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Showing posts from February, 2017

Offenbach - Fantasio

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Opéra Comique at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, Thursday February 16 2017

Conductor: Laurent Campellone. Production: Thomas Jolly. Sets: Thibaut Fack. Costumes: Sylvette Dequest. Lighting: Antoine Travert, Philipe Berthomé. Fantasio: Marianne Crebassa. Le roi de Bavière: Franck Leguérinel. La princesse Elsbeth: Marie-Eve Munger. Le prince de Mantoue: Jean-Sébastien Bou. Marinoni: Loïc Félix. Flamel: Alix Le Saux. Spark: Philippe Estèphe. Facio: Enguerrand de Hys. Max: Kevin Amiel. Hartmann: Flannan Obé. Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Chœur Aedes.

Director Thomas Jolly is currently the French critics' coqueluche and can do no wrong. (If you look coqueluche up you'll find it means whooping-cough, but also, more or less, heath-throb, pin-up or idol.) His first opera was Eliogabalo at Garnier last September. I found myself in a small minority of curmudgeonly, Statler-and-Waldorf dissenters on that one. Fantasio is an improvement, but I still don't see what all the …

Puccini - Madama Butterfly

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Palais de la Monnaie, Brussels, Sunday February 12 2017.

Conductor: Bassem Akiki. Production: Kirsten Dehlholm (Hotel Pro Forma). Co-Director: Jon R. Skulberg. Sets: Maja Ziska. Costumes: Henrik Vibskov. Lighting: Jesper Kongshaug. Cio-Cio-San: Amanda Echalaz. Suzuki: Qiulin Zhang. Kate Pinkerton: Marta Beretta. F. B. Pinkerton: Leonardo Caimi. Sharpless: Aris Argiris. Goro: Riccardo Botta. Il Principe Yamadori: Aldo Heo. Lo zio Bonzo: Mikhail Kolelishvili. Il commisario / L’ufficiale: Wiard Witholt. Yakuside: René Laryea. Madre di Cio-Cio-San: Birgitte Bønding. Zia di Cio-Cio-San: Rosa Brandao. Cugina di Cio-Cio-San: Adrienne Visser. Puppeteers: Tim Hammer, Joris De Jong, Ruben Mardulier, Suze Van Miltenburg. La Monnaie Orchestra and Chorus.

It has struck me, thinking about yesterday’s Butterfly in Brussels, that there’s a big difference between “thought-provoking” productions and “puzzling” ones. Warlikowski’s productions are usually the former. Even if you don’t reach firm conclusio…

Wagner - Lohengrin

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ONP Bastille, Monday January 30 2017

Conductor: Philippe Jordan. Production: Claus Guth. Heinrich der Vogler: René Pape. Lohengrin: Jonas Kaufmann. Elsa von Brabant: Martina Serafin. Friedrich von Telramund: Tomasz Konieczny. Ortrud: Evelyn Herlitzius. Der Heerrufer des Königs: Egils Silins. Vier Brabantische Edle: Hyun-Jong Roh, Cyrille Lovighi, Laurent Laberdesque, Julien Joguet/ Vier Edelknaben: Irina Kopylova, Corinne Talibart, Laetitia Jeanson, Lilla Farkas. Sets and Costumes: Christian Schmidt. Lighting: Olaf Winter. Orchestra and Chorus of the Opéra National de Paris. 

There's an expression I think sportspeople use that I can't remember at the moment: on a something... not on a roll or on a blast but something like that... that means that the athletes or whatever have gone beyond their normal physical limitations and entered a kind of trance, on a higher plane, or at any rate at a higher level of performance. This happens in music too, and I suspect Monday night's L…