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Showing posts from October, 2012

Donizetti - La Fille du Régiment

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ONP Bastille, Saturday October 27 2012

Conductor: Marco Armiliato. Production and costumes: Laurent Pelly. Sets: Chantal Thomas. Lighting: Joël Adam. Choreography: Laura Scozzi. Marie: Natalie Dessay. La Marquise de Berkenfield: Doris Lamprecht. La Duchesse de Crakentorp: Dame Felicity Lott. Tonio: Juan Diego Florez. Sulpice: Alessandro Corbelli. Hortensius: Francis Dudziak. Orchestra and chorus of the Opéra National de Paris.

Florez was fabulous.

This well-travelled production is so familiar, I thought I might get away with writing nothing else about last night's performance. After London, Vienna, Milan, Barcelona and New York, here it all is in Paris, as seen on TV, DVD and YouTube. The barricades of beds, old furniture and grandfather clocks on handcarts, the chorus armed with pots and pans, pitchforks and carpet-beaters. The Tyrolean landscape of old maps, criss-crossed with "Siegfried lines" of long johns, and in the second part, the Marchioness's parlour plonked…

Berg - Lulu

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La Monnaie, Brussels, Sunday October 21 2012

Conductor: Paul Daniel. Production: Krzysztof Warlikowski. Sets and costumes: Malgorzata Szczesniak. Lighting: Felice Ross. Choreography: Claude Bardouil. Video: Denis Guéguin. Lulu: Barbara Hannigan. Grafin Geschwitz: Natascha Petrinsky. Gymnasiast & groom: Frances Bourne. Maler & Neger: Tom Randle. Dr. Schön & Jack The Ripper: Dietrich Henschel. Alwa: Charles Workman. Schigolch: Pavlo Hunka. Tierbändiger & Athlet: Ivan Ludlow. Prinz, Kammerdiener & Marquis: (Replaced). Theaterdirektor & Bankier: Rúni Brattaberg. Mutter: Mireille Capelle. Kunstgewerblerin: Beata Morawska. Journalist: Benoît De Leersnyder. Polizeikommissar, Medizinalrat & Professor: Gerard Lavalle. Diener: Charles Dekeyser. Eine Fünfzehnjährige: Anna Maistriau. Ballerina: Rosalba Torres Guerrero. Dancer: Claude Bardouil. Orchestre symphonique de la Monnaie.

“She [Berg’s illegitimate daughter] no doubt dreamed of becoming an artist herself as a mea…

Wagner - Tristan und Isolde

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Salle Pleyel, Paris, Saturday October 13 2012.

Conductor: Mikko Franck . Isolde: Nina Stemme. Tristan: Christian Franz. Brangäne: Sarah Connolly. Melot: Richard Berkeley-Steele. Kurwenal: Detlef Roth. King Marke: Peter Rose. Young Sailor: Pascal Bourgeois. Shepherd: Christophe Poncet. Steersman: Renaud Derrien. Chorus of Radio France. Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.

There isn't much you can say about an evening of this kind, that has the whole Salle Pleyel on its feet at the end, bawling "Bravo!" (the French don't bother much with such niceties as "Brava" and "Bravi") and clapping rhythmically. I was reminded of a madman who used to be on one of several classical music forums I quit and often used the expression "in a zone", pinched, I think, from the world of sport. There are times, if you're really lucky, when a performance seems to move on to a trance-like plane, mesmerising the audience: in a zone. This was one. Though I…