The Enchantresse and Dido and Aeneas in Lyon
Andriy Zholdak’s staging of Tchaikowsky’s The Enchantress is nothing less than monumental. The Enchantress is the ninth of Tchaikovsky’s eleven operas (Eugene Onegin is the fifth, Mazeppa the seventh, Pique-Dame and Iolanta the tenth and eleventh respectively). It is Tchaikovsky’s lengthiest work (just under four hours with one intermission) that only recently is finding its way into the repertory after a tepid reception back in 1887.
Mr. Zholdak makes a strong case that The Enchantress is one of opera’s great theatrical moments, or maybe it was conductor Daniele Rustioni who made the case. Working together the two artists kept their audience spellbound for the duration, the orchestra unflaggingly sustaining the unrelenting tension on the stage.
Tchaikovsky’s score turged on, magnificent arias, magnificent rages, ecstatic duets, huge choral climaxes (though we never actually saw the chorus). Alternative Images flowed unbound, uncontrolled by linear narrative. Zholdak’s world unfolded in an unparalleled display of theatrical craftsmanship, both artistic and technical. Tchaikovsky’s orchestral world spewed forth in unbridled emotion like no Tchaikovsky score you have heard before.
Michael Milenski, Opera Today