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Dramatic perfection; REVIEWS AINADAMAR Symphony Hall.

Byline: PAUL FULFORD

SELDOM can silence have been so profound as that which briefly descended when the final notes of Osvaldo Golijov's 2003 opera Ainadamar died away and the thunderous applause began.

For this is a work - and this was a CBSO performance - that was searingly emotional and absolutely compelling.

Lasting just 80 minutes and telling a simple story, it is nevertheless a work of immense breadth, depth and complexity.

Margarita Xirgu, teacher and actress, is looking back on her relationship with Federico Garcia Lorca, the Spanish poet and dramatist murdered by the fascists in 1936.

The various musical styles deployed by the composer - Latin American, flamenco, recorded sounds, baroque influences and many others - are never anything other than coherent and powerful.

The singing - especially soprano Dawn Upshaw (Margarita) and mezzo Kelley O'Connor (Lorca) - was stunning. Flamenco singer Jesus Montoya's was huge as the murderous Ruiz Alonso.

The orchestra, conducted by Robert Spano, provided a richly coloured soundscape.

Simply brilliant.

VERDICT: ***** PAUL FULFORD
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Apr 11, 2008
Words:163
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