Iphigénie en Aulide
by Jessica WELDHEN
The doors have barely opened but ‘Iphigénie en Aulide’ at Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera has already received lavish praise. Riccardo Muti returns to this opulent venue this month to conduct one of Gluck’s finest works, first premiered in 1774.
In a technically straightforward production of the opera, Muti’s handpicked and highly talented cast give a passionate and emotionally rich performance, fully deserving of the label of “one of the highlights of the season in Rome.” Sung in the original French, this version of ‘Iphigénie en Aulide’ brings together expressive acting and admirable dance interludes, complemented by superb musical direction and effective scenery and costumes.
A sympathetic orchestral score reflects the emotional dilemma facing King Agamemnon throughout the opera, as he struggles to choose between sparing his daughter’s life and ensuring his subjects’ welfare. The tale is peppered with dramatic moments as Agamemnon goes back on his decision to see his beloved Iphigénie wed to Achilles, and Tikhomirov’s considerable acting skills convey the emotion beautifully, whilst Stoyanova’s dramatic voice is perfectly suited to Iphigénie’s selfless resignation to the sacrifice of her life.
Excellent in every respect, ‘Iphigénie en Aulide’ is a performance well worth treating yourself to.
(17th – 29th March 2009, Teatro dell’Opera, Piazza Beniamino Gigli, 1, 00184 Rome, Italy)