Where this production succeeds, and it really does succeed, is in musical terms. Tannhäuser isn’t necessarily Wagner’s most compelling opera dramatically but it’s one of the best paced, something which is definitely aided by Hartmut Haenchen’s conducting, who maintains it without feeling rushed at any point. There’s some fine singing here too but it’s definitely an overall team effort, and what an effort it is.
The Royal Opera orchestra are on fine form and the chorus also deserve a special mention. I doubt by the end of the opera there’s a single atom of air left in the building that hasn’t passed through the lungs of at least one chorus member. The air they shift is incredible – I can’t imagine you’ll hear better choral singing in an opera this year, or next, or…ever. Glorious stuff.
Matt Hutchinson Ganze Rezension