Concert performances of operatic works are really for the enthusiasts. This was delightful music with some soaring passages, liquid melodies and arresting dynamics. Often doleful and serious, absent were the sonorities of Tchaikovsky’s heart-tearing compositions and the playful invention of some of his ballet music. This was a truly splendid performance by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra that showcased what a phenomenal depth of musical talent we have. The soloists were dazzling, visiting concert master Daniel Dodds was commanding and all under the baton of maestro Vladimir Ashkenazy! I hadn’t heard this work before and I was enthralled. By the end, though, the thespian in me wanted to see the drama played out on stage too.