* Notes *
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra just finished a run of Händel's Athalia. The orchestra has a fastidious, jaunty sound, and Nicholas McGegan is always consistent. None of the singers were outstanding. Marnie Breckenridge as Josabeth had too much vibrato, and though it was clear her voice could be beautiful in some repertoire, it was not shown to best effect here. The countertenor Robin Blaze was very bright and loud, at times he was not quite precise. The title character, Dominique Labelle, sang with a ferociousness that was at least interesting, but the full bloom of her voice was a bit much at times. Roderick Williams (Abner) was good, very solid, though some of his low notes in his last vocal appearance were weak. Thomas Cooley sang his Act III aria beautifully. Céline Ricci was piercing and unpleasant as Joas, but she was boyish. Thankfully the chorus was heroic, they sang very well and together.
* Tattling *
The audience was fairly good, there was some whispering, but no electronic noise except for a single watch alarm at 8pm.