In 1789, at the beginning of the French Revolution, one of the most popular operas in Paris was Richard Coeur-de-Lion. About a crusader king, the subject matter may give that opera renewed popularity in present day Paris. Not an inconsequential opera, it is regarded as one of the masterpieces composed by Andre Gretry, who is no longer famous. Another successful opera by Gretry was L’Amant Jaloux (The Jealous Lover) which is being presented by Pinchgut Opera from December 3 at the Sydney Recital Hall.
For a number of years, Pinchgut has presented some of the most delightful opera performances in Sydney. The Jealous Lover will be led by Erin Helyard conducting the excellent Orchestra of the Antipodes on period instruments with a cast led by British tenor Ed Lyon, also including soprano Alexandra Oomens and baritone David Greco. The production will be directed by Chas Rader-Shieber who last worked with Pinchgut in 2013 on Cavalli’s Giasone.
While not well known here, composer Gretry is not neglected in Paris; indeed L’Amant Jaloux is presented by L’Opera Comique in a stylish and popular production. This opera was admired by Mozart; in particular, the ensembles influenced his writing of The Marriage of Figaro. It is fair to say ‘if you love Mozart, you will love Gretry’. At its premiere in Versailles in 1778, L’Amant Jaloux was an absolute triumph. Amusing and sexy, it is likely to give pleasure in Sydney in 2015.
Subscribe to The Spectator Australia today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Subscribe – Try a month free