It is a dramatic, sometimes violent performance, deeply tragical and very beautiful. Modigliani’s paintings play an important role and evocative lighting and use of smoke and mists heightens the sense of a dream world – though the sets and many of the scenes are very realistic.
Musically the level is very high. The premiere was conducted by Vello Pähn, who from 1 August is the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor after Arvo Volmer. I have nothing but praise for his reading of this score, often criticised as being too sugary. Pähn managed to inject a dose of insulin to keep the sugar-balance on a healthy level.