Fiona Maddocks, sparing with her five stars, was utterly uplifted by the new Thomas Ades opera at Salzburg.
The world premiere of The Exterminating Angel by the British composer Thomas Adès (b 1971), long on the horizon, keenly awaited, took place on Thursday at the Haus für Mozart. It was the opening opera of the illustrious Salzburg festival, held in the city in which Mozart was born. (It is obligatory to add that he hated the place.) Salzburg has co-commissioned Adès’s new work, together with the Royal Opera Covent Garden (where it opens next spring), the Metropolitan Opera, New York, and the Royal Danish Opera. A 22-strong cast, including Amanda Echalaz, Anne Sofie von Otter, Sally Matthews, Christine Rice and Thomas Allen, gave a superb ensemble performance. When the composer, who also conducted, took his bow, the audience rose in prolonged ovation. This was a momentous evening: a turning point for Adès and, it felt, for opera itself. I am happy to put my neck on the line.
Full review here.