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Summer Opera: Castleton Festival 3

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Read my review in the print edition of today's Washington Post:

Charles T. Downey, 'Lucretia': Death and Depravity, Well Sung
Washington Post, July 13, 2009

The third opera of the Castleton Festival, Britten's "The Rape of Lucretia," opened Friday night. The appeal of this chamber opera -- precisely calibrated to fit eight voices and 13 instrumentalists -- was heightened by the intimate theater on Lorin Maazel's Rappahannock County estate. Performing so close to the receptive audience, the singers enunciated every word clearly, making the supertitles projected above the stage unnecessary.

Britten's 1946 work -- about an Etruscan prince's violation of a virtuous Roman wife -- was his first in the series of chamber operas at the heart of the festival's first year. Mezzo-soprano Tamara Mumford reprised her devastating performance in the title role from two years ago, with an opulent tone and molten lower register that incarnated the character's wounded grief. The music of the women's scenes, airy textures featuring the clear-fingered harp of Jane Yoon, enveloped her in the lambent soprano of Marnie Breckinridge (Lucia) and the anchored chest voice of Alison Tupay (Bianca). [Continue reading]
Britten, The Rape of Lucretia and The Beggar's Opera
Castleton Festival
Châteauville Foundation (Castleton Farms, Va.)

Britten, The Turn of the Screw | The Beggar's Opera | The Rape of Lucretia (2007)

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