In this double bill, we get a violently enthusiastic little farce from Donizetti which, though fiery, is definitely not his best work; but next, we are treated to the revival of a brilliant, beautiful one-act opera by Malcolm Arnold, which is so good that you can’t understand why it isn’t performed more often.
I pazzi per progetto (Madmen by Design) may not be Donizetti’s best work, but this cast makes their exuberant best of it, and musically there is much to enjoy, even if it’s all rather bonkers. Arnold’s The Dancing Master, however, is in a completely different league. Romantic, surreal and gently risqué, its music is lyrical and seductive at some points, strong and vivid at others.
Click here to read my full review on Bachtrack.