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Penguin Guide, January 2009

The English National Opera production from Arthaus, recorded in 1987, offers an effective presentation of an imaginative if rather bald production in modern dress by Michael Simpson. So at the start, Kathryn Harries and Anthony Rolfe Johnson as the Female and Male Choruses, both singing strongly, appear in severe grey costumes…the visual side of the production does not distract from the excellence of the singing and acting, led by Jean Rigby, steady as a rock as Lucretia, darkening her tone for her response to Tarquinius’s assault with a powerful chest register. Opposite her as Bianca, Anne-Marie Owens makes a splendid foil, while the male cast is well led by the Tarquinius of Russel Smythe, with Richard van Allan equally positive as Collatinus.





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