Spanish Flair

10.21.18
Emmanuel Villaume
Theater Jones

[...]
 
On the podium, TDO Musical Director Emmanuel Villaume effectively uses Bizet’s music to express the drama. This may sound self-evident, but it is not how it is usually performed. Using minimal but highly expressive motions, he reveals Bizet’s astounding use of the orchestra to become a character in the unfolding drama. Frequently, he uses even the briefest of orchestral statements to underline the meaning of the words. He also effectively uses connecting passages, no matter how short, to carry the audience from one thought to the next, either commenting on or preparing for the next emotion. While there were some occasional troubles coordinating with the stage on Friday, mostly caused by the useless set, the orchestra responded with a suppleness that is critical to opera but rarely seen in performances these days. Working without the crutch of a baton, Villaume’s hands conveyed exactly how every phrase should be played. 
 
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