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This production is directed by the award-winning Katie Mitchell. Idomeneo is presented in modern day dress, an interesting concept but one that occasionally overpowers the drama. I missed the grandeur of the antique costumes you might expect in a Mozart opera. The staging is immense, with an almost constantly rippling sea as the backdrop. The theme of water is central to the drama, and you are often reminded of its importance.
The four leads all give impressive performances. British tenor, Paul Nilon leads the company as the great Idomeneo. Nilon’s performance is staggering, he sings every virtuosic aria with ease and perfection, making the most of Mozart’s lyrical writing. Robert Murray is less convincing as the son Idamante, although sings well throughout. The two women, Emma Bell as the tormented Electra and Sarah Tynan as Princess Ilia have a wonderful dynamic on stage. Bell is ravishingly fiery and Tynan melancholic and gentle. And Adam Green sings the role of Arbace with great gusto.
Idomeneo is rarely staged, perhaps because of its length. Hopefully after this run at the ENO it will make it to our London stages more often.