The first edition of the Palau Ópera cycle closed with ‘The fairy queen’, a semi-opera by Henry Purcell. With the room ostensibly more crowded than in previous evenings, he repeated the Belgian group Vox Luminis led by Lionel Meunier, whose interpreters amazed on this same stage last Monday by giving life to another work by Purcell, ‘King Arthur’, a title that will be taken to the Teatro Real in Madrid on March 27, while this ‘Fairy queen’ was offered the day after its Barcelona premiere at the Oviedo Auditorium.

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Although both were announced semi-staged, only the last one had something of it. The work, which adapts Shakespeare’s comedy ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, was presented using shadow puppets, projections, lighting that created atmospheres and some scenic play, although in the end all of this turned out to have a certain air of an end-of-year festival. Despite the fact that in ‘King Arthur’ the stage proposal was limited to moving the performers around the orchestra, This new co-production –with the Concertgebouw Brugge of Belgium–, which had more means, did not manage to overcome the previous evening. The theatrical tension continually declined, the duet “No, no, no, no, no; no kissing at all” seemed more absurd than grotesque or funny and the well-known aria “Oh let me wheep” It passed without sorrow or glory.

Declaimed the texts of the ‘regist’ and playwright Isaline Claeys the actress Silvia Bel, also in charge of manipulating some object. In any case, once again the choral mass shone so brightly – they sang some passages with sheet music in hand – but not their soloists separately, except for the tenor Jacob Lawrence and, to a lesser extent, the countertenor Jan Kullmann and the tenor Hugo Hymas (soprano Sophie Junker was definitely missing). After a somewhat nervous first few bars, the orchestral ensemble, with Anthony Romaniuk on the harpsichord and the organ, endorsed what was exhibited on Monday: its members are virtuosos who enjoy their superb art to the fullest.

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