Saturday, 22 February 2020

My first opera travel in 2020: Medea in Berlin

After work I went directly to the bus stop and soon I was off. Thursday 20.2.2020 was alright but on the mountain it was stop and go, stop and go, but very slowly. So that is where I and a lot of different cars, buses and trailers. 

2 hrs delayed to Oslo. 2330 at my Hotel. Slept well.

21.2.2020 off from my Hotel to the AirPort. Will the flight also be 2 hrs delayed? No, but every passenger of the flight to Oslo was checked hence a delay. Fully booked plane means further delay because of the luggage. Efficient staff means we might be off just 10 minutes delayed, or... Well, we arrived at Tegel AirPort 10 minstes ahead of schedule so that was good. 

Then it was bus and u-bahn to my hotel. The hotel has a godspot for internet. The internet is spotty and not secure because the Evangelical Church has no interest in your data. Really? Other people are free to play with the data. There is also a chapel in the hotel. I had no clue that the hotel was religious, Christian in all deviousness. 

At 1530 I have arrived and I am looking forward to Medea by Cherubini even if it is sung in French. No Callas as Medea, not even Caballé, a mere mortal will sing the role of the witchious Medea. 

Staatsoper Berlin, 2020-02-21 at 1930:
Medea (Medée) was sung and acted by Sonya Yoncheva. A Medea to die for. All other roles was also sung and acted marvelously. It was stunning but there was a dissonance between the text and the production. The production was good but with a better eye to every detail it could have been so much better. 

Cherubini composed Medea. It is a great vehicle for soprano to be Medea. This was a different Medea, not just that it was sung in French but it even had dialogues. Already in the ouverture I heard a different music than in my 3 opera cds with Maria Callas. So this was not the usual Medea it had many small differences from my usual Medea. Musically the chances was not at all bad. The dialogue is another issue. The singers was great in the dialogues but did the dialogues belong there. I would have enjoyed more a fully sung opera. 

Poor Dirce, she has to marry Jason who is already cheating on her. But the aria is like she is just in love with Jason and terrified that Medea, Jason’s wife will turn up. Her father wants the riches that Jason has wun so he is eager to marry off his daughter whatever she wants it or not. 

Jason must sing of love of Dirce, but he is kissing her handmaiden. He supposedly love his children but show no care for them until they are in mortal danger. He hates Medea in his singing but touches her as he is truly attracted to Medea. 

Medea is a stranger. She is acting strangely and she is powerful and seductive. She loves Jason and her children. But in her anger she is in the end willing to kill her children to punish their father. Gloriously sung and then it ends. 

After 3 hours with one short interval after act 2 we stumbled on to the streets of Berlin still dazed by Medea, by Sonya Yoncheva. Wow!

Then off to sleep. 

2020-02-22 Saturday 
A cold and windy day in Berlin. I go shopping in Alexanderplatz. Getting headaches. Eats a pizza. I will buy a hamburger from McDonald’s and eat it at my hotel. 

2020-02-23 Sunday
Travel home. 

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