Classical Opera Company - Artaxerxes - The Observer

This lively 18th-century English opera is not quite unknown (it was revived in 1962, broadcast and recorded during Radio 3's Fairest Isle season in 1995), but the Classical Opera Company's sumptuous staging at the Linbury in 2009 was a milestone. Thomas Arne's music veers from sub-Handel baroque to early galant, in the charming, innocent style of Johann Christian Bach. There are a few deeper arias; recitatives and a final chorus have to be added as the full score is lost...Elizabeth Watts and Rebecca Bottone shine under Ian Page's crisp direction.

23 January 2011