Showing posts from May, 2011

Lully - Atys

Opéra Comique, Paris, Monday May 16 2011
Conductor: William Christie. Production: Jean-Marie Villégier. Sets: Carlo Tommasi. Costumes: Patrice Cauchetier. Choreography: Francine Lancelot, Béatrice Massin. Lighting: Patrick Méeüs. Atys: Bernard Richter. Cybèle: Stéphanie d’Oustrac. Sangaride: Emmanuelle de Negri. Célénus: Nicolas Rivenq. Idas: Marc Mauillon. Doris: Sophie Daneman. Mélisse: Jaël Azzaretti. Le Sommeil: Paul Agnew. Morphée: Cyril Auvity. Le temps ; le fleuve Sangar: Bernard Deletré. Maître de la cérémonie / Alecton: Jean Charles di Zazzo. L’impresario: Olivier Collin. Flore: Elodie Fonnard. Iris: Rachel Redmond. Melpomène: Anna Reinhold. Zéphir: Francisco Fernández-Rueda. Zéphir: Reinoud Van Mechelen. Phobétor: Callum Thorpe. Compagnie Fêtes Galantes. Gil Isoart, dancer at the Opéra National de Paris. Chorus and Orchestra: Les Arts Florissants.

First staged 25 years ago, this production of Atys, never forgotten, has achieved legendary status in France. In the early eighti…

Tribute to Farinelli

Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Paris, Monday May 9 2011
Conductor: Christophe Rousset. Ann Hallenberg, mezzo soprano. Les Talens Lyriques.

Works by Broschi, Johann-Christian Bach, Porpora, Giacomelli, Hasse and Leo

To avoid a single, solemn ceremony, we were told in a speech at the start of this concert, when celebrating their twentieth anniversary, Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques have chosen to tour a beautifully crafted concert of 18th-century gems, including a generous (the unfortunate singer might well say gruelling) selection of arias composed for Farinelli, who – because of the film - played an important part in the group’s performing history. I’m not usually a great recital fan, either on disc or in concert, as I find a whole evening of arias a bit like eating a box of chocolates in one sitting. But in this case, having, for one reason or another, recently been mightily impressed by clips of Swedish mezzo Ann Hallenberg on YouTube (after recently being mightily unimpress…

Verdi - Nabucco

[In concert]

La Monnaie (Cirque Royal), Brussels, Saturday April 30 2011
Conductor: Julian Reynolds. Nabucco: Carlo Guelfi. Ismaele: Zoran Todorovich. Zaccaria: Carlo Colombara. Abigaille: Marianne Cornetti. Fenena: Catherine Keen. Il Gran Sacerdote: Kurt Gysen. Abdallo: Xavier Rouillon. Anna: Olga Kindler. Orchestra and Chorus of La Monnaie.

La Monnaie no doubt had its reasons for scheduling Nabucco in concert, not staged; I haven’t taken the time to see if they were stated anywhere. But I don’t think it was a wise decision. Nabucco is far from being Verdi’s greatest work, whatever political resonance and advertising fame that dreary chorus may have acquired (OK, shoot me down in flames). Performing it in concert exposes the score and the singers and removes the support and distraction of the on-stage drama a work like this needs. I suspect, therefore, that last Saturday’s cast would have come across better in sets and costumes.

Checking back, I see we’ve had several of the soloists …