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Birtwistle Semper Dowland, semper dolens; The Corridor

Elizabeth Atherton (soprano)
Mark Padmore (tenor)
Helka Kaski & Thom Rackett (dancers)
Members of London Sinfonietta/ Ryan Wigglesworth
Peter Gill – Director
Alison Chitty – Designer
Paul Pyant – Lighting
Lorna Heavey – Video art & projection designer
Southbank Centre, London – Queen Elizabeth Hall July 06, 2009

This double bill is probably more suited to radio/CD than to live performance. Certainly, Peter Gill's productions - as seen at QEH - cannot be counted successes. The first half of a rather gloomy double bill is reviewed below by Nina Drucker, with whose reservations we concur. I would add that the modern harp was not a good substitute for lute, and that Mark Padmore's words came across only intermittently; easiest to follow those of the poems which we knew best, such is the way. The effect of the darkened hall for The Corridor was even more disastrous, because David Harsent's poetry was probably the best part of a rather dour show; we read it on the way home...

For a more positive response, read Anne Ozorio at Aldeburgh in Opera Today.

Peter Grahame Woolf


image © Malcolm Watson