Il Giasone (Cavalli), Royal Academy of Music, 06 May


It's the Golden Fleece, innit

On Wednesday I heard this being plugged on In Tune, and it sounded interesting so I looked on the RAM website and there was one seat remaining!

On Thursday evening, there were quite a few empty seats to be seen, and once again the audience was made up of Conservative voters of advanced age.  Many of them slept soundly, no doubt exhausted by the day’s labours in the service of democracy, while the absentees had surely been quite overcome by their efforts.

All of which was a pity, because they missed a highly enjoyable evening.  I don’t understand the musicological-textual details in the programme, but the opera dates from 1649 and relates what is basically something like the story of Jason and Medea with numerous additions, many of a comic nature.

The best passages were certainly the duets for Medea (Kate Symonds-Joy) and Giasone (Roderick Morris), and the finale–in fact, the places where people got to sing at the same time and so unleashed true opera power.   The recitative did give you the chance to hear the same musical phrase very many times–but whatever.

Equestrienne Medea (with whip) from whatsonstage

The clear and resourceful staging featured a steeply raked stage with a curtain-cum-sail at the back and the enigmatic appearance of stuffed birds and mammals at various points of the action.

And it was very well done–the whole thing was unexpected, enjoyable, and unexpectedly enjoyable.

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