'The Duchess of Malfi' reviews 2010

'The Duchess of Malfi' reviews 2010
‘Sight, sound and smell combine to staggering effect as spectators wander through an office building, choosing which characters to follow.  Their reward is a scenic tour, peppered with such hallucinogenic highlights as a forest of wire trees and naked figures in the dark.  The lack of linearity heightens the atmosphere of John Webster’s macabre play.  Meanwhile, Torsten Rasch’s opulent score, redolent of the composer’s idol, Alban Berg, ekes out the tension, particularly in the grand finale.  It is impressively handled by contralto Claudia Huckle, counter-tenor Andrew Watts and the orchestra of the ENO.  Fantastic in the most literal sense: if there were ever a candidate for a six-star review, this would surely be it.
Timeout (Hannah Nepil), 21 July 2010

‘As anyone who knows his thrilling orchestral song-cycle
Mein Herz brennt will know, this man writes most beautifully for both voice and orchestra.’
The Independent (Edward Seckerson), July 2010

‘The music is by Torsten Rasch, whose assertive and forthright material harbors an edge of darkness… it was a fascinating new experience, beautifully performed, and another feather in the cap for ENO’s John Berry in his quest to extend boundaries.’
Musical America (Keith Clarke), 16 July 2010

‘…the collaboration between a forward-looking and open-minded English National Opera, a theatre group like Punchdrunk and the soundworld of the German composer of
The Duchess of Malfi, proved to be an experience of another kind: unforgettable and unique.’
Welt-online (translated), 31 July 2010

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