggering, he sings every virtuosic aria with ease and perfection, making the most of Mozart’s lyrical writing. Robert Murray is less convincing as the son Idamante, although sings well throughout. The two women, Emma Bell as the tormented Electra and Sarah Tynan as Princess Ilia have a wonderful dynamic on stage. Bell is ravishingly fiery and Tynan melancholic and gentle. Adam Green sings the role of Arbace with great gusto.

Idomeneo is rarely staged, perhaps because of its length. Hopefully after this run at the ENO it will make it to our London stages more often.

Idomeneo continues until 9 July, book tickets here.

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