Wednesday 26 September 2018

Macbeth in Firenze 2018-07-13

2018-07-13 Macbeth (Verdi), Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (Firenze)

Macbeth = Luca Salsi
Lady Macbeth = Vittoria Yeo
Macduff = Francesco Meli
Banco = Riccardo Zanellato
Malcolm = Riccardo Rados
Dama di Lady Macbeth = Antonella Carpenito
Medico = Adriano Gramigni
Un Sicario = Giovanni Mazzei

Riccardo Muti, conductor
Orchestra e Coro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

Opera in concert with Riccardo Muti conducting. 

Giuseppe Verdi is a genious but he has some weakness. The witches are not scary because the music are not scary and this time when it is just an Opera in concert version especially with Muti conducting it is just beautiful Verdi singing.

Riccardo Muti Is a genious but he is all about the correctnes of music and with Macbeth that does not work. So there was beautiful music with beautiful singing but I was bored. If had not known the story I would would not get that it was was not working because there should have been som drama. No drama. Beautiful singing from everybody except when the children was singing. 

I realized one thing and that was that Macbeth needs a chorus that does more than just sing beautifully but with Muti we cannot have that because he just want the music and singing to be precise. 

In the middle of the opera when only the orchestra was playing I was so bored that I just wanted to go back to my hotel. Beautiful music and utterly boring. 

The concert version of Macbeth was a 50 years celebration of the debut of Riccardo Muti in Firenze.

Norma in Frankfurt 2018-06-23

2018-06-23 Norma (Bellini), Oper Frankfurt

Norma = Elza van den Heever
Pollione = Stefano La Colla
Adalgisa = Gaëlle Arquez
Oroveso = Robert Pomakov
Clotilde = Alison King *
Flavio = Ingyu Hwang

Antonino Fogliani, conductor
Oper Fankfurt's Chorus
Frankfurter Opern- und Museumsorchester

Director - Christof Loy
Set Designer - Raimund Orfeo Voigt
Costume Designer - Ursula Renzenbrink
Lighting Designer - Olaf Winter
Chorus Master - Tilman Michael
Dramaturge - Konrad Kuhn

* Member of the Opera Studio

Frankfurt was a disappointment after Marseille. It was colder and the production was annoying.

Elza van den Heever was an amazing Norma, Gaelle Arquez also as Adalgisa, and so was Stefano La Colla as Pollione.
An amazing Norma except that the production was an distraction. Personregie was phenomenal, but the change of time, place and even how Norma and Pollione met (in the overture) made it hard to enjoy. The singing and acting would have made it the greatest Norma I have seen live and recorded but the scenography etc was annoying. 

Elza van de Heever has everything in her voice and she can sing and jump on a table. Gaelle Arguez has a dark mezzo voice and it has great volume. Stefano La Colla was a full-voiced Pollione, a beautiful and mature tenor voice.

The director Christof Loy loves Norma and bel canto but he decided to make this about 2WW love between German officer and Netherlands partisans. The story he wanted to tell did not fit the libretto of Norma.

In Oslo I saw the best Norma and it seemed in the beginning that Frankfurt would use the same production. But some disagreement made the hastily get Christof Loy. DISAPPOINTMENT!!

Ernani in Marseille 2018-06-16

2018-06-16 Ernani (Verdi), Opéra de Marseille (Marseille)

Elvira = Hui HE
Giovanna = Anne-Marguerite WERSTER
Ernani  = Francesco MELI
Don Carlo = Ludovic TÉZIER
Don Ruy Gomez de Silva  = Alexander VINOGRADOV
Don Riccardo = Christophe BERRY
Jago = Antoine GARCIN

Lawrence Foster, conductor
Orchestre et Chœur de l’Opéra de Marseille

Mise en scène - Jean-Louis GRINDA
Décors - Isabelle PARTIOT
Costumes - Teresa ACONE
Lumières - Laurent CASTAINGT

PRODUCTION Opéra de Monte-Carlo / Opéra Royal de Wallonie

I loved Marseille. It was hot, 27 - 30 degrees Celsius. I also loved Ernani in this production. Hui He was wonderful as Elvira. It is a demanding role and despite Marseille being her first time as Elvira she was really good and will be absolutely amazing with time. 

Francisco Meli was amazing as Ernani. Ludovic Tezier was also great as Don Carlo, King of Spain.

Alexander Vingradov was also great as Don Ruy Gomez de Silva.