'The Winter's Tale' Review: Ryan Wigglesworth Plot Preserved, Few Characters Missing; Shakespeare Fan's Music Remarkably Highlights Action

By BLindon on Mar 07, 2017 07:51 AM EST

"The Winter's Tale" was the chosen subject  for Ryan Wigglesworth's opera, given the fact that the opera composer has admitted to being obsessed with Shakespeare's play for 20 years. This is the result of his being an English National Opera's composer for four years, which also marks Rory Kinnear's debut as a director. However, while the essence of the plot was preserved, the striking orchestral moments failed to compensate for the missing few characters and depth of characterisations.

In "The Winter's Tale," Wigglesworth has undoubtedly preserved the plot's essence, based on reviews, despite dropping a few notable characters. However, the three acts that last more than two hours including an interval is solid enough, even if the dramatic texture and the depth of the characterizations were gone. Nevertheless, the scoring should compensate for all these, yet given the lack of striking orchestral moments, it seems it never does.

Meantime, there is a little sense of Wigglesworth's music that aspires to anything beyond just accompanying the drama, despite the fact that his writing is reported to be always transparent and also inventive. In terms of music, the performances in "The Winter's Tale" are uniformly excellent, The Guardian reported.

"The Winter's Tale" direction led by Rory Kinnear has worked well with Mortimer's sets to narrate the story fluently, even to a creative reference to Shakespeare's most legendary stage direction. While it is unclear if Shakespeare used an actor in a bear costume or even a real bear, Kinnear's solution was reported to very neat.

Given its elaborate plots, "The Winter's Tale" is said to be the most difficult plays of Shakespeare ever done on stage, however, this operatic production was able to deliver a good performance. Wigglesworth's music highlights the action in a remarkable way, given that this just his first opera, Express reported. Watch "The Winter's Tale" by English National Opera here:


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TagsThe Winter's Tale, Ryan Wigglesworth, Shakespeare, Opera

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