Mezzo-soprano Caitlin Hulcup proved her prowess for trouser roles as well as her great sensitivity in early music once more: as Aristeus in Keith Warner’s new production of Luigi Rossi’s rarely performed Orpheus she wowed audience and critics alike.
“But the evening’s most distinguished performance came from the Australian mezzo-soprano Caitlin Hulcup as Orpheus’ rival Aristaeus (another castrato role): his-her mad scene after Eurydice’s death brought an otherwise absent note of emotional urgency to the proceedings and momentarily made me feel that the opera had something sincere to communicate.”
(Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph)
“Caitlin Hulcup’s magnificently intense mad scene as Aristaeus ... these are the standouts but there are no weak links.” *****
(Richard Morrison, The Times)
“The other castrato role is that of Aristeus, from which Caitlin Hulcup extracts all the dramatic and musical juice…” ****
(Andrew Clements, The Guardian)
“No weak links here, and some outstanding performances: by Caitlin Hulcup as a deranged Aristeus (stylishly evoking a castrato sound)...” *****
(Michael Church, The Independent)
“Caitlin Hulcup wrung the humour and tragedy out of Aristaeus, Orpheus’s rival.” *****
(Hannah Nepil, Financial Times)
“The dramatic momentum is unflagging, but the darker emotional recesses are explored too, not least in Aristeus’s harrowing mad scene (movingly delivered by Caitlin Hulcup), in which the unfortunate spurned lover hallucinates about himself and others, embarking on an extraordinary range of musical styles and psychological states.” ****
(Barry Millington, Evening Standard)
“As that hapless would-be lover, Caitlin Hulcup showered warm mezzo riches on us at thrilling close quarters.” ****
(David Nice, The Arts Desk)
“We were treated to some truly lovely arias from Stagg’s Orpheus, Alder’s Eurydice and Caitlin Hulcup as Aristaeus - having spent most of the previous two Acts being downtrodden and risible, Hulcup seized her chance to project some real pathos.”
(David Karlin, bachtrack)
“All Rossi’s castrato roles are sung by women and every one of them is a gem. Caitlin Hulcup is a fiery, passionate Aristeus.” ****
(Mark Valencia, WhatsOnStage)
“There are memorable individual contributions ... especially Caitlin Hulcup’s Aristaeus.”
(George Hall, The Stage)
Further performances of the production are: 27, 28, 30 October; 1, 4, 6, 8, 9, 12, 15 November 2015.
Later in the season, UK audiences will see Caitlin in two new productions, as Ariodante with Scottish Opera and as Idamante Idomeneo at Garsington Opera.
Photo credit: Stephen Cummiskey