Holst: At The Boar’s Head. Vaughan Williams: Riders to the Sea9:00, 21st January 2017
Jonathan Lemalu, Eric Barry, Gary Griffiths, Nicole Percifield, Kathleen Reveille, Evanna Chiew; Warsaw Chamber Opera Sinfonietta, Lukasz Borowicz
Dux DUX1307-1308 (2CD)
Recorded live, these two roughly contemporaneous operas make an ideal double bill, Holst’s rollicking Shakespearean romp contrasting nicely with Vaughan Williams’ maritime tragedy. In Riders, the expressive Percifield impresses most in the role of Cathleen, vivid and rich. In the Holst, Lemalu dominates proceedings as an arresting, powerful Falstaff. If the balance sometimes doesn’t favour Eric Barry’s Hal, he makes an appealing, human prince. Orchestral playing is exemplary, and Borowicz directs with aplomb.