Showing posts from October, 2013

Verdi - Aida

ONP Bastille, Friday October 25, 2013

Conductor: Philippe Jordan. Production: Olivier Py. Sets and costumes: Pierre-André Weitz. Lighting: Bertrand Killy. Il Re: Carlo Cigni. Amneris: Luciana D’intino. Aida: Oksana Dyka. Radamès: Marcelo Alvarez. Ramfis: Alexei Botnarciuc. Amonasro: Sergey Murzaev. Sacerdotessa: Elodie Hache. Un Messaggero: Oleksiy Palchykov. Orchestra and Chorus of the Opéra National de Paris.

By the time I got round to seeing Paris's first production of Aida in half a century (not counting extravaganzas in sports arenas) it had already been booed in the house and battered by the press, so much so that I had an e-mail from a friend the morning before saying "As for Aida, you've seen such negative feedback that you'll probably enjoy it". He wasn't exactly right, but I did wonder what all the kerfuffle was about. Kerfuffle there was even last night, well into the run, by which time things have often calmed down. "C'est pire que la bata…

Mozart - La Clemenza di Tito

La Monnaie, Brussels, Sunday October 13 2013

Conductor: Ludovic Morlot. Production: Ivo van Hove. Sets: Jan Versweyveld. Costumes: An D’Huys. Video: Tal Yarden. Tito Vespasiano: Kurt Streit. Vitellia: Véronique Gens. Servilia: Simona Šaturová. Sesto: Anna Bonitatibus. Annio: Anna Grevelius. Publio: Alex Esposito. Orchestra and Chorus of La Monnaie.

Visually, this handsome new Brussels production of Clemenza was as chic as it gets. Musically, taking its cue from the hero, perhaps, it was a model of civilised restraint.

Let’s take the unrelenting chic first. The single set was a textbook display of understated, contemporary glamour. Forget bling. This was über-cool. Think Wallpaper magazine. Think designer lodges in rich resorts. Think Singapore Airlines’ flagship lounge at Changi. Think Scandinavian revival: tan carpet, sleek, teak furniture, autumn colours, burnished silks. On the right, a desk with drinks and diary. At the back, twin beds against a teak headboard, with matching bedsid…

Mamali Shafahi - Daddy Sperm

Galerie Nicolas Silin

"Daddy Sperm, an installation combining multiple videos with related objects, is the culmination of two years’ reflection on the “miracle” of life - how a simple drop of liquid becomes a living being ; on the cycle of life and the cycle of artistic creation; and on the relationship between parents and offspring.

"The videos involve the artist’s parents directly in the artistic process, and during the project Shafahi persuaded his father to take up drawing for the first time, so they could compare their creations side-by-side - the installation includes some of the drawings. In the videos, Shafahi carries his parents off into an imaginary world so far from their everyday reality that they, Shafahi’s creators, are re-created by him, their son, as virtual characters in a self portrait of the artist."

Galerie Nicolas Silin
13 rue Chapon, 75003 Paris, France.

Opening: Saturday October 19
4 to 9 pm.

Patrice Chéreau


Janacek - Vec Makropoulos

ONP Bastille, Wednesday October 2 2013

Conductor: Susanna Mälkki. Production: Krzysztof Warlikowski. Sets and costumes: Malgorzata Szczesniak. Video: Denis Guéguin. Lighting: Felice Ross. Emilia Marty: Ricarda Merbeth. Albert Gregor: Atilla Kiss-b. Jaroslav Prus: Vincent Le Texier. Dr Kolenaty: Jochen Schmeckenbecher. Vítek: Andreas Conrad. Krista: Andrea Hill. Janek: Ladislav Elgr. Hauk-Šendorf: Ryland Davies. Paris Opera Orchestra and Chorus.

When I bought tickets for this revival of Paris's great Makropoulos Affair, I hoped that, this being the last night in the run of eight, the atmosphere might be supercharged. It wasn't and I was almost disappointed. Not by the visually stunning production, still stunning (and intelligent) though I was seeing it for the fourth time. (My previous reports date from 2007 and 2009). But Vincent Le Texier has lost a degree of power, Ryland Davies, though still charming as Hauk, is nearly inaudible, and the rest of the cast was somehow relative…