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Sublime Singing ★★★★

La Gioconda Reviews

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The Telegraph ★★★★

Singing this sublime nearly cures the most ‘problematic’ of operas

“La Gioconda throws everything and the kitchen sink on stage. You’ve got principal roles for all six voice types; poison, fighting gondoliers, a giant priest, burning ships, a random ballet and a masquerade ball.”

“The singing.. is sublime.”

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The Times ★★★

A long, dark night in Venice, lit by huge voices

“What keeps this monster alive is the music’s gusto and melodic charm, plus the chances for full-throttle singing from the main characters, trapped in an old Venetian tangle of dark revenge, darker lust and unrequited love. Stephen Medcalf’s production, spiritedly conducted by Stephen Barlow, doesn’t stint on strong voices or glamorous names.”

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The Stage ★★★

Often poetic

“In the marathon title role Amanda Echalaz – suitably powerful and richly coloured of voice, and cutting a striking figure”

“In a bravura performance, David Stout also evokes Verdi’s Rigoletto. A limping, jester-like master of ceremonies, he provides the evening’s most consistent singing.”

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Opera Wire 

Joseph Calleja Overcomes COVID to Star Alongside Potent Amanda Echalaz

“Two pieces of inspired creativity, however, were noteworthy; one, when Enzo set alight his ship in Act two, producing some restrained but highly effective pyrotechnics, and two; the emergence of a large spider’s web backdrop to symbolize the web spun by the destructive protagonist Barnaba, and which served to suitably encapsulate his demise at the end.”

“The Grange Opera chorus delivered an exuberant and splendiferous display, vocally as well as visually, particularly during the second Act.”

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Bach Track

Into the lion’s mouth: Ponchielli’s La Gioconda at Grange Park Opera

“Wasfi Kani, GPO’s formidable founder and CEO, likes to aim high and her casting reaches for the stars… and deep into her pockets. This season boasts Sir Bryn Terfel singing Wagner’s Dutchman, Sir Simon Keenlyside singing Iago for the first time and here, Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja making his role debut as Enzo. It’s gold-plated casting that other country house opera festivals don’t match”

“The young Grange Park Opera Chorus sang lustily though and it was good to wallow in this insane, but fun score. Even without the hippos, the hours danced by.”

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Planet Hugill

Strong meat: Grange Park Opera stages Ponchielli’s rarity, La Gioconda in a performance that full embraces the work’s drama

“A rare chance to hear Ponchielli’s best-known opera in a large-scale and dramatic staging featuring a strong array of voices”

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The Article

‘La Gioconda’: Venetian skulduggery at Grange Park Opera

“This must surely rate as one of the great operatic performances of the summer. Even at far greater expense, the Royal Opera could hardly do better.”

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