Ashley Riches (Count) and Rhian Lois (Susanna) at ENO March 29 2018
The varied ENO season is ending up with a splendid revival of Fiona Shaw's production of Le nozze di Figaro. There are many pleasures to be found, above all in the super performances by two rising stars of ENO's Harewood Artists programme, Rhian Lois (Susanna) and Katie Coventry's lithe and lively Cherubino, utterly convincing in all respects and quite beautifully sung. Rhian Lois tackles Susanna with total confidence - and a monster long role it is of course. But she sails through it without a care in the world.
And Ashley Riches has made the transition from hugely promising to totally accomplished and authoritative - a really splendidly sung assumption of the part for the first time at the Coliseum. It is so satisfying to see how this company is building after that other recent great company effort A Midsummer Night's Dream earlier in the month.
The one visiting "guest" was the excellent Dutch bass-baritone Thomas Oliemans in the title role, with perfect English diction by the way - a model! Lucy Crowe and Janis Kelly brought experience and distinction to the Countess and Marcellina, and an array of the best of British filled the comprimario roles. We will see more of them all, but I especially look forward to more from the versatile and fruity bass of Keel Watson (Bartolo) - a fine acquisition for the company.
A full house loved it, as did I! And how good to see Martyn Brabbins, the company's eminent music director, in the pit for Mozart.
Katie Coventry (Cherubino)