Showing posts from February, 2014

Debussy - Pelléas et Mélisande

Opéra Comique, Paris, Wednesday February 19 2014

Conductor: Louis Langrée. Production and sets: Stéphane Braunschweig. Costumes: Thibault Vancraenenbroeck. Lighting: Marion Hewlett. Pelléas: Phillip Addis. Mélisande: Karen Vourc'h. Golaud: Laurent Alvaro. Arkel: Jérôme Varnier. Geneviève: Sylvie Brunet-Grupposo. Yniold: Dima Bawab. Un médecin, Le berger, Luc Bertin-Hugault. Accentus chorus. Orchestre des Champs-Élysées.

This is a revival of the Opéra Comique's 2010 production of Pelléas, which I wrote up at the time. I don't, therefore, need to describe the production again. It was after that evening that, at a friend's suggestion, I adopted the present name of my blog. But, like every time - which is why nobody should take any of these reports to heart - this time it was different. Very different, as unusally, I was on the front row, three feet from the pit with an ear, nose and throat specialist's view of the singers' tonsils.

Though many or most people seem t…

Puccini - La Fanciulla del West

ONP Bastille, Friday February 7 2014

Conductor: Carlo Rizzi. Production: Nikolaus Lehnhoff. Sets: Raimund Bauer. Costumes: Andrea Schmidt-Futterer. Lighting: Duane Schuler. Video: Jonas Gerberding. Minnie: Nina Stemme. Jack Rance: Claudio Sgura. Dick Johnson: Rafael Rojas. Nick: Roman Sadnik. Ashby: Andrea Mastroni. Sonora: André Heyboer. Trin: Emanuele Giannino. Sid: Roberto Accurso. Bello: Igor Gnidii. Harry: Eric Huchet. Joe: Rodolphe Briand. Happy: Enrico Marabelli. Larkens: Wenwei Zhang. Billy Jackrabbit: Ugo Rabec. Wowkle: Anna Pennisi. Jake Wallace: Alexandre Duhamel. José Castro: Matteo Peirone. Un Postiglione: Olivier Berg. Un baritono: Daejin Bang. Orchestra and Chorus of the Opéra National de Paris. 

La Fanciulla, with its weak plot, weird heroine and quaint libretto, which assumes Americans all shout "Hello" when they enter a bar, must be a difficult work to stage credibly (supposing, that is, we may expect opera, exotic and irrational as it is, to be credible). …

Janáček - Jenůfa

La Monnaie, Brussels, Sunday February 2 2014

Conductor: Ludovic Morlot. Production and sets: Alvis Hermanis. Costumes: Anna Watkins. Lighting: Gleb Filshtinsky. Video: Ineta Sipunova. Jenůfa: Andrea Danková. Laca Klemeň: Charles Workman. Števa Buryja: Nicky Spence. Kostelnička Buryjovka: Jeanne-Michèle Charbonnet. Stařenka Buryjovka: Carole Wilson. Stárek: Ivan Ludlow. Rychtář: Alexander Vassiliev. Rychtářka: Mireille Capelle. Karolka: Hendrickje Van Kerckhove. Pastuchnyňa: Beata Morawska. Jano: Chloé Briot. Barena: Nathalie Van de Voorde. Tetka: Marta Beretta. Orchestra and Chorus of La Monnaie.

Let me see...
Janacek was Moravian. So was Mucha.Jenufa is set in a Moravian village.Moravian folk costume is unexpectedly lavish.Kabuki uses lavish costumes and is highly stylised.Mucha and art nouveau were all the rage in Prague at the time.The ballets russes were all the rage elsewhere. Shame they didn't tour to Prague.In Jenufa, the crux of the drama - deep-freezing the baby - is in act…