Pre-caffeination advised to counter the longueurs of the first half, and stiff interval drinks for the German humour of the second, but otherwise this is a fine evening out. Fancy headgear and neoprene codpieces are just the start. The plot is bonkers - I won't even go there. Director Lukas Hemleb chucks in everything he can think of - a giant disco ball, a room full of balloons, real fire, a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in plastic tits, singing from the balcony, and a bunch of children kicking an old blind man in the kidneys.
Thomas Hengelbrock and his band recovered from a rocky overture to motor through the dancey rhythms, and the cast were outstanding top to bottom. Iestyn Davies (above) is a star of course and Jacek Laszczkowski hits heights few countertenors can reach.
More, and curtain call photos, later (NOW ADDED AT END OF POST) - meanwhile here are the official production shots:
photos (above): Bill Cooper / Royal Opera House
photos (below): intermezzo.typepad.com