Friday, April 5, 2013

MOZART: La Finta Giardiniera / Die Pforten der Liebe (24.11.2012, Staatsoper Berlin im Schiller Theater)

SHAME ON HANS NEUENFELS. The production of this piece is very bad, the dramaturgy is very bad. The modern , often sexual, jokes didn't fit well with Mozart's "colorful" music.

It's a shame that Dasch and other great singers involved in this project didn't get the 'whole' credit they deserved. Even though they all did their parts very wonderful. Dasch and Rügamer are actually for the win. Even Moulds, a Mozartian himself, couldn't save this production. So help yourself, don't watch this.

Rating: 4/10 

VIENNA SPECIAL: Musikverein mit Claudio Abbado & Alceste at Vienna State Opera (21. - 22.11.2012)

So ladies and gentlemen, my longing for a musical trip has once again took me to a strange land: Austria, specifically: Vienna. Two nights were all I got - and I did it good.

The first night is my time for the Golden Hall of Musikverein Wien. That night Abbado brought his ensemble of talented musicians of Orchestra Mozart to support him. Starts with Schumann's "Genoveva" Overture, Abbado shows that he's a black horse on podium. A very passionate conducting - thoughtful and precise.  

His Schumann's No. 2 are indeed very good. But not his best, perhaps? It seemed as it just went away so fast. Well, another interpretation is, I enjoyed it too much that I just went past it. 

After Beethoven's "Coriolan", the concert closes with Mendelssohn's No. 3 "Schottische" - magnificent.
Non-stop applause and flowers poured (not thrown - poured) on stage... never in Berlin. 

For my second night in Vienna I headed to the big old grand world-famous top-of-its-class State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper). With a little generosity from the guy at the box office, I got a frist class ticket for only 40 Euros. Thank you, Sir. May you live prosper, now and forever...

Gens did a very wonderful job portraying the queen in Despair, Alceste herself. Very clear vocal, sympathetic acting - yet a brave portrait of a woman. Joseph Kaiser is on the other hand quite weird on stage. Due to his illness, he can't sing. A singer (name??? - I forgot) took over the vocal part, while he the acting. During the first part, Kaiser didn't even try to mimic the lyrics - in the second he did. Such a sore to the eye when such things happen to the leading role. 

Ivor Bolton for the win. Freiburger Barockorchester didn't only deliver the opera, they geared it up, making it even more beautiful and passionate. Also another plus point from the production, maybe?

Wien for the WIN. Can't wait until next time.

Abbado: 8/10
Alceste: 7/10

MOZART: Die Zauberflöte (16.11.2012, Staatsoper Berlin im Schiller Theater)

Yes, The Magic Flute is an old story... You know the story, you know Papageno, you know... everything. Or do you?
A very classic production. Using the original Schinkel's stage image - the production seems to be 'immortal' and quite 90's at the same time. It's an everlasting creation, undefeated and unchangeable since 1994 anyway...
The cast of the night is good. Pavol Breslik is quite a sympathetic Tamino. Our Papageno got a huge applause - almost as usual. 
A must-see production, based alone on its production material. Well a "star" cast could be a nice addition in the future.
Everybody's safe and sleeps sound back home. 

Rating: 8/10

ANNA NETREBKO: Tschaikovsky's Iolanta (14.11.2012, Philharmonie Berlin)

Fasten your seat belt, 'cause it's Netrebko time...!

Let's set aside the bad stuffs, and concentrate on this: the very fact that Netrebko herself came to Berlin to do a concert of this wonderful piece of opera, too often fall out of most opera houses' program due to its short length, is a dream came true. Back in 2005, her version of Iolanta's aria as the opening track of "Russian Album" with Gergiev mesmerized us - an early prophecy? Anyway, the Russian repertoire is definitely safe in the hands of Netrebko for its long long legacy to be preserved. 

Netrebko did fantastic that night. Brave, grand voice - soft and touching on sad moments. Viva Netrebko! Viva! Brava! Unstoppable...

Some of the cast that night (and of this whole 'Iolanta' tour across Europe) are good, some are not eligible enough to stand beside Netrebko. Vitalij Kowaljow is no question superb and suits his role. We got a clumsy Vaudemont , Sergey Skorokhodov, who almost tripped on one of the stairs on stage - yes, it shows. Vassily Savenko as Ebn-Hakia are very convincing. The rest are well, well, well... 

In Philharmonie am Gasteig, Munich - after 'Iolanta' concert

The Slovenia Philarmonics, despite its "trials and tribulations" are indeed good. Villaume was definitely successful in delivering this play of emotion, from darkness to light, from blindness to a bright world - an adoration to God, just as the closing aria emplies, is what I felt the most.

Good news - this tour is a start of Netrebko's project portraying many (all?) roles in Russian operas, later released by the yellow label. Yes, I'm gonna grab one of those. 

Rating: 8/10

After Baden-Baden: Only First Class

I just made my holiday to Baden-Baden & Stuttgart. My school starts soon and a huge pile of program books filled up my cupboard. It's way too much of work and I'm too lazy to write ALL these reviews. So from now on I'll start doing the reviews only for "first class" concert. This thing is actually quite inspired by the repertoire/ program of the Festspielhaus Baden-baden, that I just visited to catch Berliner Philharmonics' The Magic Flute. The city is magical, the easter festival's atmosphere is in the air. Very inspiring.
Now that's been settled - I may continue this blog's journey.