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Lucia di Lammermoor, Donizetti
D: David Alden
C: Stuart Stratford
A Dramatic and Musically Triumphant Mad Scene is a Highlight of ENO’s Lucia Revival

Such intensity demands a parallel level of emotional power from the pit, and here Stuart Stratford, a familiar name from Opera Holland Park (see Puccini’s La fanciulla or Mascagni’s Iris, for example), provided just that. The English National Opera Orchestra gave their all in a performance of Lucia that also included a great deal of nuance. Stratford understands the voice, and how phrases need to breathe; he also, crucially, gets Donizetti’s orchestration. A sense of flow permeated the whole from the very opening; and to hear the ENO Orchestra on such full-toned form was a joy indeed. They clearly respect Stratford, whose deep musicality added immeasurably to the evening.

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11 November 2018seenandheard-international.comColin Clarke
Disturbing intensity: Lucia di Lammermoor at ENO

Tynan fully identified with the portrayal of Lucia, giving us a profoundly disturbing picture of a woman who was controlled and neutralised by society, fighting back in the only way possible. This meant that in Acts One and Two she was relatively passive, and one of this production's clever strokes is to make Edgardo just as controlling, in his different way, as Enrico. It is clear, this Lucia will be controlled no matter what, so madness is the only way out.

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31 October 2018www.planethugill.comRobert Hugill
Aida, Verdi
D: Crystal Manich
C: Antony Walker
Review: Spectacular 'Aida' boasts thrilling music, performances

“Aida” is set in ancient Eqypt and is most famous for the spectacle of the “Triumphal Scene,” in which the Egyptian army returns victorious — with prisoners and spoils of war — after having beaten the Ethiopian army. Latonia Moore commanded the stage as “Aida,” a role she's performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. He voice is lustrous and smooth on top, and has an emotional tinge even at the ends of phrases that taper quietly. Her lowest register was dry at first, but velvety long before the exquisite tomb scene. The soprano's power was thrilling to experience, both in solos and in big scenes. She also acted extremely well. All in all, an unforgettable company debut. Tenor Carl Tanner, also making his debut, was an uncommonly strong Radames, the Egyptian general in love with Aida but desired by Amernis, daughter of Egypt's king. Elizabeth Bishop gave an excellent portrayal of Amneris, one that generated real sympathy for her situation. Her powerful mezzo had the steel for a daughter of the king, and she controlled it with mastery that was nuanced to her changing moods — stong-willed, conflicted, cunning and vulnerable. Oren Gradus sang very well as Ramfis, the high priest, offering strength and dignity. Phillip Gay as the King and Jasmine Muhammad as the High Priestess were both effective. Walker led a wonderfully dramatic performance — well-paced, colorful and beautiful together in ensemble. Delicate moments were all the more magical for being precisely defined. He also let the orchestra and chorus rip at the right moments, which contributed to the sweep of the performance. This made Moore's ability to ride the climaxes all the more impressive. The orchestra was outstanding, apart from one bad chord at the end of the prelude. The string section had remarkable tonal character and cohesion. Wind solos, including piccolo, were keenly drawn. The brass, and especially trumpets, have a big role in this opera, and played magnificently. Timpani and bass drum also stepped up to Walker's scale of sonority for this opera.

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13 October 2013archive.triblive.comMARK KANNY
Giuseppe Verdi's "Aida"

The opera that I attended on opening night was astonishing. The orchestra played relaxingly and mellifluously to the ear. The setting to Giuseppe Verdi’s version of “Aida” was located in Egypt. Aida played by Latonia Moore, was a gorgeous Ethiopian servant to Amneris from Egypt and also a princess. The tone of the opening act was quite calm.The costumes used in the Opera fit perfectly to the Egyptian times of warriors, kings, queens and slaves. I remember sitting there as the opera began and seeing 4 guards who at the time, I thought were statues but were not. So the make-up, lighting and poise of the cast were quintessential! Now I don’t know if I was so amazed by the opera singing because of the divine voices or because I never heard opera before, which gave it some perks but the voice of the main characters were astounding. Amonasro played by Lester Lynch, had a very compelling, vigorous tone. Aida played by Latonia Moore had a melodious sweet sound. The opera itself was very dramatic. Between the love triangle and having to imagine choosing between my father and the love of my life how Aida did in this melodrama made it very emotional. I actually found myself getting teary eyed towards the final ‘hours’ of Aida and Radames' life

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23 October 2013rovingpittsburgher.blogspot.comAngel Thomas-Williams

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