Bayerische Staatsoper & Chor der Bayerischen Staatsoper, Kent Nagano
Alice in Wonderland: modern music that pleases the ear. Modern opera – seductive,
enchanting, sensuous – a triumph of creative fantasy. Recorded live at the Nationaltheater München, 27 June 2007
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“Chin…demonstrates a quite remarkable musical assurance in her first opera, welding together all manner of styles…Sally Matthews gives the role [Alice] the performance of a lifetime…by turns lyrically sweet and dramatically expressive… supporting Matthews through this journey is a fine ensemble of singers…then there's Kent Nagano…a tireless champion of new music who coaxes such good things from the Chorus and Orchestra of the Bavarian State Opera.”
26th April 2008
“At 123 minutes it's a little long, but Chin's dreamlike opera feeds entertainingly from Lewis Carroll's strange imagination throughout its length in Achim Freyer's inventive production.
It's not particularly child-friendly, although certain scenes - A Mad Tea Party, with its busy Prokofiev-style strings and impish verbal wit for instance - are utterly charming. Chin's score mixes pastiche with original invention, often with exotic instrumentation such as heavy temple bells or the Mock Turtle's harmonica. Sally Matthews is outstanding as the innocent, inquisitive Alice, centre stage and masked throughout, but the biggest cheer goes to Gwyneth Jones's thunderous Queen of Hearts.”
“The music...is marvellous and these performances are outstanding. [Matthews] in the demanding lead role as the innocent, continually bemused, occasionally exasperated Alice draws us into this topsy-turvy world. The other cast-members are just as strong...this is a decidedly existential view of wonderland.”
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