Miracles in Switzerland

Two fabulous operas in Zuruch

P & E W - East Sussex

Dear Andrew and JC,

Thank you so much for making all the arrangements for the Zurich trip. Our hotel is highly recommended with super staff, a great restaurant/cafe, smart and comfortable room and only 100 yards from the opera house.

It was the triennial Zuri Faescht while we were there- a massive street party;  fun fairs, fast food, fireworks and flying displays. Complete hoot - next happening in 2019.

The opera house is wonderful. Small and well raked so a real sense of engagement with the singers. La Clemenza de Tito isn’t easy to stage, even for Jonathan Miller, as there are so many soliloquies but the production was uncluttered by unnecessary business. This though puts the spotlight on the singers and players to make the piece work. Ottavio Dantone worked his customary magic, the singers acted and sang their hearts out and the playing was simply brilliantly empathetic. There are two terrifying basset horn obbligati in Tito and if there is a better basset horn player in the world than Rita Karin Meier I have yet to hear them-she was sublime.

I Puritani had a lot to live up to but thanks to some stellar singing from Pretty Yende as Elvira [someone to follow], Laurence Brownlee as Arturo and Michele Pertusi as Sir Giorgio, it was an equally great evening. Fabio Luisi is a great Bellini hand and the whole evening had style and panache. The only downside was the serious distraction of the  endlessly revolving stage set. But the singing and the ensemble was so strong that you forgot it after a while.

So if you like seriously strong performances in a small but beautiful opera house, Zurich should be added to your list- we will certainly go back.

With so many thanks