* Notes *
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and new Music Director Richard Egarr (pictured) ended the 2021-2022 season with Händel’s Radamisto final weekend on the Bing Live performance Corridor on the Stanford campus. The intimate venue proved unflattering, although there definitely was some pretty singing and taking part in.
I attended the final efficiency of the run yesterday afternoon, and was in a position to hear Egarr conduct. He had a foot an infection and was on the hospital, and the assistant conductor had lead the primary two performances. The overture sounded heat and targeted, although there have been moments within the 2 hour and 45 minute piece that had been off-kilter and chaotic. The trumpets and the flute had some sturdy soli.
Christophe Gayral’s manufacturing is staid and severe. The insignia of the Armenians regarded very like the brand of a sure German athletic model, but it surely was unclear if this was deliberately humorous. There was a lot use of the totally different configurations of the Bing’s stage to vary the set, which may have been fascinating, however appeared to vary the acoustic for the singers and didn’t serve the music properly. There have been numerous weapons and flags. There was a lot fussing with a navy blue coat in a scene with Radamisto and his spouse Zenobia that did not do a lot dramatically. A later scene during which Radamisto’s sister Polissena is stripped of her queenly robe works higher, however efficient staging parts had been far and few between. The lighting design appeared off at instances, at one level in Act I Polissena stepped ahead into darkness, and the sunshine solely caught up later. If this was completed on function, it didn’t appear so.
It was exhausting to get an excellent learn on among the voices within the solid, as they sounded totally different within the varied places of the corridor and in its totally different configurations. Mezzo-soprano Wallis Giunta appeared heat and clear in her first vocal look as Prince Tigrane, however in a while within the act. Likewise bass-baritone Aubrey Allicock’s voice had a lightweight, floaty high quality to it within the house, he wasn’t very threatening because the villain Tiridate. Soprano Ellie Laugharne stayed on the suitable facet of shrill as unloved Polinessa, her icy sound a pleasant distinction to the nice and cozy, brilliant tones of soprano Liv Redpath (Zenobia).
Solely Redpath and countertenor Iestyn Davies within the title position had a constant magnificence to their voices, it was unclear to me if this was as a result of I occurred to be seated in the suitable place to listen to their voices or as a result of the staging was extra forgiving to them in some way. Redpath may clearly convey emotion in her voice, sounding particularly plaintive and bell-like in her Act II aria “Che farà quest’alma mia.” Davies too has an excellent sound, his “Ombra cara” of Act II was nice, as had been his duets in Act III with Redpath.
* Tattling *
Although the corridor appeared to amplify the viewers members in addition to the performers, and I heard some wrappers, zippers, and coughs, there have been few if any digital sounds or speaking. Most everybody wore masks, even supposing they’re not required.