Director Peter Sellars moved the story from Handel's Oratorio "'Theodora" from ancient Rome to modern day America and made an opera out of it. It worked well. The staging enhances the drama.
Frode Olsen's excels as Valens, the handsome and charismatic charlatan with no substance. Richard Croft's portrayal of Septimius is thought provoking. It forces the viewer to question what they'd do in similar circumstances. Countertenor David Daniels conveys the gentle nature of Didymus effectively through his singing and body language. Dawn Upshaw shines as the gentle natured Theodora. Lorraine Hunt lived every note she sang. Her performance here stands as one of the best I've seen in any genre.
William Christie's tempi combine the best elements of the grace and strength in the music. The playing of The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment is impeccable.
A performance like this is truly is the next best thing to seeing one live.
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