Saturday, 4 March 2017

Anna Bolena in Lisboa 2017-02-12

My first time in Portugal and Lisboa, My first time flying with TAP Portugal. My 3rd Anna Bolena and the second in this production.

Why Lisboa? Elena Mosuc as Anna Bolena. I loved her as Lucrezia Borgia and now I got to see her in another Donizetti role. What a voice that woman has and she is getting better, is it possible?

Of course, since it was my first time in Portugal and Lisboa, it was also my first time in Teatro Sao Carlos. An very elegant opera house in the hills of Lisboa. And almost did not get in time. I walked back to the hotel when I was trying to head to the theater, I had to take a taxi. That was a blessing since it was really uphill. The traffic could be fierce or annoying.

First I had to come to Oslo. So thsi time I took the day bus to Oslo on Friday the 10th of February and since my flight to Lisboa was rather late on Saturday the 11th I thought I might stay at relatives in Oslo and be with them until the flight to Lisboa. But it felt like it was late to suddenly call my elderly relatives to stay with them. It did not feel right so I stayed in a hotel in Oslo city centre. It was nice and relaxing but I soon discovered that I had miscalculated what I had in my backpack. I needed more ostomy supply and so my relaxing day in Oslo became a search for some very special ostomy supply. No luck, really, execpt that I was given a crisis package for my isleostomi. That would have been just what I needed if it wasn't for the fact that I needed convex skin barrier that fitted my pouches and ostomy. Luckily my stoma created no difficulty this time so I had enough stuff with me.

While staying in Oslo I also shopped for cloths that was more suited for Lisboa since there climate would not be like the rather cold weather in Norway. Oh yes, 50 % off, Great except it did cost me NOK 1000,- Cheap, well??  But I thought I needed it and I used in in Lisboa. It was blue skies and hotter than Oslo but then the skies went grey and the wind came and so came the cold.

Saturday 11th: 1840 flight with TAP to Lisboa. then bus from the airport and I would my hotel in the city, the wonderful Hotel Mundial. Earlier that day I had decided against staying in a hotel close to the airport and to chose a city hotel. It was a good choice. Lisboa is on London time but my Iphone saved me from making mistakes. And my watch was always on Norwegian time. I stayed to night in this wonderful city hotel. I went to eat out before the opera. As usual I had miscalculated the time and then the combination of me and Google maps meant that I started walking in the wrong direction so Google maps thought I was going to the hotel while I thought I was going to the opera. Luckily at the hotel there were a taxi and I was driven to the opera house.

I was there in time. Sunday February 12th, 2017. Lisboa time: 1600

2017-02-12 Anna Bolena (Donizetti), Teatro Nacional São Carlos

Anna Bolena = Elena Mosuc
Enrico VIII = Burak Bilgili
Giovanna Seymour = Jennifer Holloway
Lord Percy = Leonardo Cortellazzi
Smeton = Lilly Jørstad
Lord Rochefort = Luís Rodrigues
Hervey = Marco Alves dos Santos
Giampaolo Bisanti, conductor
Maestro titular Giovanni Andreoli

Maestrina titular Joana Carneiro

Encenação - Graham Vick
Cenografia - Paul Brown
Desenho de Luz - Giuseppe Di Iorio
Production - Fondazione Arena di Verona

I loved the production just as much as I did in Sevilla December 2016. This time it was different. Different singers and different feeling of the characters.

Burak Bilgili as Enrico had a smirk on his face that make him an instant villain. Jennifer Holloway as Giovanna Seymour was very tall and did not seem to be so unwilling to become queen and her relationship with the queen seemed hypocritical. Other than that it was amazing singing and acting from all.

Leonardo Cortellazzi was a wonderful Lord Percy, Lilly Jørstad was fantastic ad Smeton, Elena Mosuc was a gorgious Anna Bolena. Luis Rodrigues was great as Lord Rochefort. Among this gigant one could forget Marco Alves dos Santos as Hervey but we really should not forget him.

If one did not like the characters that Burak Bilgili and Jennifer Holloway brought in Enrico and Seymour it was a valid intepretation. Historically we know very little about Jane Seymour. The singing of all singers was at the highest standard. Also we had a great chorus and orchestra lead by maestro Bisanti.

In Sevilla and also in Parma the singing had been more come scritto, but here the singers was allowed to created a flourishes in their musical line. Excellently sung but I longed for the clarity of the come scritto approach. I am not a musicologist but those were my feelings,

After the opera I could walk downhill to my hotel. The breakfast seating of Hotel Mundial was decided by hotel employees. The breakfast itself was wonderful. So it was Monday 13th, 2017 and I was heading home in an old plane and sitting on the back seat longing for Norway and my home near a Norwegian fjord.

Beautiful Lisboa but Sevilla will be closer to my heart. Elena Mosuc as Anna Bolena, the voice and acting, sublime. A new tenor to love: Leonardo Cortellazzi. This is the time for the Italian tenors to get to the opera ceiling. Divine voice, graceful acting, ah!

Finally in Oslo and deciding to fly home and I wished ...

Work, again.

For reviews from my travels, see

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Happy New Year 2017 - Anna Bolena in Parma 2017-01-22

Happy New Year!!

Sorry that I haven't been writing more in my blog, But, finally, here is my first blog post in 2017. This time I am writing from my "office" and not in my living room.

My travel to Parma, Italy was suddenly decided because I thought the photos from the production looked interresting and now I have this great love for this opera by Donizetti: Anna Bolena.

First my travel to Parma was planned and I found out that travel with Lufthansa to Milano and the train to Parma was the best choice. I have been to Parma before but the latest was in 2005. The cheapest option for me was to Milano Malpensa from Oslo Gardermoen on January 21th and from Milano Linate to Oslo Gardermoen January 23rd. My opera ticket was paid for but I hadn't decided on hotel or even if the hotel would be in Parma or Milano or a combination. Just before my travel to Milano I decided on the hotel, NH Parma. So it was 2 nights in Parma. I loved the hotel. It was close to the train station and to the opera house. And it was cheaper to have the hotel room in Parma than in Milano and it was very convenient, too. Not far from the hotel in Parma was a very nice pizza restaurant and the pizza was absolutely wonderful. Pizzeria Da Luca, ecellentissimo, and very much worth the difficulty in finding it.

2017-01-22 Anna Bolena (Donizetti), Teatro Regio Parma

Anna Bolena, wife of Enrico VIII = Yolanda Auyanet
Enrico VIII, King of England = Riccardo Zanellato
Giovanna Seymour, bridesmaid of Anna = Sonia Ganassi
Lord Rochefort, brother of Anna = Paolo Battaglia
Lord Riccardo Percy = Giulio Pelligra
Smeton, pageboy and musician of the queen = Martina Belli
Signor Hervey, officer of the king = Alessandro Viola

Scenes and video design MONICA MANGANELLI      
Choreography and Assistant Director
New production
In coproduction with Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova

On January 22nd, 2017 I saw Anna Bolena in Parma and it was a very different production than the one I saw in Sevilla on December 10, 2016. In Sevilla it was a traditional production and the costumes was historical correct and everything was done to make it historical. In Parma it was more modern. The dresses in Parma looked like something from the 1940's The acting was excellent and the singing superb from everybody.

What I did not like was that the actions on the stage under the Sinfonia. Why can't they just have the curtain down under the sinfonias or ouvertures. Worse still, it did not make sense. There was the 5 men who created the throne/stool for Anna Bolena was awakens by 5 women dressed in white who was acting during opera as angels/demons. Men in black and women in white but they did not offer more understanding to the story. Luckily one could ignore them and they did not prevent you from understand why the persons acted the why they did.

What I liked was that every action from the main persons was well thought out and no accidence. Sonia Ganassi was outstanding as Giovanna Seymour. I really loved everything about how she sang and acted, she was Giovanna Seymour. I even noticed her the moment she came on stage even though Giovanna Seymour is dressed so modestly.  One starts wonder how did the king notice her enough to fall madly in love with this woman. Giovanna Seymour in Sonia Ganassi has a magnetism, so...

Yolanda Auyanet was a wonderful Anna Bolena. She looked perfectly regal. The personal regie was stunning and everything made sense, Giulio Pelligra was a joy as Percy. What an amazing tenor voice? Riccardo Zanellato was another perfect choice in the role as the king Enrico. And Paolo Battaglia was another great bass in the role of Rochefort.

Martina Belli was equally perfect as Smeton vocally and acting. BUT she was obviously a woman this page Boy. Did that really matter if Smeton was a woman or a boy? The voice was mermerizing.

In all a wonderful opera matinee (the opera started 1530). A splitting headache in the first part was not ideal but after taking paracet in the cafe in the interval the second part of the opera was more pleasant for me.

My photos: Anna Bolena, Teatro Regio de Parma 2017-01-22

But my head
ache meant that a second visit to the pizzeria was avoided as the place had been loud with clatter the day before. So I just bought the cola light that was cheaper to buy in a grocery shop than in the hotel and then I had some food at the hotel.

On Monday 23rd, 2017 I was on Paracet so that went ok. My head ache was subdued. Train to Milano Centrale, bus to Linate airport and delayed flight from Linate to Frankfurt and walking hard to get in time for the flight to Oslo just to find that was also delayed which was almost ok. Then after hours in Oslo, night bus home. Sleep a bit home and then WORK.

For reviews from my travels, see