A couple of Aussie opera stars managed to salvage a wreck of a show presented by the much-praised Holland Park company this week.
Cheryl Barker and Julian Gavin took the lead roles in the rarely staged Francesca da Rimini by Riccardo Zandonai and received praise from Daily Telegraph opera critic Rupert Christiansen for being “terrifically committed and full blooded” in a work he described as “akin to wading through sludge”.
The 1914 opera has not been staged in Britain in living memory. Which is little surprise as Christiansen calls it nothing more than “wretched drivel” and hopes he’ll never hear a note of it again.
But at least Barker and Gavin survived this train wreck with honour. Seemingly one to avoid if it ever appears on the OA programme list.