Vaughan Williams' Poisoned Kiss

Vaughan Williams' fairy-tale opera has some ravishing music, all very much in his most lyrical, Cecil Sharp-ish vein

Composer: Vaughan Williams
The Poisoned Kiss
Artists: Soloists, BBC National Orchestra of Wales/ Richard Hickox
Rating: 2/5
Genre: Opera
Label: Chandos CHAN 10120(2)

The libretto is full of sub-Gilbert rhymes, undeveloped characters and poor comedy. It’s fascinating to hear what Vaughan Williams makes of it all – the duet Blue larkspur in a garden is particularly beautiful. But despite a good sound from the Orchestra of Wales and the singers, this is still a curiosity.