Robert Murray (High Priest) Toby Spence (Idomeneo) Caitlin Hulcup (Idamante) and Louise Alder (Ilia)
Idomeneo has long been a favourite of connoisseurs of Mozart's operas but has still not found favour amongst the populus! If anything can make them wake up then a visit to Garsington's new production should do the trick. I needed no such conversion having been in love with the piece since I first saw it conducted by Colin Davis at Sadler's Wells on October 24 1962 in the production by Glen Byam Shaw with designs by Motley. The cast included Elsie Morison, William McAlpine, Rae Woodland, and Ronald Dowd in the title role. Unforgettable. By the way on that same evening the other company of Sadler's Wells Opera (they had two) was performing Tosca at the Empire Theatre, Sunderland. Those WERE the days!!
Two years I renewed my "vows" when we the last run of performances of the Carl Ebert production at Glyndebourne in 1964 with Gundula Janowitz, Enricheta Tarrès, Luciano Pavarotti, and Richard Lewis, the great lamented and blessed John Pritchard in the pit. During my time at Glyndebourne there were two further new productions, in 1974 by John Cox, and in 1983 by Trevor Nunn. So it is a continuous thread of pleasures for me.
And last night's performance made as persuasive case as any of the above for the piece. So beg or steal a ticket for it. And all the other pleasures of Garsington will enhance the engrossing experience of this masterpiece, splendidly sung by cast and Garsington's magnificent young chorus, commandingly conducted by Tobias Ringborg, in Tim Albery's effective new production, telling the story as clearly as ever it can be. Very good stuff indeed and another feather in Garsington's cap.