Thursday 19 April 2007

April 2007: Die Lustige Witwe in Oslo (2007-04-18)

Day 1: Tuesday 2007-04-17 Oslo
BIBSYS - meeting 0900-1600

A lot of interesting little and big news from BIBSYS organization. Very varied and therefor maybe not surprising that I got a real head-ache at the end. So it was kind of lucky that I had not signed out to the big late night dinner. At that time my head-ache was still going strong.

Day 2: Wednesday 2007-04-18 Oslo
BIBSYS - meeting. Theme-based. For me I chose MIME/TYR all day long. But luckily this time I did not get a head-ache, a close call, though.

Finally it was time to go to the opera, at 1900 it started. Having to catch a bus at 2200 meant I had almost to run from the opera to get there in time.

Operetta in 3 acts by Franz Lehár
Libretto by Victor & Leon Stein

Premiere: 18/4
Days of performance: 19/4, 21/4, 22/4, 23/4, 24/4, 25/4, 26/4, 30/4, 2/5, 3/5, 5/5
Duration: app. 2 h 45 min
Sung in Norwegian

Conductor: Alfred Eschwé
Directors: Ronald Rørvik/Stuart Hopps/ Toralv Maurstad
Choreography : Stuart Hopps
Set design/ Costumes: John-Kristian Alsaker
Lightning design: Hans-Åke Sjöquist
Choir: Steffen Kammler

Hanna Glawari:
Solveig Kringlebotn (18/4, 21/4, 23/4, 24/4, 25/4, 26/4)
Birgitte Christensen (19/4, 22/4, 30/4, 2/5, 3/5, 5/5)
Grev Danilo Danilovitsch:
Kjell Magnus Sandve (18/4, 21/4, 23/4, 24/4, 25/4, 26/4)
Espen Langvik (19/4, 22/4, 30/4, 2/5, 3/5, 5/5)
Ina Kringlebotn (18/4, 21/4, 23/4, 24/4, 25/4, 26/4)
Eli Kristin Hagen (19/4, 22/4 ,30/4, 2/5, 3/5, 5/5)
Camille de Rosillon:
Marius Roth Christensen (18/4, 21/4, 23/4, 24/4, 25/4, 26/4)
Henrik Engelsviken (19/4, 22/4, 30/4, 2/5, 3/5, 5/5)
Baron Zeta: Thor Inge Falch
Njegus: Torill Eriksen

The Norwegian National Opera's Choir and Orchestra

Sung in Norwegian, OK, I am Norwegian, so it's OK. Dialogue in Norwegian, that's OK too, of course. And surtitles, great. But no surtitles when the dialogue is on. WHY ? And when the director decide that opera singers are going to speak naturally, not with opera voices and great diction, that's idiocy. Could not hear the dialogue well at all, and with no surtitles that mean a lot of information is lost. And Operetta usually have a lot more dialogue than your average opera. Stupid decision, annoying...

If the singing and the rest had been great then I would have forgiven it. Aunt and niece Kringlebotn in an operetta. I expected Aunt Solveig to be better than niece Ina. But Valencienne was better than Hanna Glawari. Kjell Magnus Sandve used to have a beautiful tenor voice but in the operetta his voice was not really there... Best acting and singing was Torill Eriksen as Njegus. The veteran mezzo as Hanna would have been wonderful. I think that maybe Hanna Glawari should be sung by a mezzo soprano...

The singers took a long time to warm up. Especially Solveig Kringlebotn and Kjell Magnus Sandve.

It is difficult to make an operetta work, especially in our modern time.

Weak.. Sad, really.