Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Handel's Dark Comedy of Passion and Intrigue; ..... OPERA Agrippina/ENO Coliseum

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Handel's Dark Comedy of Passion and Intrigue; ..... OPERA Agrippina/ENO Coliseum

Article excerpt

Byline: FIONA MADDOCKS

WITH the magic triangle of Handel, director David McVicar and lead mezzo Sarah Connolly, there was every chance this new ENO production of Agrippina, first seen in Brussels in 2000, would be worthwhile.

And so it was, with a good ensemble cast and a clean contemporary design by John MacFarlane, complete with mobile phones, four-letter words and much gyrating of, and fumbling with, groins.

Handel's first popular triumph, written in Italy, enriches the conventions of comedy with dark passions and intrigue. The scheming empress of the title wants to secure the crown for her son, here a self-obsessed, coke- snorting, headphonewearing teenager, brilliantly acted and sung by the showstealing Christine Rice.

Handel's joyous score brings simplicity to a convoluted plot which put into words - even those as clear as in Amanda Holden's robust new translation - ensnares at every turn.

David McVicar presents it all, reasonably enough, as a satire on public life. In Agrippina and Poppea (Lucy Crowe) we see multiple stereotypes of the power-mad woman: think Imelda, Evita, Indira, Hillary, Cherie. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.