Sunday, March 09, 2014

Quinn Kelsey in Rigoletto and Alyson Cambridge in La Boheme

Quinn with Barry Banks, Anna Christie and Spriafuclie
To the ENO Friday night to see Quinn Kelsey sing Rigoletto.  The cast was generally excellent and Quinn's voice is truly outstanding. Barry Banks was also very good as the Duke.  Sadly the production was somewhat bonkers - with the "concept" that that action all takes place in a Gentlemen's Club which makes a nonsense of much of the action including the death seen where Gilda just walks away leaving Rigoletto lying on the ground. (Perhaps the concept is that she isn't dead at all but has gone on to a free and easy life??) Admittedly the idea that someone stabbed by a professional assassin can sing for so long isn't exactly naturalistic but really...

It was great to see Quinn and as I say he has an astounding voice. We had a drink afterwards with some of his many friends, but I had to get back. Catch him if you can in any show - he's really excellent.

Zulimar, Zhengzhong, Alyson and Rame
On Saturday we went to La Boheme at the Albert Hall where Alyson Cambridge was singing Mimi. The excellent Director Francesca Zambello (with whom Alyson has worked on several occasions) bright the action to post-WW2 Paris but didn't mess with the opera and it all worked very well. Because it was staged in the round they were miked and I think the excellent singers would have sounded even better if the amplification was a bit lower. I hadn't heard Alyson sing before and she was terrific - singing and acting beautifully. She had a very strong cast: Rame Lahaj as Rodolfo, Zulimar Lopez-Hernandez as Musetta, and the outstanding Chinese Baritone Zhengzhong Zhou as Marcello.

Since it was a matinee we were able to go out for a bite afterwards and still get to bed in reasonable time.  We also met Alyson's friend the delightful Kate Lindsey.

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