This beautiful and engaging French Baroque opera brings to life the Biblical story of a friendship which surmounts political, religious and even family differences. David and Jonathan: two friends closer than brothers, forced onto opposite sides of a cruel civil war which will claim the life of one of them. Out of this ancient yet utterly contemporary story of love and loyalty divided, comes an opera of devastating beauty, graced with the elegance and expressive genius of the French Baroque. Charpentier’s 17th-century masterpiece leaps off the page and into the heart in this brilliant recording by Australia’s most exciting opera company, Pinchgut Opera.
David and Jonathan delights with the beauty and freshness of the singing, and the subtle yet vibrant colours of the orchestral sound, played on the type of instruments for which the music was written. The intimacy and tenderness of David and Jonathan’s friendship echoes in the exquisite interplay between their voices: the silver purity of Australian soprano Sara Macliver, and the warm clarity of Swedish tenor Anders J. Dahlin, one of the world’s finest haute-contres, so perfectly expressing David’s blend of heroism and vulnerability. Dahlin has worked widely in Europe with conductors such as Chrisophe Rousset, John Eliot Gardiner, Hervé Niquet, William Christie and Frans Brüggen. Dahlin has received wide acclaim as The Evangelist in J. S Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion throughout Europe, as well as for his interpretation of Britten’s Serenade for tenor, horn and strings
Charpentier’s opera is also rich in bass roles. Dean Robinson traces King Saul’s descent into madness with dramatic poignancy, and Simon Lobelson’s Joabel embodies the ambition and cunning of the treacherous Israelite captain. Richard Anderson, well known from his many appearances for Opera Australia, brings a sense of true integrity to the role of Achis, the Philistine general. And David Parkin, sings the role of Samuel’s Ghost with menacing solemnity.
Recorded live in the magnificent acoustic of City Recital Hall in Sydney, David and Jonathan is a superb musical experience and an essential addition to any opera library.