Tuesday, 14 September 2010
Maria Guleghina is feeling better (TOSCA 11.9.2010)
Without Facebook I would not have known that Maria Guleghina had sung one Tosca against the doctor's order. Before the the performance there was an announcement by the management about the Grippe that was going on in the opera house. It was affecting Spoletta, the tenor had had the voice of a bass in the morning but was going to sing anyway. Had I not heard the word Spoletta I would have thought it was Cavaradossi who was affected. Marcelo Alvarez did seem to be very careful in his singing in act 1 but so was Maria Guleghina and Ruggero Raimondi. Marcelo Alvarez sang a precious "Recondita armonia" and showed himself to be an excellent actor. Maybe it was because Alvarez was so careful in his singing that Maria Guleghina was mimicking him or perhaps she still was not completely well. My only real complaint about the duet was the audience reactions, laughing at the jealousy of Tosca. Here one hear the wonderful act 1 duet and people are laughing. How rude it is! The interaction between Ruggero Raimondi (Scarpia) and Maria Guleghina (Tosca) was amazing. Real acting. And then act 1 ended with "Tre sbirri" and Te Deum. With act 1 the opera did not take flight, not yet, the singers were far too careful for that. PAUSE
Act 2 and with the first note that was sung the opera flying high. Ruggero Raimondi used his age to the advantage to create his menacing Baron Scarpia. This was an old and dangerous Scarpia. Marcelo Alvarez was the noble and aristocratic Cavaliere, proud and in defiance. Maria Guleghina was the Diva and Woman in Love. Act 2 was high drama, wonderfully acted and sung. I loved her "Vissi d'arte", it was so pure and true. For me there are no Tosca like Guleghina and how she sang acted to Cavaradossi and Scarpia was amazing. And unforgettable it was when Tosca realized after the fury and fear that she has really murdered someone.
Act 3 gave a wonderful "E lucevan le stelle" by Alvarez and of course the duet with Guleghina was a wonderful, too. Strange as it seem I still cannot say it was the best Tosca performance that I have seen. I have seen Marcelo Alvarez, Maria Guleghina and Ruggero Raimondi making better Tosca performances but never together. This performance came close to be the best TOSCA performance.
Still, the shouts of Brava and Bravo was highly deserved. And after the performance Marcelo Alvarez came first out the stage door, then Ruggero Raimondi and lastly Maria Guleghina. Then I got the chance to ask Maria Guleghina if she was feeling better. And she said yes, and that made me so very, very happy. And I used the opportunity to tell her how I enjoyed the way she sang "Vissi d'arte". And then we were both free to go, each over way.
BRAVA, Maria Guleghina! Brava!
For more reviews from my travels, see www.operaduetstravel.com