La Calisto

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La Calisto

Post  Dominic McHugh on Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:09 pm

I'd be interested to hear the reactions of anyone who saw this.

It's interesting that The Times gave it 5 stars and raved, while the Independent gave it only 3 and the Telegraph wasn't that positive about it.

Having been disappointed with Ivor Bolton's two previous visits to Covent Garden and not being a fan of this kind of production, I have no plans to see it, but the cast is undeniably attractive and it's good to have something a bit different on at the ROH.

I was interested by Rupert Christiansen's closing comment, too:

'Incidentally, it's a long time since I saw so many empty seats at the Royal Opera House - the crunch is clearly beginning to hit home. The management could help itself by devising a better policy for the last-minute disposal of unsold tickets.'

Surely it would be better to give these away to students etc than to leave the seats empty?

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Re: La Calisto

Post  StephenG on Thu Sep 25, 2008 6:22 pm

Yes I wholeheartedly agree- give the bloody things to students, its crazy how circumscribed their/our experience of London's cultural life can be as a result of prohibitive pricing Rolling Eyes Haven't seen the production yet but hope to before the end of the run- despite Hugo's fairly damning (and convincing) review, as he says the opportunity to see it live seems too good to miss.

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Standby

Post  sans on Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:56 pm

Text and email tonight from ROH, Student Standby 10.00 tickets......

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Re: La Calisto

Post  Jngarratt on Fri Sep 26, 2008 9:51 am

Am going to see this tomorrow with my husband. I'll let you know what we think.

surely the ROH could discount tickets on their online system if they aren't selling?

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Re: La Calisto

Post  StephenG on Fri Sep 26, 2008 5:27 pm

Student standby tickets are better than nothing, but they require you to keep nights free in the hope of getting a place, and then you only find out on the day- frankly impossible, for me at least. I need to know what nights I will or won't be free a week or two in advance at least.

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ROH

Post  sans on Fri Sep 26, 2008 7:03 pm

I can see your point StephenG, its often the same for me, already booked up when they send the email (generally 2 days before though).

This week I have been offered Student Standby at ROH and free tickets to C&P at ENO through my Uni.

You would think that the ROH for example know that once Friends allocation and General Booking period opens, when the most popular productions go in the first day of sale, that advance warning to students at that time, even if they only offered a percentage of tickets left at the discounted price.

They were also offering earlier this week, half price tickets in the Stalls, Grand Tier and Balcony for Saturdays performance at 12pm.

I am sure they could organise it better.

Must go, as I write on the train hurtling towards Leeds for the 1st night of Tosca at Opera North, for the price of 10.00 Student Advance Ticket and a return train ticket for 10.65 and Travelodge hotel at 19.00.

Its the Credit Crunch...

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Re: La Calisto

Post  Jngarratt on Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:26 pm

Back from La Calisto.

Positive points first - it was so well sung and the orchestra were so much part of the piece. Sally Matthews was in excellent voice and she sang her heart out. All the principles were well cast, convincing and they worked well together to give 110% to the production.

But the production was odd, I felt it was designed as a completely over-the-top sex romp. The cast bought into this and played with commitment, producing a very rude, very funny piece. The set backed this up - very bold colours, very in-your-face costumes, mirrors and flashing lights. I felt it did work as the designer wanted - but wasn't sure how relevant the production was to the music.

Some of the music, particularly that between Diana and Endimione is exquisite, but the effect was completely overshadowed by the crudeness of the hand job going on at the front of the stage. OK it got laughs - but the music wasn't saying this at all. I felt that the part where Calisto is shown her future as part of a constellation missed a trick - it would have been good if the starry maidens or the lights showed the constalletion instead of having the women drifting about the stage aimlessly.

I also found it hard to follow what was going on. This is not an opera I know well and so much of the time so many of the characters are disguised as someone else. I wasn't always sure who was singing. I'm fairly sure I mixed up Giove and Linfea for some of the time, one man in drag can look very much like another, though maybe that's the point.

On the whole I enjoyed this, but felt that the production wasn't really in the spirit of the original music - you had to make a conscious decision to go with what was offered and get into the spirit, rather than being enticed in.

The house was about 80% full for this matinee performance, and I saw quite a lot of children in the audience. I wouldn't have taken a young child to this - if it was a film it would have had at least a 15 certificate because of the sexual content, and there was nothing to warn you about this when buying tickets.

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La Calisto

Post  serxes on Thu Oct 16, 2008 6:38 pm

Hi new to this forum but very much looking forward to contributing. I enjoyed the production of La Calisto against my better judgements. Firstly how else could you do a production of a baroque opera written during the 17th century in Venice, about errant gods, chaste nymphs, and confused half-man and goat without sending the whole thing up. Some people might be offended by its blatant sexual references, but as lady mentioned during the interval, done straight or as a concert performance it would be very dull and tedious. Secondly the conducting by Ivor Bolton of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment was superb, he really brought out the beauty, comedy, and pathos of the score, making the final apotheosis of La Calisto very moving. Thirdly and not least I have to mention the excellence of all the cast, who made this a thouroughly enjoyable experience capped by the star turn of Sally Mathews. The latter seems to be getting better and better as a superb soprano. Fiordilligi and Countess Almaviva surely beckons soon. Very Happy

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Re: La Calisto

Post  Dominic McHugh on Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:26 pm

I believe Sally Matthews has already done Fiordiligi at Grange Park and in the Netherlands. According to her home page, she's planning to do it at Covent Garden, too, along with Tamerlano:

http://www.sallymatthews.com/

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Re: La Calisto

Post  serxes on Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:37 pm

Thank you for that piece of information, and would certainly love to hear her in Tamerlano. Thank you for her website link too.

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Re: La Calisto

Post  StephenG on Wed Oct 22, 2008 4:18 pm

On Sally Matthews- saw her in Messiaen's Poemes pour mi recently at the Barbican under Daniel Harding with the LSO- she was astonishing! Versatile, affecting, precise, strong. The highlight of a relatively dull evening by a long shot......

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Re: La Calisto

Post  operaspark on Tue Nov 18, 2008 11:02 pm

StephenG wrote:Yes I wholeheartedly agree- give the bloody things to students

Very Happy

Actually while i am a student, i'd already booked to see this opera beforehand. If i'd been reviewing this production i would also have given it 5 stars. It was 'wacky' but worked really well. The true star of the evening was the wonderful Sally Matthews, but the whole cast were most impressive. I loved the set design and the modern take on an opera which, if it had been staged badly, could have been boring.It was a really surprising evening for me.

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