When the International Festival announced that this year's programme was to take place almost entirely in tents two events stood out - this performance of Kurt Weill's songs dating from his exiles in Paris and New York, and Alan Cumming's appearance on the final weekend. This is not to say that there aren't other world class performers in this year's programme but these two shows were instances where I knew in advance that they could almost certainly transcend what I expected to be the acoustic limitations of the tents because they were shows that would have been miked under regular circumstances. In this first instance my supposition proved correct. This is the first of the four shows in the tents I've attended which transcended their limitations as performance spaces. As the songs progressed I increasingly forgot the sound of the rain, the chill in the air and was simply immersed in the mesmerising artistry of Katharine Mehrling and Barrie Kosky.
Kosky previously showed himself adept in this kind of collaboration at Festival 2019 when he brought colleagues from his Komische Oper, Berlin for a marvellous late night performance of Yiddish opera excerpts at the Lyceum. This was Mehrling's debut at the Festival, and what an electrifying performance it was.