Armide at Glimmerglass
July 22, 2012
* Notes *
The opening performance of Lully's Armide at the Glimmerglass Festival (Act I pictured left with Peggy Kriha Dye as Armide and Colin Ainsworth as Renaud, photograph by Karli Cadel) occurred last Saturday. The opera takes its plot from Torquato Tasso's epic poem La Gerusalemme liberata and shares several characters with Orlando furioso by Ariosto. The co-production here is with Opera Atelier, and was performed in Toronto last April with the much of the same cast and crew. Marshall Pynkoski's direction is ridiculously delightful, and Gerard Gauci's layered, flat set is charming. The jewel-toned silks and rich velvets Dora Rust D'Eye used in costuming look appropriately Baroque, as did the choreography from Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg.
David Fallis conducted a jaunty orchestra that did not overwhelm the singers. The chorus sang beautifully. Most of the principals were also perfectly fine. The physicality of the dancers and singers was impressive. João Fernandes (Hidraot) and Aaron Ferguson (Chevalier) were entertaining. Tenor Colin Ainsworth sounded bright and blustery as Renaud. Peggy Kriha Dye gave a vivid portrayal of Armide. Her rage and anger were particularly scintillating.
* Tattling *
Artistic and General Director Francesca Zambello introduced herself to an assortment of young people milling about before going into the hall, and also addressed the whole audience before the music began.