Tuesday, 12 May 2015

From Berlin to Vienna, I am getting sick: Neil Shicoff Gala 2015-05-03

Traveling by train to Vienna via Munich. The quiet coupe is not that quiet, but better than the Budapest train. 11 hrs by train, I think. Theoretically I was in Vienna in time to Don Pasquale, but now I have seen it on www.staatsoperlive.com and I am fine with resting in my hotel room. I am not fine with the room Ibis Mariahilf tried to give me, it was almost 18 o'clock but wet towels and an unmade bed, no, that is not ok. But I got a decent room that was cleaned quickly enough. It was not the best start in Vienna. Then came May and shopping in Mariahilferstrasse and so I did not buy much but I got this nasty Cold.    Ok. It was probably Eugen Onegin first that I missed and then Don Pasquale. Then it was Neil Shicoff gala something that the tenor himself had proposed to the opera director. My reason was Agnes Baltsa as Carmen even it is just the last act. Elena Maxinova, never heard of her, sang instead. So I was both disappointed and rather ill. How I longed to be in Berlin for another Don Carlo (also on May 3rd)!

2015-05-03 Neil Shicoff Gala, Wiener Staatsoper


Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Jacques Offenbach) – Prolog 
Hoffmann: Neil Shicoff 
Lindorf: Paolo Rumetz 
Nicklausse: Stephanie Houtzeel 
Andres: Thomas Ebenstein 
Luther: Marcus Pelz 
Hermann: Clemens Unterreiner 
Nathanael: Carlos Osuna 

Pique Dame (Peter I. Tschaikowski) – 2. Akt, 2. Szene 
Hermann: Neil Shicoff 
Lisa: Krassimira Stoyanova 
Gräfin: Anja Silja 
Mascha: Hyuna Ko 

La Juive (Jacques Fromental Halévy) – 4. Akt 
Eléazar: Neil Shicoff 
Kardinal Brogni: Ferruccio Furlanetto 
Rachel: Krassimira Stoyanova 
Eudoxie: Simina Ivan 

Carmen (Georges Bizet) – 4. Akt 
Carmen: Elena Maximova
Don José: Neil Shicoff 
Escamillo: Clemens Unterreiner 
Frasquita: Simina Ivan 
Mercédès: Juliette Mars 

Frédéric Chaslin, conductor

What a disappointment, coming to Neil Shicoff 's Gala and no Agnes Baltsa as Carmen to his Don Jose. From the greatest Don Carlo of Rolando Villazon et co. in Berlin. Had I known that Baltsa would not sing I would have seen Don Carlo for the 2nd time on this day instead I got the cold in Vienna and Neil Shicoff. 

Having just seen Les Contes d'Hoffmann with Rolando Villazon in a great production seeing the prolog was nothing much. Shicoff can act and sing, but he is not my guy.

Pique Dame - Shicoff was great as Hermann. Anja Silja was not that audible. Krassimira Stoyanova was having an Off day, or maybe it was just that I was OFF.


La Juive - not the whole end but we got the Aria from Eleazar. Simina Ivan and Krassimira Stoyanova could have been the Duet of the Ages but they had aged since I saw them in the of Eudoxie and Rachel. Ferruccio Furlanetto as Brogni, he only gets better with age but then he is a bass.

CARMEN - the end
Elena Maximova is the new CARMEN on the block. Neil Shicoff acts but he is no Carreras, Domingo, Cura & Alvarez. Clemens Unterreiner was Escamillo and a good, solid one.

Frederic Chaslin conducted it all.

Then  when we thought it was over we got 45 minutes or so with speaches. Shicoff ended it with his I am so nervous, the most nervous if them all. The audience gives us the energy not the other way around. And thank god for my wife, Dawn Kotoski.

And I am still not cured. Kleenex forever!!!

The Day After going home worrying about having enough Kleenex and to endure the 3 plane trips back home. Survival modus needed...

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