Cast weighed in the balance and not found wanting!
Congratulations to soprano Rosemary Joshua, countertenor Iestyn Davies, mezzo Caitlin Hulcup and bass-baritone Jonathan Lemalu who have just come to the end of a hugely successful European tour of Handel’s Belshazzar with Les Arts Florissants and William Christie.
group have taken their concert version of the rarely heard oratorio to
Barcelona, Madrid, London, Paris and Caen and, after a well deserved day
off, they will head into the studio where they will record the work for
the first CD to be issued on Les Arts Florissants’ new own label.
Reviewing the performance in London’s Barbican Hall, Richard Morrison wrote in The Times that “Caitlin Hulcup as the Persian invader Cyrus, [sang the] heroic breeches role with authority and nobility”. Morrison also judged Rosemary Joshua’s Nitocris “magnificent and gripping” while Alexandra Coghlan, reviewing the performance in The Arts Desk, commented that Jonathan Lemalu was “full of gravitas and caressing tone as the mournful Gobrias”. Michael Church, writing in the The Independent, said that “Iestyn Davies’s performance was, as usual with that amazing singer, beautiful and compelling beyond words”. In The Telegraph, Rupert Christiansen agreed, commenting that Iestyn Davies “sang impeccably”. Christiansen also judged Rosemary Joshua performance to be “vocally flawless” and he ended his review saying that “with
superb instrumental playing and Caitlin Hulcup and Jonathan Lemalu
lending staunch support as the invading Persians, it would be hard to
imagine the music sounding better that it did here.”