FT Reviews Tamerlano

*Tamerlano, Opéra de Lille*
By Francis Carlin
Published: October 6 2004 03:00 | Last updated: October 6 2004 03:00
There should be a golden rule for producers: don’t make life difficult for yourself and the audience.
In Lille’s magnificently restored opera house, Sandrine Anglade bleaches Tamerlano of any human interest, in a staging of withering monotony.
It Is Handel’s longest opera seria, a three-hour litany of da capo arias that would test the most gifted producer. The only viable option is to accentuate characterisation. Anglade rightly focuses on Asteria as the pivotal subject but dresses almost every character in the same two-toned monk’s garb – there is no notion of hierarchy, so that the psychological tussle around her comes across as a distant abstraction. We feel unconcerned by these interchangeable characters, even indifferent when Bajazet commits suicide.
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