Sunday 29 March 2015

From Hamburg to Madrid, from tragedy to comedy: La Grande Duchesse de Gerolstein 2015-03-21

A month later after Elektra in Hamburg to Madrid for a French operetta in Spanish in Madrid. Teatro de la Zarzuela could not boast of the greatest international stars of opera as Hamburg butbthe subject was much fun and Spain can boast of growing the great voices of the future.

I nearly did not get to see La Grande Duchesse de Gerolstein because theree was a manifestation in Madrid which meant that the inner city of Madrid was almost closed. But lucky for me it opened up enough and I was in time. i even got to buy chicken wraps and something to drink.

In short I really did not have much time in Madrid and that meant more enjoyment pr second. I managed not to fret when I was in the taxi and the minutes going towards showtime. Not to  forgot that I won the most wonderful chicken wrap and the show was good.

2015-03-21 The Grand Duchess of Gérolstein (Jacques Offenbach), Teatro de la Zarzuela (Madrid)

LA GRAN DUQUESA = Susana Cordón
FRITZ = José Luis Sola 
WANDA = Elena Sancho
EL CONDE PUCK = Manuel de Diego
EL GENERAL BUM = Gerardo Bullón
EL PRÍNCIPE POL = Gustavo Peña
EL BARÓN GROG = Francisco Crespo
EL CAPITÁN NEPOMUCENO = Enrique R. del Portal IZA = Leonor Bonilla
OLGA = Nuria García
AMELIA  = Ana Cadaval
CARLOTA = Hanna Moroz

Estíbaliz Barroso, José Ángel Capel, Araceli Caro, Íñigo Celaya, Estefanía Corral, José Antonio Domínguez, Alberto Escobar, Daniel Ramos, Susana Román, Sara Peña
Ariel Carmona, Javier Crespo, Pablo Garzón, Javier Martínez, Iván Nieto, Joseba Priego, Marcos Rivas, Pedro Ángel Roca, Robson Dos Santos, Israel Trujillo, Gustavo Adrián Villalba, Álvar Zarco

Orquesta de la Comunidad de Madrid
Coro del Teatro de La Zarzuela
Antonio Fauró

Music director:
Cristóbal Soler
Stage director, sets and costumes:
Pier Luigi Pizzi

Zarzuela bufa en tres actos y cuatro cuadros, basada en la ópera cómica de Henri Meilhac y Ludovic Halévy
Traducción de Enrique Mejías García
Worldpremiered at Teatro del Circo in Madrid, November 7, 1868
Producción del Festival de Martina Franca del Valle d'Itria (1996)

The Teatro de la Zarzuela can call it a zarzuela but it still is a Frenche operetta translated to Spanish. A great translation made by Enrique Mejías García. 

Susana Cordón was the Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, a young lady of 20 years who is in love with the military life and the men. Wonderful singing and great acting from Susana Cordón. She falls in love with Fritz, the soldier who by decree of the High Duchess goes all the way up to General and back again to soldier during the performance. Tenor José Luis Solawas a wonderful Fritz. Fritz is in love with the lovely Wanda, a village girl with virtually no education. Soprano Elena Sancho was a lively Wanda, and naturally she too was wonderful almost upstaging the Grand Duchess. General Bum was just as admirably sung and acted by Gerardo Bullón. General Bum never wins Wanda from Fritz but in the end he gets the general plumes back from Fritz. Baron Grog, Francisco Crespo, almost got the plumes from the Grand Duchess but when he outed himself as married then Grand Duchess decided Bum got his plumes and Prince Pol would get a Grand Duchess who would be faithful since married men was not OK even for Grand Duchess. Prince Pol, Gustavo Peña, won the Grand Duchess of Gerolstein.

Lovely, wonderful, and of course J'aime le Militaire in Spanish and it sounds exquisite. Bravo, Teatro de la Zarzuela!!!

After the wonderful operetta it was a terrible shock to be musically assaulted by an unknown bass person singing as low as possible and only low and loud it was not a hint of musicality. The man thought probably that opera is about loudness but any opera voice need a fountain of musicality and a subtlety as well, it must flow and the singer needs to make it flow in the directions the music needs. This was just loud, and so sadly no Filip II in the making. So we all walked as fast as possible away from the noice pollution and to places where the loveliness of Offenbachs music could be preserved. Ah BRAVA, Susana Cordon!!! Viva La Grand Duchesse de Gerolstein!!!! And Offenbach is a cool guy!!

Yes, I got a taxi home to the hotel. And after some sleep it was early off to Barajas airport with courtesy bus. And via Frankfurt to Oslo. Waiting in Oslo and eating, of course. Then flight home and we landed. Home in late evening, relaxing. Monday work, again...

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