Having booked my ticket very much last minute I was most certainly in for an unexpected treat.
Under the direction of German-born David Boesch it was an almost minimalist production. The stage was set up very simple so the drama that was going on really took centre stage! The Gypsy Camp scene was a feast for the eye and over all to quickly without having been able to asses every single character on stage – it was a very illustrious crowd and took the gypsy life with a pinch of salt. It almost felt as if Swiss Patrick Bannwart (Set and Video Design) had raided the attic and threw everything he found onto the stage – including a bright pink, sparkly suitcase. I would suspect that not everybody felt attracted to the staging.
The cast was simply outstanding! Personally I have an affection to Mezzos and Azucena, sung by Ekaterina Semenchuk, just gave me goosebumps! Her intensity was second to none. The rest of the cast, including Lainna Haroutounian (Leonora) and Francesco Meli (Manrico) were equally magnificent!
Being lucky enough to sit in the stalls one really felt the full force of the Choir of the Royal Opera House, including a few extra singers – a thoroughly enjoyable evening.
Though – one wonders how much the ROH is paying for insurance these days – lots of real fire on stage again…..