Share this story
Close X
Switch to Desktop Site


Judith Weir's "The Vanishing Bridegroom," the new work for the year (and a US premiere), lasts a scant 90 minutes and tells three Gaelic tales of bridegrooms who vanish in mysterious and mythical ways. Weir's way with the operatic medium is fairly subdued, yet with a fine ear for orchestral textures and timbres, and for choral work.

On the handsome unit set designed by Alison Chitty, Francesca Zambello has devised a staging that is arresting and engrossing, a few moments of over-activity notwithstanding. Of the singers, tenor Brad Cresswell made the strongest impression for his imposing physical presence and a handsome, vibrant instrument. Soprano Lauren Flanigan shone as the aging bride. In the pit, Scott Bergeson gave a dramatic and aurally commanding reading of the score.

About these ads

Rossini's infrequently heard "Turk in Italy" was staged in honor of his bicentennial, using Andrew Porter's witty and accomplished translation. Despite a failure to establish a convincing context for all the onstage goings-on, Ken Cazan managed to create a clever animated production that reached a delirious high point in the finale of Act One: The two rival heroines take their fight into a boxing ring - just one of countless magical settings devised by the gifted John Conklin.

The cast was the most accomplished of the season, with Erie Mills taking top honors in a tour de force performance as Fiorilla. Jeffrey Francis showed real promise in the tenor role of Narciso, as did mezzo-soprano Kristine Jepson as Zaida; bass-baritone David Evitts made a human, vocally imposing Selim; Joseph McKee and Terry Hodges filled out the principal cast with excellence. In the pit, unfortunately, Kenneth Kiesler had noticeable troubles keeping the stage and pit in perfect harmony.

Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.