Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Sergio Mims: The Guardian: Lauren Michelle in WNO's "War and Peace"

Impetuosity and expressiveness … Lauren Michelle and Jonathan McGovern in Welsh National Opera’s War and Peace, directed by David Pountney. Photograph: Clive Barda

Sergio A. Mims writes:

African-American soprano Lauren Michelle, who won the 2015 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition, has received rave reviews this month for her performance of Natasha in Sergei's Prokofiev's opera of Tolstoy's War and Peace at the Welsh National Opera  which opened this week and continues until late November.

The Guardian

War and Peace review – ferocity and passion in Prokofiev's rare opera

Rian Evans

Sun 16 Sep 2018

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Welsh National Opera’s welcome revival of this seldom-seen Tolstoy adaptation is sung with distinction amid chilling present-day echoes

Jonathan McGovern’s expressive baritone makes of Prince Andrei Bolkonsky a noble and sympathetic figure, while Lauren Michelle’s Natasha has impetuosity and charm, realising a touching warmth as a nurse finding Bolkonsky on his deathbed. Her toy rabbit is an unnecessary accessory, but Pountney has matched many witty details to Prokofiev’s sardonic, quirky style. David Stout is impressive in his several roles, as is Simon Bailey’s General Kutuzov. This is a rare and welcome opportunity to see War and Peace, any weaknesses outweighed by the concerted strength of WNO’s massive commitment.

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