The cast was the strongest I have seen for some time at the WNO. Soraya Mafi was an ebullient Susanna whose exquisite honeyed timbre (notably fine in the higher registers) was matched by her exceptional acting. The phrase “star quality” is scattered about too liberally, but Mafi really does deserve the label.
In the case of Jo Davies’ production for Welsh National Opera, it is not overstating to say, top of the league.
That said the set is the star. The dilapidated conservatory in amongst the reeds and marshes feel like they have been part of the landscape for years, and sets just the right eerie tone. You are transported wholly into the house and its machinations, and Designer Soutra Gilmour must be praised for such an achievement.
The same could be said of Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, his invincible 1954 chamber opera based on Henry James’s novella. Psychic forces grip the Governess in charge of two children, who may or may not be in thrall to two ghosts. In this first Regent’s Park Open Air theatre/ENO venture, young singers from ENO’s Harewood Artists programme – Rhian Lois, William Morgan, Elgan Llyr Th...