Chisinau Opera

CHRISTOPHER SMITH Norwich Theatre Royal

CHRISTOPHER SMITH

The inseparable pair of melodramas enthralled a full house in a Chisinau Opera performance that pulled out all the stops.

Musical director Nicolae Dohotaru encouraged his orchestra to paint emotions with instrumental colour and emphasise passions in every situation.

Our eyes were entertained as well as our ears. The costumes were in character and in the harlequinade in Leoncavallo's Pagliacci they were fanciful too, shining with gold and glowing with colour.

Rich, resonant and strong, the singing was magnificent. Irina Vinogradeova could win any man's heart, and Vladimir Dragos and Mihai Munteanu caught the agony of having to act out comic roles on stage when real life prompted tragic feelings. In Mascagni's Cavalleria, Petru Racovita looked handsome and sounded particularly splendid, even if Igor Macarenco as Turridu had more luck with the girls.

Traditional in style, the productions are solid without being wooden, handling the large choruses well.

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Packed houses and thunderous ovations showed how gratefully Norwich welcomed the Chisinau Opera.

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