This is a fascinating record of the now legendary production of Britten's opera by Peter Hall at Glyndebourne. Staged after his hugely successful production of Cavalli's La Calisto, at the same house, he brought with him one of the brightest of it's young stars, the beautiful Romanian soprano, Ileana Cotrubas.
Here as Tytania, she creates a sexy spitfire of a fairy queen, her plunging cleavage and "punk" coiffure and make up adding to the sense that Oberon and his queen really are from quite another world. Curiously, or perhaps not when one considers her love of England and "her house", Covent Garden, she interprets Britten's music with obvious understanding and characteristic perception and refinement. Of course her thrilling soprano is as rich and lovely as ever. James Bowman is the commanding looking Oberon, standing at least a foot over his queen, but contrastingly his voice is one of a pure toned counter tenor.
All the cast perform with commitment and relish for the music, and Bernard Haitink conducts the London Philharmonic with his customary intelligence. Sir Peter's extraordinary vision and artistic confidence are wonderfully showcased in this magical production, designed by John Bury. Heartily reccomended to any musical or Shakespearean student or lover.