To see the 20 year old Rossini's La scala di seta is a rare treat and so, at the Linbury Theatre at the Royal Opera House, there was a sold out house on Thursday. It is difficult stuff, starting with the famous overture where the oboes get tested to the limit - they did well. And so it goes on for the singers.
There were stand out performances from James Platt and Yuri Yurchuk. I was particularly delighted to see and hear Yurchuk - he is a graduate of De Paul University in Chicago where our old friend Marc Embree was his teacher I believe. He is a great credit to this fine school which I know well from Chicago days of course.
I am now in Gütersloh where the 2014 masterclasses have been conducted all week, culminating this evening with a programme which promises to be entertaining and high quality, judging from the rehearsal that I attended yesterday evening. Cheryl Studer, Gustav Kuhn and Francisco Araiza have been the "masters", and there are a dozen singers, mostly drawn from Neue Stimmen finals candidates, from a wide range of countries, including Italy, Korea, Lithuania, Canada, Georgia, Brazil, Czech Republic, Mexico, and the USA. A terrific mix of talented personalities.
Tutti in rehearsal for L'italiana in Algeri finale Friday evening October 24