| August 3, 2015
| August 3, 2015
“This is luxury casting, and so they should shine. Kaufmann and Opolais “own” these roles these days If anything, they were singing with even greater intensity than they did at the Royal Opera House production last year . . .
In most productions, Manon’s beauty steals the show . . . Opolais has the artistic courage not to need to be seen at her finest. When she sings, she creates a real Manon with all her insecurities and complexities. She dares depict Manon’s inner ugliness, because she can also show her true beauty. Opolais may look tense in the first act and ravaged in the last, but that’s all the more reason to admire her integrity. As she lies on the hard, bare stage that depicts the spiritual desert that is New Orleans, (where physical deserts don’t exist), with her face gaunt and the dark roots in her hair showing, Opolais’s voice transcends her surroundings. Manon is a true hero because she changes, develops and learns true meaning . . .
By the time we reach the all-impotant final act, all external trappings are disposed of, too. Manon and Des Grieux are alone, in almost cosmic isolation. All distractions stripped away, Kaufmann and Opolais can release emotions through the sheer power of their singing. Divested of material things they transcend the world itself.”
Anne Ozorio – Opera Today
“Yet both individually and in their relationship to one another, the singing and acting of the two principals possesses enough technical accomplishment and intensity to carry the piece along . . . Kristine Opolais matches him in a performance that combines tenderness with willfulness and a kind of doomed personal integrity exemplified in her vocal line.”
George Hall – BBC Music Magazine
Image: Tatyana Vlasova
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Andris Nelsons, conductor