All about that soprano: Stemme's Isolde in Zurich one for the ages

John Fiore

By David Larkin 

John Fiore led the very fine Philharmonia Zurich sensitively: he wasn’t afraid of expansive tempi in parts, which may explain why it ran nearly 20 minutes longer than the estimated time, but only very rarely was there less than perfect coordination with the stage. The balance between orchestra and singers was skillfully negotiated: even though the pit was less covered than in some other opera houses, the singers were scarcely ever swamped. Only the second part of Brangäne’s off-stage watch song was difficult to make out.


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