Author: Christine Richard OBE FRSA

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Sunday, August 7th, 2016 at 8:24 pm
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Music Reviews

EIF Opens With Verve Con Brio

I have been attending the Edinburgh International Festival Opening Concert in the Usher Hall for the past 8 years, and whilst all have been enjoyable this one, under the inspired leadership of Sir Antonio Pappano (pictured), was exceptional.

This is the second year I have viewed the performance as a ‘critic’. Perhaps critic is not entirely the correct description of my role on this occasion. Absorbed listener may be more accurate! I stopped scribbling notes after the interval and simply submerged myself completely, along with the rest of the capacity audience, in the stunning music. Vocal contributions and instrumental accompaniments, complete with solos, duets and bravura conducting carried the entire audience.

Conductor Antonio Pappano brought together a particularly exciting musical programme complemented in the second half by the rightly famous Edinburgh Festival Chorus, with in fine voice, led by Chorus Master, Christopher Bell, who always brings out the best in the singers. The programme itself comprised the fiery drama of Rosini’s Sinfonia from Otello, Bellini’s Sinfonia from Capuleti e I Montechi, Verdi’s Battabile from Macbeth and again from Rossini, Stabat Mater.

The principal singers were Carmen Giannattasio, soprano, Marianna Pizzolato, mezzo-soprano, Yijie Shi, tenor and Roberto Tagliavini, bass. The vocalists melded together in a most enchanting way. The 10 pieces comprising Rossini’s Stabat Mater were sung by soloists and chorus, backed by the orchestra who also performed throughout in a most magical manner.

Ther concert was supported by the Stevenston Charitable Trust


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