Brett Dean’s Hamlet from its Glyndebourne premiere production won a Gramophone Classical Music Award in this year’s Contemporary category (sponsored by PPL & PRS for Music). The DVD was released on the Opus Arte label.
Soloists on the recording include Allan Clayton (Hamlet), Sarah Connolly (Gertrude), Barbara Hannigan (Ophelia), Rod Gilfry (Claudius), Kim Begley (Polonius), John Tomlinson (Ghost/Grave-Digger/Player-King) and Jacques Imbrailo (Horatio) with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Glyndebourne Chorus conducted by Vladimir Jurowski. Gramophone hailed the work as “a huge and heartening endorsement of operatic and theatrical principles in an age of musical plurality and patchy experimentation.”
“Those characters were performed by a truly exceptional cast, the most exceptional of all being Barbara Hannigan as Ophelia. In her mad scene, which became the centrepiece of the whole opera, she had everything. Vocally, she could hit ferociously difficult rapid fire peaks and swoops, or smooth the voice into heart-melting lyricism. She looked young and beautiful in the classic “English rose” mould. And her acting was completely persuasive, the most convincing depiction of a person becoming unhinged that I’ve ever seen on an operatic – or perhaps any – stage.”
“With a reverent but mischievous take on the text and a superb cast led by tenor Allan Clayton, this world premiere production rises to the challenge set by Shakespeare’s great play”
“Hannigan’s spectacular high-soprano unhinging is the more shocking following her poise and inwardness as Ophelia earlier on.”
– The Guardian