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Subject: Re: ENO Billy Budd
From: Andrew Moravcsik <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Andrew Moravcsik <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 13 Dec 2005 10:03:37 -0500

text/plain (41 lines)

ENO Billy Budd has been an interesting thread, as there has been a review of
nearly every performance of the run. Re-reading it all and thinking back on
my own experience at the 2nd (a week ago last Monday) performance, I note:
(1) Nearly everyone praises Litton and the band. (2) There is ambivalence
about the hydraulic set; (3) The three principals elicit very precisely
argued evaluations that vary night to night. E.g. GR heard the gravel in
Keenlyside's voice at the end of Act I on the broadcast; I heard it in the
brig scene. The conclusion I draw from the latter is that these three are
committed singers functioning at the very limit of their vocal and artistic
ability--as great singers should be. Better that, surely, than hedging bets.
The result it that the imperfections vary a bit, but we should be thankful
that they are giving their all to this great score. This run is definitely
worth the ticket.

Andy Moravcsik
Princeton, NJ

-----Original Message-----
From: Discussion of opera and related issues
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Geoffrey Riggs
Sent: Tuesday, December 13, 2005 9:54 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: ENO Billy Budd

Listening over the Internet, my impressions were somewhat different,
although not entirely.  When it came to Timothy Robinson's Captain Vere, I
actually much preferred what I heard to some other recent interpreters,
including Langridge.  There was suaver line and keener tone,
IMO....Tomlinson, of whom I have been an enthusiastic fan, came over less
well over the Web, I felt.  At the outset, there was already a more distinct
and slower wobble than I've ever heard from him....Keenlyside's Billy Budd
had me riveted from beginning to end.  The one possible exception was the
stressful scene at the end of Act I when he fights with the Novice and
rejects the money.  Here, there was some slight gravel in the tone (Budd is
woken up in this sequence, so might it have been characterization?)....

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