Thursday, June 22, 2017

June 22, 2014: Der Fliegende Hollender in Oslo

2014-06-22 Der fliegende Holländer (Wagner), Den Norske Opera & Ballet (Oslo)

Hollenderen = Terje Stensvold 
Senta = Erika Sunnegårdh
Daland = Ketil Hugaas
Erik = Henrik Engelsviken
Mary = Tone Kummervold
Styrmannen = Marius Roth Christensen

John Helmer Fiore, conductor
Den Norske Opera & Ballet

REGI - Andreas Homoki
SCENOGRAFI - Wolfgang Gussmann
KOSTYMER - Wolfgang Gussmann
DRAMATURGI - Werner Hintze

LYSDESIGN - Franck Evin

I thought I would be so bored. This was Wagner after all. Opera with no intervals is just plain wrong. I have to admit I looked at my watch. First time I looked one hour had already passed. I thought I saw wrong numbers it was dark there. So this was working and with this regie and scenography it did not make sense to stop between acts.

Here one could have compassion with the Hollender because he care about Senta. When the H understand that Senta would probably suffer eternally he wants to stop the wedding. Senta has promised herself to Erik years ago but she is so much in love in the idea of the H. Erik loves Senta but he comes of more like a brute who has such self-pity. The H. is a man who has suffered a lot for his arrogance but his love for Senta makes him able to put Sentas life and happiness first, something Erik has not learned. Senta shows her "love" for the H. with sacrifising her life, she blows her brains out.

The Romantic Opera of Wagner. Where is the Romance really? Senta is not really the kind of woman one should aim to be. Daland, her father talks about her that she would be as pleasing and obidient to her husband as she is to Daland. Senta, my sweet child. But ever since she heard the story of the flying hollender she has been wild. So it was a great!!

After the opera and the applaus and the speech and flowers it was time to go home.

OD Travel & Photos
Original blog post

For more reviews from my travels, see If you want to see more photos from my OperaDuets Travels, go to

June 22, 2005: I Puritani in Berlin

2005-06-22 I Puritani (Bellini), Deutsche Oper Berlin

Lord Gualtiero = Piér Dalàs
Sir Giorgio = Arutjun Kotchinian
Lord Arturo Talbo = Joseph Calleja
Sir Riccardo Forth = Franco Vassallo
Sir Bruno Robertson = Yosep Kang
Enrichetta ´di Francia = Cheri Rose Katz
Elvira = Edita Gruberova

Frédéric Chaslin, conductor

22. Juni 2005
Musikalische Leitung Frédéric Chaslin
Beginn: 19.30 Uhr

Spieldauer: 3:00 Std.
1. Akt: 75 Min.
2./3. Akt: 75 Min.

Pause [ca. 30 Min.]
nach dem 1. Akt

Inszenierung John Dew
Bühne Heinz Balthes
Kostüme José Manuel Vasquez
Chöre Ulrich Paetzholdt

A disappointment!!

A more heavy-voiced Puritani than in Vienna. Arutjun Kotchinian was an impressive and deep-voiced Sir Giorgio. Franco Vassallo was a great Sir Riccardo Forth although his voice was in my opinion too heavy for the role. Still Vassallo was a virtuous singer but a lighter voice would have been even better.

Edita Gruberova is of course a great singer and actress but her high notes was too shrill this time. Joseph Calleja, a great tenor promises but now his high notes was shrill and no so enjoyable as in Vienna. In all it seem to be more heavy-handed Puritani in Berlin. And when the opera ends like it does with a totally unwanted murder at the end, Arturo is killed by Riccardo which make it a very depressing opera indeed. The two lovers are saved only to have Arturo killed by Riccardo. But here we saw Riccardo falling on his knees after killing his rival, at the end he too is totally desperate; the rival is killed that no relief only desperation remains for him.

After Puritani Gruberova had Signierstunde in the opera house. I never found out where then but still I just wanted to go to the train station Zoologischer Garten and wait for my train to Munich and later Berlin. A long day was over I had traveled from Norway to Germany (with another flight that scheduled because my plane had left ahead of plan). And a few minutes later than scheduled my train arrived and left Berlin for Munich.

OD Travel + Photos

June 22, 2002: Carmen in Zurich

2002-06-22 Carmen (G. Bizet), Opernhaus Zurich

Carmen = Luciana d'Intino
Micaela = Elena Prokina
Don José = Julian Gavin
Escamillo = Michele Pertusi
Frasquita = Martin Jankova
Mercedes = Irene Friedli
Zuniga = Jakob Will
Remendado = Martin Zysset
Dancairo = Peter Kalman
Morales = Valeriy Murga

Michel Plasson, conductor

I never thought I could get bored during a Carmen performance. The Prelude was fine, but then the curtain was raised, such a boring stage, and the people was all dressed in black. When I say people, I just mean the soldiers, there was no ordinary people on the stage (Drôle de gens). So it was just meaningless the "Sur la place". When Carmen, Luciana D'Intino, came into the stage, it lit up, not the stage, she was too dressed in black, but her presence was much needed to make this opera exciting. Micaela, Elena Prokina, was the only one that was not dressed in black. Unfortunately it didn't get better in the second act, so black and boring, the only excitement came from Luciana D'Intino. Julian Gavin was a OK Don Jose. Well, I forgot about Escamillo, Michele Pertusi, he was in black too, but one could see the silver from his black Matador-outfit. He was exciting. The only extraordinary thing in this Carmen production was the two dogs who came in the stage in the Entr'acte music, they was wonderful.

I LEFT THE OPERA in the middle, I never do that, but I longed for Vienna and Carmen in Vienna with Agnes Baltsa.

Bizet: CARMENd
Musikalische LeitungMICHEL PLASSON
RegiemitarbeitTINE BUYSE
LichtgestaltungFRANZ PETER DAVID




* Rollendebüt
Samstag, 22. Juni 2002PREMIERE, PREMIEREN-ABO A
Pause nach dem 2. Akt
Beginn: 19.00 Uhr, Ende: ca. 22.1 S Uhr
Musikalische Assistenz
Abendspielleitung und
RegiehospitanzPASCAL SCHMID
KostümassistenzJOHANNA BRONNER
Organisation und
Betreuung der KinderSUSY SIEGRIST
Die Hunde Pyros und Aisha wurden
von der Kantonspolizei Zürich zur VerfÛgung gestellt.

OD Travel

June 22, 2000: Lucia di Lammermoor in Vienna

2000-06-22 Lucia di Lammermoor (G. Donizetti), Wiener Staatsoper

Enrico = Franco Vassallo
Lucia = Edita Gruberova
Edgardo = Keith Ikaia-Purdy
Arturo = Torsten Kerl
Raimondo = Egils Silins
Alisa = Mihaela Ungureanu
Normanno = Tomislav Muzek

Marcello Viotti, conductor

Wiener Staatsoper
donnerstag,22. juni 2000
124. Aufführung in dieser Inszenierung

Zum letzten Mal in dieser Spielzeit
Lucia di Lammermoor
Tragische Oper
Dichtung nach Walter Scott
von Salvatore Cammarano
Musik von Gaetano Donizetti

Musikalische Leitung / Marcello Viotti
Inszenierung / Boleslaw Barlog
Bühnenbild / Pantelis Dessyllas
Kostüme / Silvia Strahammer
Chorleitung / Ernst Dunshirn
Enrico (Lord Henry Ashton) Franco Vassalloo

Ort der Handlung
Schloß und Park von Ravenswood in Schottland
.Zeit Ende des 16 jahrhunderts

Orchester und Chor der Wiener Staatsoper

0 Debüt an der Wiener Staatsoper

It was the most wonderful evening in the opera. Amazing this woman, Gruberova!! I had to remind myself that she was not really so young as she seemed as Lucia. An actress, a wonderful voice! I loved the production. The other singers was good too, Edgardo and Lucia's brother. And because Neil Shicoff was not singing I got a splendid ticket and wonderful seat.

OD Travel

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

June 21, 2015: Norma in Munich

2015-06-21 Norma (Bellini), Bayerische Staatsoper

Norma = Sondra Radvanovsky
Adalgisa = Ekaterina Gubanova
Clotilde = Golda Schultz
Pollione = Gregory Kunde
Flavio = Francesco Petrozzi
Oroveso = Mika Kares

Paolo Carignani, conductor

Inszenierung, Bühne und Kostüme, Lichtkonzept - Jürgen Rose
Choreographische Mitarbeit - Jo Siska 
Licht - Michael Bauer
Produktionsdramaturgie - Peter Heilker 

Chöre - Stellario Fagone

Finally, Norma! Live from Munich with Sondra Radvanovsky and Ekaterina Gubanova as Norma and Adalgisa.

First time to see this opera live for me. Sondra Radvanovsky, who I saw last time in London as Lina in Verdi's Stiffelio 8 years ago, has become NORMA in a very big way. She is there alongside with Maria Callas, Joan Sutherland and Montserrat Caballé. Ekaterina Gubanova, who I have loved ever since Oberto in Paris in 2011, was equally amazing as Adalgisa.

Gregory Kunde was Pollione instead an indisposed Massimo Giordano. He was Pollione with gusto but not my cup of tea, so to speak. Mika Kares was a wonderful Oroveso. Frnacesco Petrozzi was Flavio and I wanted more from him like he should be singing Pollione with his beautiful voice.

Golda Schultz did her job in the little and yet important part of Clotilde. Parolo Carignani conducted it all.

Two children played the roles of the children of Norma and Pollione. Poor children!! Innocent young boys with a mother who loves (and hates) them.  A father who in the end is more a lover than a father. I still wonder if Norma was the only to die (did she die?), was Adalgisa also killed, did the children really get a chance to live safely with Oroveso, or ... Did Pollione die (killed by the Druids)?

The music is divine but who can love Norma or Pollione. Adalgisa can, I cannot. But I can love Adalgisa and wish the children did get a chance of love from ever lovable Adalgisa.

OD Travel & Photos
Original blog post

For more reviews from my travels, see If you want to see more photos from my OperaDuets Travels, go to

June 21, 2000: Die Lustige Witwe in Vienna

2000-06-21 Die Lustige Witwe (F. Lehár), Wiener Staatsoper

Baron Mirko Zeta = Alfred Sramek
Valencienne = Birgid Steinberger
Hanna Glawari = Angela Denoke
Graf Danilo Danilowitsch = Bo Skovhus
Camille de Rosillon = Mathias Zachariassen
Vicomte Cascada = Hans Peter Kammerer
Raoul de St. Brioche = Peter Jelosits
Bogdanowitsch = Johannes Gisser
Sylviane = Maria Bierbaumer
Kromow = David Cale Johnson
Giga = Daniela Wagner
Pritschitsch = Johann Reinprecht
Praskowia = Gretchen Eder
Njegus = Fritz Muliar
Cancan-Solist = Christian Musil

Dietfried Bernet, conductor

Wiener Staatsoper
mittwoch. 21. juni 2000
24. Aufführung in dieser Inszenierung

Die lustige Witwe
Operette in drei Akten von Victor Léon und Leo Stein
Musik von Franz Lehár

Musikalische Leitung / Dietfried Bernet
Inszenierung / Andrei Serban
Bühnenbild / Wilhelm Holzbaner
Kostüme / Wilhelm Holzbaner
Claudia Lukas
und Dialogregie / Fritz Muliar
Choreinstudierung / Ernst Dunshirn
Choreographie / Laurence Fanon
.., ..

Hanna Glawari / Angela Denoke*

* Rollendebüt an der Wiener Staatsoper

Wiener-operette in Staatsoper, sounded like fun, was boring. The Vilja-song was the bottom for me, the other part of the audience loved it.

OD Travel

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

June 20, 2009: Tosca in Berlin

2009-06-20 Tosca (Puccini), Deutsche Oper Berlin

Floria Tosca = Maria Guleghina
Mario Cavaradossi = Neil Shicoff
Baron Scarpia = Franz Grundheber
Cesare Angelotti = Krzysztof Szumanski
Der Mesner = Roland Schubert
Spoletta = Jörg Schörner
Sciarrone = Hyung-Wook Lee
Ein Schließer = Tomislav Lucic

Emmanuel Villaume, conductor

Tuesday I got the news from Parsifal's blog, that Angela Gheorghiu canceled her Tosca in Berlin, and that Maria Guleghina was singing instead. So I bought tickets to the opera and air ticket for the travel. I am so lucky that the price was reasonable at Norwegian Air. Because Angela Gheorghiu was supposed to sing the price was 118 Euro. Really 120 Euros.

So thanks to Parsifal's was I in Berlin to see an extraordinarily fine performance. Maria Guleghina is a fine actress. The perfect Tosca. Neil Shicoff sang the role of Mario Cavaradossi ardently. His voice sounded like always only a little bit grainier. His Recondita armonia and E lucevan le stelle was applauded very much. Maria Guleghina sang a wonderful Vissi d'arte. Franz Grundheber was an excellent Baron Scarpia. He used his age to his advantage. As many older opera singers who have learnt how to use everything to their advantage even their faults, Grundheber know all about how to project the character via voice and gestures...

The production was Tosca, plain and simple. Tosca in Rome in the right historical time. But isn't it time that the sagrestano lets go of the hunchback and being some kind of comic relief. Luckily Roland Schubert who sang this role had a great sonorous voice. Loved his voice. Cesare Angelotti was sung by Krzysztof Szumanski, also a bass, acted well together with Neil Shicoff. Of course, the opera only took on form and real life when Maria Guleghina came in. Wonderful duet followed. After the Tosca in Vienna (April 25, 2009) I was interested in how Sciarrone and Spoletta was in this production. From Vienna I recall the Sciarrone but not Spoletta. Here there was a different interaction between Sciarrone and Spoletta was different, more competitive. I liked Jörg Schörner as Spoletta and Hyung-Wook Lee as Sciarrone. And Tomislav Lucic was a sympatric jailor. A perfect TOSCA!!!!

Sat, 20.06.2009, 19:30 h
duration: 2 hrs 45 mins | 2 intervals

D Category: 35,- | 60,- | 85,- | 118,- Ticket online kaufen
[A service fee of Euro 2,- per ticket will be charged]

Giacomo Puccini
Melodramma in 3 acts
Libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica based on the drama LA TOSCA by Victorien Sardou
First performed on 14th January, 1900 in Rome
Premiered at the Deutsche Oper Berlin on 13th April, 1969

In Italian with German surtitles

Emmanuel Villaume

Boleslaw Barlog

stage-design, costume-design
Filippo Sanjust

William Spaulding

Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin

Chor der Deutschen Oper Berlin

Knabe des Staats- und Domchores

Kinderchor der Deutschen Oper Berlin

OD Travel + Photos

Original blog post

For more reviews from my travels, see
If you want to see more photos from my OperaDuets Travels, go to

June 20, 2000: L'Italiana in Algeri, Vienna

2000-06-20 L'Italiana in Algeri (G. Rossini), Wiener Staatsoper

Mustafà = Kristinn Sigmundsson
Elvira = Simina Ivan
Zulma = Stella Grigorian
Haly = Istvan Gati
Lindoro = Juan Diego Flórez
Isabella = Agnes Baltsa
Taddeo = Alfred Sramek

Marcello Viotti, conductor

Wiener Staatsoper
dienstag,20. juni 2000
44. Aufführung in dieser Inszenierung

L' I taliana in AIgeri
Drama giocoso per musica in zwei Akten von Angelo Anelli
Musik von Gioachino Rossini

Musikalische Leitung Marcello Viotti
Nach einer Inszenierung
und in der Ausstattung von Jean-Pierre Ponnelle
Chorleitung Ernst Dunshirn
., .

Ort der Handlung" Algerien

Orchester und Chor der Wiener Staatsoper
Die Aufführung basiert auf Azio Corghis kritischer Ausgabe
der Fondazione Rossini Pesaro in Zusammenarbeit mit G Ricordi, SPA Milano

* Rollendebüt an der Wien er Staatsoper 0 Debüt an der Wiener Staatsoper

Wiener Staatsoper, L'Italiana in Algeri, Agnes Baltsa, Juan Diego Florez, Kristinn Sigmundsson
First time for me to see this opera in an operahouse. It was Jean Pierre Ponnelle's production. Agnes Baltsa was Isabella, Juan Diego Florez was Lindoro. Ruggero Raimondi was ill so Kristinn Sigmundsson was Mustafa instead. Simina Ivan as Elvira, Stella Grigorian as Zulma. Istvan Gati was Haly. Alfred Sramek was Taddeo.

The only disappointment was not seeing Ruggero Raimondi, my favorite bass. A wonderful comic opera with a great cast. Kristinn Sigmundsson was as burlesque as Mustafa should be. Simina Ivan was a complaintive Elvira, Mustafa's suffering wife. Wonderful voice! Stella Grigorian as Istvan Gati was always supporting the suspense. Juan Diego Florez, a small man with a great voice. And Isabella, Agnes Baltsa, was the highlight!!

OD Travel

June 20, 1984: La Traviata in Oslo

1984-06-20 La Traviata (Verdi), Den Norske Opera (Oslo)

Violetta Valery = Rita Lantieri
Flora Bervoix = Vessa Hanssen
Alfredo Germont = Caj Ehrstedt
Annina = Eva Solheim
George Germont = Knut Skram
Gaston, Vicomte de Letorieres = Tor Gilje
Barone Douphol = Stein-Arild Thorsen
Marchese d'Obigny = Oddbjørn Tennfjord
Dottor Grenvil = Eivind Bøksle
Giuseppe = Leif Sørensen

Zdenko Peharda, conductor

Wednesday 1984-06-20
Opera in 4 acts by Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto by Fr. Maria Piave
Conductor: Zdenko Peharda
Regie: Jens Chr. Ek
Scenography: Madla Bruza
Coreography: Frederic Konrad

kl. 19.30- ca. 22.10

I saw La Traviata for the first time. Dottor Grenvil was sung by Eivind Bøksle, the man who nowadays always presents the operas whenever it is opera on Norwegian Radio.

OD Travel

Monday, June 19, 2017

June 19, 2011: Pagliacci in Zurich

2011-06-19 Pagliacci (Leoncavallo), Opernhaus Zurich

Canio (Pagliaccio) = José Cura
Nedda (Colombina) = Myrtò Papatanasiu
Tonio (Taddeo) = Carlo Guelfi
Beppe (Arlecchino) = Boiko Zvetanov
Silvio = Gabriel Bermudez
Erster Bauer = Uwe Kosser
Zweiter Bauer = Christopher Hux

Daniele Callegari, conductor

Producer/production - Grischa Asagaroff
Set and costume design - Luigi Perego
Lighting - Hans-Rudolf Kunz
Choir rehearsal - Jürg Hämmerli
Choreography - Tetsu Taoshita

Unlike 2009 when the prologue with Carlo Guelfo was a disappointment I now enjoyed it. In 2009 the Italian soprano Fiorenza Cedolins sang the role of Nedda, now we had the Greek soprano Myrto Paptanasiu as Nedda. Now I could almost root for the unfaithful Nedda. Beppe was another role sung by another singer, instead of big Martin Zysset, a Swiss favorite, we had Boiko Zvetanov, the little, round tenor with  a Great Voice and personality that fitted his voice. He fitted right into the show.

Sloppily conducted by Daniele Callegari, the singers with Jose Cura (Canio) and Gabriel Bermudez (Silvio) as the routine tenors, it still was a great Pagliacci. I still don't like the blue in Pagliaccio's face, but that is minor.

OD Travel + Photos
CAV/PAG in Zurich 2011-06-19 (original blog post)

For more reviews from my travels, see If you want to see more photos from my OperaDuets Travels, go to