"Royal Opera at its very best" "A musical triumph" - Reviews of "Rape of Lucretia" 2022 at the ROH London
Conductor Corinna Niemeyer coaxes some beautiful playing from Aurora Orchestra, drawing out some plangent colours in Britten’s tightly wound, intensely dramatic score, particularly from the woodwind.
Musically it’s extremely fine. (...) Corinna Niemeyer, meanwhile, conducts with detailed subtlety and beautifully understated intensity. The playing is excellent.
Opera Online The evening’s musical credentials are exceptionally strong, with the Aurora Orchestra, under the baton of Corinna Niemeyer, producing an extremely accomplished sound. The performances from the young cast, all off whom are either Britten Pears or Jette Parker Young Artists, are uniformly stunning. (...) All in all, there really is nothing in this production that is not of the highest quality.
Broadway World Conductor Corinna Niemeyer galvanises Britten's score with meticulous attention. She allows the thirteen-piece Aurora Orchestra to undulate smoothly before ramping up tension in line with the each emotional beat. Her timing and precision add a confrontational immediacy to the tragic on-stage action. She charges the cast, a selection of Britten Pears Young Artists and Jette Parker Artists, like a jolt of electricity. Their vocal performances are all strong as a result.
Evening Standard a musical triumph
scorching music and noble singing at the Linbury Theatre. (...) Corinna Niemeyer conducted a tense performance with some scorching playing from the Aurora Orchestra.
Corinna Niemeyer led a propulsive reading of the score from the pit that drove the music forward without rushing the more delicate passages.
This is not an opera that one can say that one ‘enjoyed’, but Mears’ deeply challenging production and the authenticity conveyed by the cast made this an utterly gripping piece of theatre that we were privileged to see.
Britten’s scoring for only 13 instrumentalists is not limited by this economy, but has wonderfully expressive playing by the almost human-voiced woodwind, including the plaintive cor anglais, commentating piano and contemplative strings. Corinna Niemeyer conducts Aurora Orchestra, on characteristically top form.
This hardhitting production shows what opera is capable of in the modern world – heartening, yes, in its creativity, but in its subject matter, powerful and thought-provoking.
Corinna Niemeyer conducted The Aurora Orchestra with discipline and precision allowing the timbral shifts of Britten’s orchestration to shine and the voices to be heard with clarity. This is an important and resonant production with a strong young ensemble cast that makes the case for the artform’s continuing relevance and vitality.
The Aurora Orchestra with Corinna Niemeyer sustain a potently tense atmosphere throughout, despite also clearly pointing up the masterly strokes of instrumental colour which Britten writes into the score. In consequence, the work makes all the more striking an impression for the intense depictions of the relationships among the characters than if the performance merely made sensational musical effects for their own sake.
Conducted by Corinna Niemeyer, this was an immediate, urgent performance which, like Oliver Mears’s immediate, urgent staging, was experienced to excellent, arguably heightened effect in a small theatre. For all aspects of production and performance came together to have us believe they had been conceived as one, almost as if a new work: a vindication not only of an opera whose different components can sometimes sit a little awkwardly with one another, but also of the very genre
The Royal Opera at its very best.(...) While the subject matter of the opera is stark and brutal, it should be firmly stated that Britten’s music is magnificently variegated – there are moments of the utmost beauty, both in terms of luminous scoring and in solo contributions (most notably that poignant, and extended, cor anglais solo). This brings us to the orchestra and its conductor, Corinna Niemeyer, currently Artistic and Music Director of the Orchestra de Chamber du Luxembourg. Niemeyer’s sensitivity to Britten’s scoring was as impeccable as her sense of directionality – she clearly understands the work’s larger canvas, which lent the dénouement a particular musical power. There were moments of illumination, too – a particularly Stravinskian tinge to the chord progressions at the repeated declarations of ‘Good night’, for example, like a processional to the gallows. Remarkable – as is everything about this production and performance. This is not only the Royal Opera at its very best – it shows great hope for the new generation of singers coming into their own right now.
För här ger alla sina hundra procent på Lucretias altare såväl på scen som bakom. Det är musikaliskt guld rakt igenom. De unga sångarna låter fantastiskt. (...) Orkestern får chansen att kommentera, understryka, illustrera och ifrågasätta och det går som en spänd båge av koncentration genom hela föreställningen – precis det som är Britten när han är som allra bäst.
Because here, everyone gives their hundred percent on the altar of Lucretia both on stage and behind. It's musical gold through and through. The young singers sound fantastic. (...) The orchestra is given the chance to comment, underline, illustrate and question, and there is a tense arc of concentration throughout the performance - just what is Britten at his very best.