Magazine article Opera Canada

U.K. Cardiff

Magazine article Opera Canada

U.K. Cardiff

Article excerpt

Welsh National Opera's Tristan und Isolde was first seen in 1993, and its recent highly successful revival seemed to owe much to the essential integrity of Yannis Kokkos's design and direction. The staging is elegantly simple, his clean, sensuous lines complementing the long, sensual lines of Wagner's music. The conducting of Mark Wigglesworth, which had logic and passion in equal measure, brought a comparable clarity to the score, so that the effect was of the Gesamtkunstwerk principle at work, with a totality of experience that is still relatively rare.

Wigglesworth's handling of the orchestra was always authoritative, and the wealth of detail that emerged in the tonal colors was revelatory. In the two years since its opening, the acoustic of the Wales Millennium Centre's auditorium has been much praised, but it was of particular interest that the sound emanating from the pit in this performance was so fine, since the pit design, where all the players can be seen, is effectively the opposite of Wagner's in Bayreuth. …

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