Amanda Holden’s new translation hits the spot.
With a sparky translation by Amanda Holden, Curnyn and his singers spin a ravishing succession of arias against Jones’s startling backdrop.
The production is helped further by Amanda Holden’s new translation. She uses concise language to ensure audibility. With phrases such as “I loathe you”, “I’m suspicious and anxious and lovesick” … sung repeatedly as the da capo aria form demands, we know exactly what is happening.
This translation was commissioned by ENO for Richard Jones’s production which opened at the London Coliseum on 28 February 2014. The singers were: Rebecca Evans, Susan Bickley, Iestyn Davies, Christopher Ainslie, John Mark Ainsley and Richard Burkhard; Matt Casey played the silent role of Flavio. Designs were by Jeremy Herbert and costumes by Nicki Gillibrand; the performances were conducted by Christian Curnyn.
I shall use the wings of Cupid
to achieve my grand ambition,
while he sets her heart on fire.
My pretence is not so stupid,
real romance would be perdition
in my world of dark desire.
Which of you was more unfaithful?
Love, you’re blind and Fate, you’re hateful;
which of you deceived me more?
First by Fate I was defeated,
then by Love detained and cheated
of the one whom I adore.
If my grief is less than steadfast,
come and kill me, oh heaven, relieve me
of a fate more cruel than death.
Look upon me in your mercy,
pierce my veins and then receive me
as I take my final breath.