I also respectfully disagree with Gyran, but I do understand why this Sorceress mayn't be for all tastes. It is an unusual structure, like has been said already it is part opera, part ballet and part music video, and it is essentially ballet music and Handel arias very loosely around Alcina's story. However, it is so lush in the visuals, with sumptuous costuming and settings and a compelling fairy-tale atmosphere. TeKanawa as always looks radiant. The picture quality and camera work are very good.
My only real criticism really is the sound quality, it is a little on the harsh side and could've been a little more balanced with the orchestra. Handel's music, rousing and emotional at every turn, more than makes up for it though, as do the stylish orchestra playing and Christopher Hogwood's sprightly conducting. The singing is exceptional, with the main draw being Kiri TeKanawa as a gentler but still commanding Alcina. I have always liked her, and she is vocally resplendent, with secure technique, a clear bell-like voice with no signs of strain and an alluring presence.
Of the renditions of this Sorceress performance, my favourite was Ah! Reggiero Crudel- Ombra Pallide(Alcina, the aria and performance was beautiful and intense. Piangero La Mia Sorte(Guilio Caesare) is a close second, showing the ethereal quality of TeKanawa's voice. In conclusion, a great performance that TeKanawa fans will love and appreciate but not for everybody perhaps. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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