Small picture of Donizetti

 

 

 

Bellini's I Puritani

Grange Park Opera, Hampshire, UK, May 31 - June 29, 2013.

Photographs by Robert Workman, © Robert Workman, courtesy of Grange Park Opera

 

Photographs from the Grange Park Opera production of I Puritani, which, unfortunately, do not include any of Claire Rutter, so that the selection is rather skewed, although there is a stand-in Elvira in one of the photos. Rutter was ill leading up to the opening night so may well have missed the photo call.

As so often, the updated setting, in this case from the English Civil War of the 1640's to around 200 years later at the time of the work's composition, seemed to add nothing and caused only confusion.  Rupert Christiansen (Daily Telegraph, June 1, 2013) wrote that it "suffers from quarter-baked intellectual pretension that puts people off opera" and was no more enthusiastic about the stage design that looked like "the foyer of a 1970s discotheque". For him the singing offered "only modest consolation", Jesus Leon being the outstanding contribution, although Rutter was still suffering from flu, which obviously reduced her effectiveness.

George Hall (The Guardian, June 2, 2013) was of much the same opinion with reference to the production, "One could view the result as a send-up of the tired cliches of concept productions", but was rather more appreciative of the singing "salvation is at hand in the shape of some impressive singing and especially the conducting of Gianluca Marcianò".  The subheading of Richard Fairman's review (Financial Times, June 3, 2013) told the same story "Glorious music almost managed to eclipse the muddle-headedness of the production".

A Spanish view from Agustín Blanco Bazán (Mundoclasico.com, June 6, 2013 ) concurred "Con este elenco de jóvenes inspirados y resueltos a todo, la función salió con todo el ardor y entrega sin los cuales no hay un buen Bellini.

Estas cualidades fueron malogradas por la rebuscada puesta en escena de Stephen Langridge, aparentemente empeñado en dar sentido a una narrativa esencialmente floja tratando de presentarla como un experimento médico en un manicomio de la época victoriana. Nunca quedó clara la diferenciación entre esta realidad médica y la aparente visión argumental de una Elvira enajenada, a veces en cama y encadenada".

 

The Team

Elvira - Claire Rutter

Lord Walton - Matthew Stiff

Sir Riccardo Forth - Damiano Salerno

Sir Giorgio Walton - Christopheros Stamboglis

Lord Arturuo Talbot - Jesus Leon

Queen Henrietta Maria - Olivia Ray

Sir Bruno Robertson - Alberto Sousa

 

 

Conductor - Gianluca Marcianò

Director - Stephen Langridge

Designer - Conor Murphy

Lighting - Paul Keogan

Video - Willem Bramsche & Thomas Bergmann

 

English Chamber Orchestra

 

 

 

© Robert Workman

Christophoros Stamboglis (Sir Giorgio Walton) and Ensemble

I Puritani – Grange Park Opera 2013

 

 

© Robert Workman

Damiano Salerno (Sir Riccardo Forth), Olivia Ray (Queen Henrietta Maria), Jesus Leon (Lord Arturo Talbot)

I Puritani – Grange Park Opera 2013

 

 

© Robert Workman

Jesus Leon (Lord Arturo Talbot)

I Puritani – Grange Park Opera 2013

 

 

© Robert Workman

Alberto Sousa (Sir Bruno Robertson) and Ensemble

I Puritani – Grange Park Opera 2013

 

 

© Robert Workman

Alberto Sousa (Sir Bruno Robertson) and Ensemble

I Puritani – Grange Park Opera 2013