Indian classical music

Bold, self-assured reimagining of Monteverdi: Opera North’s Orpheus reviewed

You wouldn’t like Tamerlano when he’s angry. ‘My heart seethes with rage,’ he sings, in Act III of Handel’s opera – spraying coloratura about the stage like Silly String on a 1980s kids’ TV show. That’s the deal with baroque opera: the emotional register is extreme and you’re either in the moment or you might as well leave the theatre. Literal realism, clearly, is not the point – making it even more necessary for a modern director to sketch in some hint of a social or cultural framework in which we can locate and comprehend these hyper-real characters. The music is too hot and too strong to work as drama