Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for David Alden’s new production of Rossini’s opera, playing at the Royal Opera House until the 16th December. 

The Stage: *** “in the title role Joyce DiDonato melds notes and drama together in a performance of extraordinary virtuosity and expressive mastery.”

The Independent: **** “That this show should make a stunning evening is thanks entirely to the music. Antonio Pappano and his orchestra bring out all the colour and energy in Rossini’s score, and three soloists lift this score to stratospheric heights.”

The Metro: *** “Director David Alden sets the action in a stylized contemporary version of a Middle Eastern dictatorship, and although he tells the story with clarity, his static use of the chorus, and his insistence on the singers using distracting and fiddly props (a riding crop, a cigarette, a globe, an axe) in their big scenes, keeps the dramatic temperature low.”

The Guardian: **** “The staging may be an acquired taste, but musically, the best of it is staggering.”

WhatsOnStage: *** “It was a privilege to witness this rare presentation of some lesser Rossini, but while Alden’s staging was streets ahead of the Royal Opera’s recent Guillaume Tell, this opera is an apple that Rossini’s bolt sadly missed.”

The Times: **** “Stellar singing reigns supreme in Rossini’s Babylonian mishmash.”

The FT: **** “With Antonio Pappano vigorous, if a touch heavy-handed, leading the orchestra, the opera feels less than its four hours. Artistry like DiDonato’s makes time pass quickly.”

Culture Whisper: *** “It’s worth it for DiDonato alone, and for Antonio Pappano’s characteristically illuminating conducting, but make sure you do your patience exercises before you go.”

Backtrack: **** “With such stellar vocal performances and Alden’s stylish production, Semiramide is a Rossinian hot ticket.”

The Telegraph: ***** “This is a production to change minds and hearts: I’ve previously found Semiramide rather a bore: after this knockout performance, I can’t wait to hear it again.”

Evening Standard: **** “The sumptuous textures drawn from the orchestra by Antonio Pappano offered a rich backdrop to these vocal talents; brisk tempi in the cabalettas provided an exhilarating springboard for the pyrotechnical displays.”

Semiramide continues to play at the Royal Opera House until the 16th December. To book tickets visit: http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/semiramide-by-david-alden

 

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