Abandoned by her lover Anatol, Vanessa retreats from the world, waiting and hoping with only her mother and her niece Erika for company. But when, 20 years later, Anatol’s handsome young son arrives unexpectedly, he shatters the calm of this shuttered household of women. Past and present love collides, and the aftershocks threaten to destroy them all. Samuel Barber’s Pulitzer Prize-winning first opera boasts one of the 20th century’s most beautiful scores. Poised constantly on the edge of song, Vanessa unfolds in generous swathes of melody, rich in filmic strings and soaringRead more brass, with echoes of Puccini, Berg and Strauss. It climaxes in a final quintet of Mozartean poignancy – one of the great ensembles of the contemporary repertoire.
Warner’s handsome and perceptive staging of Barber’s Vanessa has probably done more to silence the work’s naysayers than any in recent memory. Thanks to Warner’s perception and motivation this excellent cast really deliver. Shadowy, opulent, effulgent – Barber’s Vanessa is the opera that bridges Hollywood and the Broadway stage.
Vanessa, Op. 32by Samuel Barber Performer:
Edgaras Montvidas (Tenor),
Emma Bell (Soprano),
Virginie Verrez (Mezzo-soprano),
Rosalind Plowright (Contralto),
Donnie Ray Albert (Baritone),
William Thomas (Bass),
Romanas Kudriasovas (Bass)
London Philharmonic Orchestra,
The Glyndebourne Chorus
Period: 20th Century Written: 1957; USA