July 5, 2017
This semi-staged performance of Tosca opens the annual Llangollen Eisteddfod in splendid style, lit by the star power of local hero Sir Bryn Terfel and Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais, with Lithuanian Kristian Benedikt completing the trio. This is an opera that stands or falls by the commitment the three principal singers bring to their roles: none were found wanting …
Those who saw Kristine Opolais’ Manon Lescaut at Covent Garden back in 2014 will remember how completely the young singer inhabited the role of Puccini’s teenage siren (she was thirty-four at the time). If anything, her Tosca is even more impressive: vocally secure, dramatically confident and with just the right number of individual touches to show that she’s thought about the role. The pious woman of the second act was as convincingly put across as the jealous diva of the first (most singers whom I have seen tackle the role have only managed one of those two aspects) and her mixed feelings after despatching Scarpia were beautifully telegraphed. Having colllected golden opinions in London, at the New York Met and in other international opera centres, Opolais now bids fair to be the Puccuni soprano of the next decade.
Richard Ely – Bachtrack