Music director Christian Curnyn wants to show Australia a lighter side of Handel in bold, tragi-comic romp Partenope.

For your chance to win a signed copy of Christian Curnyn and Early Opera Company’s new Handel recording Flavio,sign up to receive Limelight’s free weekly e-mail newsletter before Monday, March 14, and clickhere to register your details.

 

I have seen Kanen Breen in some strange and compromising positions in various Opera Australia productions, but I have never, until now, seen him singing through what looks like a bikram yoga routine. Last week I was admitted into the last half-hour of a rehearsal for Handel’s Partenopebefore catching up with the production’s music director, English harpsichordist and conductor Christian Curnyn. It was here that I saw the Australian tenor contorting himself into an upside-down arch even as he fired off a pitch-perfect coloratura aria. I just hope there was a chiropractor waiting in the wings.

Even in this staged rehearsal sansorchestra – piano, harpsichord, theorbo and cello – the singing was so ravishing that Breen’s exotic poses didn’t distract from the music. I was lucky enough to sit in on the denouement of the final act, in which a...

This article is available to Limelight subscribers.

Log in to continue reading.

Access our paywalled content and archive of magazines, regular news and features for the limited offer of $3 per month.

Subscribe now