Royal College of Music Opera Orchestra
Michael Rosewell (conductor)
|Gyula Rab (Gonzalve), Kezia Bienek (Concepcion)|
|L'Enfant (Rose Setten), La Princesse (He Wu)|
James Bonas’s stagings treat them as independent works, which of course they are; there is no discernible attempt to forge a link between them, but then nor is there any need to do so. With the help of Ruari Murchison’s designs, we thus find ourselves for the first half where we should expect to do so: the shop of a Toledo clockmaker. The clocks that the muleteer, Ramiro, must carry up and down the stairs and the staircase itself are our guiding presence: plot device and environment working well together. Costumes hint at a Frenchman’s view of Spain, reminding us not only of the circumstances of this particular opera but also of the old quip, fair or otherwise, that the best Spanish music has been written by Frenchmen. The characters are sharply directed, enabling the young singers’ considerable acting and vocal abilities to shine to the full.
|Concepcion and Ramiro (Luke D Williams)|