Small picture of Donizetti




Rossini's La donna del lago

Royal Opera House, London, May 17  - June 11, 2013.

Photographs © ROH/Bill Cooper, courtesy of the Royal Opera House

Critics and audience were much of the same mind about this production;  the singing and playing were outstanding, the direction and staging best forgotten. The latter started with the idea of a group of Victorians inspecting the various opera characters in a museum, which two of their number, supposedly Scott and Rossini, then bring to life. However, the realisation of this idea was muddled and it is not clear what it hoped to achieve.  It was not helped by a switch to other periods of history at various points, in some of which the director decided to stress the rape and general mistreatment of women,  the hanging of the rebels and a deer with its throat being cut. So not only did the production make little sense but it left a nasty taste and, I suspect, caused some uncertainty in the singers as a touch of hamminess occasionally crept in to the acting. Still the singing more than compensated. One can only wonder that DiDonato's had so much in reserve for a superb final aria.


The Team

Elena - Joyce DiDonato

King James of Scotland - Juan Diego Flórez

Malcom - Daniela Barcellona

Duglas - Simon Orfila

Rodrigo - Colin Lee/Michael Spyres

Albina - Justina Gringyte

Serano - Robin Leggate



Conductor - Michele Mariotti

Director - John Fulljames

Set designs - Dick Bird

Costume designs - Yannis Thavoris

Lighting design - Bruno Poet


© ROH/Bill Cooper

The opening scene set in a museum



© ROH/Bill Cooper




© ROH/Bill Cooper




© ROH/Bill Cooper

Elena and the king



© ROH/Bill Cooper

Duglas and Elena



© ROH/Bill Cooper

Elena faced with the rebels' fate




© ROH/Bill Cooper

The king comes clean as to his identity