Your reviews of the 2011 Festival production
Although I was familiar with some of the music, this Glyndebourne production is the only staging of Rinaldo that I have ever seen.
The opera would probably work in the original 11 th Century setting; however, it would be difficult to relate to the characters and I suspect that an 11 th Century setting might easily be worthy, but potentially rather dull.
Setting the opera in a modern boarding school worked very well and quite literally, there was never a dull moment.
The singing and orchestral playing for the Tour was excellent and easily as good as the performances duiring the summer. I would certainly be happy to see this production again.
Brian Stevenson 8th November 2011
It was just brilliant. Wonderful singing as usual. Simply loved the extremely witty staging, some of it was hilarious, not what I had expected at all.
Diane 4th November 2011
Having seen the GOT production at Glyndebourne end of October, I would certainly concur with the above comments regarding the singers: some masterful renditions and Dumaux was stunning. We, however, had no problem understanding the schoolboy's dream concept from the get go. A wonderful, lively production, beautifully staged and choreographed, and the orchestra was excellent. Yes, there were moments when this light-hearted take on it seemed at odds with the emotional content, but the singing, acting and Handel's lovely music just steamrollered any reservations.
Janina Chowaniec 4th November 2011
Once we had grasped the Boys' Own idea we enjoyed this production enormously. Everything seemed to gel and the singing was outstanding. For once a director's modernisation was a triumph. Also it was great value for money time-wise compared to the other two operas! 4pm starts worked well.
Weland Stone 4th November 2011
Loved the first act, even though my companions thought it was a bit tedious. The second and third got a bit too silly for my taste and that distracted enormously from the most beautiful music and fantastic voices.
Anonymous 4th November 2011
A wonderful production of a masterwork, musically stunning as we all know, but it can be dramatically exceedingly tedious. We loved the concept of the schoolboy dream, though could have wished that the idea was a made a little clearer in the opening scene... first interval reactions "Wonderful but why?" by the end "Brilliant - superb idea! really worked!"
This show is transformed from its very disappointing summer outing. I still find the ´concept´ crass - and there are still some extremely dodgy male fantasies about women being paraded on stage. However, the touring cast is uniformly strong, and the piece is extremely well played by the orchestra.
The chief reason for the improvement since the summer is the outstandingly acted and sung performance of the title role by Christophe Dumaux, an amazingly accomplished, witty and self-effacing performance - he even manages to create huge impact with ´Cara sposa´ despite the facile context created by the production.
If this show is ever revived for the main festival (not a priority, I would argue!) I sincerely hope Dumaux is approached to play the role again - the distinguished singer who tackled the role in the summer was simply inappropriate for this directorial interpretation. In the meantime I would encourage anyone hesitating to book for the tour to do so without delay. Apart from Dumaux, there are some extremely strong vocal performances, and the opera´s emotional narrative is delivered with great force.
John Ginman 3rd November 2011
A huge shame that you are touring only one opera to Stoke this year. My friend and I have attended the full set each year for many years. Our November will have quite a hole in it. I would much have preferred to hear Rinaldo than the more easily accessed La Boheme.
Chris Henstock 15th August 2011
I agree with the previous comment concerning the number of opera's at Stoke. I saw all three last year, and yes Montiverdi was excellent. I did actually see Rinaldo at Glyndebourne a couple of weeks ago but would certainly go again in Stoke. I would rather like to see Don Pasquale.
Andrew Brooks 12th August 2011