Friday, October 7, 2016

October 7, 2004: Stiffelio in Zurich

2004-10-07 Stiffelio (Verdi), Opernhaus Zurich

Stiffelio = José Cura
Lina = Emily Magee
Stankar = Leo Nucci
Raffaele = Reinaldo Macias
Jorg = Günther Groissböck
Federico di Frengel = Martin Zysset
Dorotea = Margaret Chalker

Stefano Ranzani, conductor



Since I saw this opera production at the premiere on Sept 26th I didn't expect to be surprised. The most important first, this time I did not get the feeling that Stiffelio forgave his wife. It was only the priest, the man did not forgive anything. The women's sin was not the kind that were forgiven, but that a brother would forgive a brother was expected as natural. Indulgira... But Honor was more important than Lina's soul and her happiness was counted for nothing. This time that was very evident.

Stiffelio (Jose Cura) was from the very beginning of the opera he wants his wife to love him to touch him but he is not willing to love her, touch her himself. All the, Non ha per me un accento non un sguardo, but it was he who was not talking to her, looking to her. She was all his. His very unchristian "only a heart that is not
hurt can forgive", where as the Christian sentiment is the forgive another that have hurt you, that is in a way the essence of Christianity. Jose Cura's Stiffelio is very dual, he brings love to the world. but not to his wife. His anger is dangerous even the lethal kind. But he is known as generosity himself, of course again not including his wife. Suspicious to his wife all from the beginning of the opera, he never did understand her love. And when Lina is about to confess he is never interested in how did Lina get involved in Raffaele de Leuthold, it is just enough that she says he
was seduced and he jumps at the possibility to kill Raffaele in a duel. Not a thought of Lina and her predicament.

Stankar (Leo Nucci) the same honor-driven madness and little love and caring for Lina, his daughter. The same selv-pity, Lina pensai che angelo. He thought Lina was only there to make him proud, and make him important.

Lina (Emily Magee) the adulterous wife of a priest. Always searching forgiveness, and always Stiffelio, Stankar and Raffaelle getting in the way for forgiveness and happiness. Her hands always searching for Stiffelio's hand for support and love. And in the end God's forgiveness is pronounced in public with Stiffelio as Priest reading
from the Gospels about "the one without sin can throw the first stone".

It was wonderful sung and acted and I do love this opera but I still like the Moshinsky production best as I saw it on video with Jose Carreras from Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

But this is a great role for Jose Cura.

I took some marvelous photos from Zurich. Unfortunately I tried my luck at one of Zurich's internet-cafe, and a whole memory card of 128 MB was then not usable again of the many photos 26 of what I think was my best Stiffelio photos. Luckily for me I had bought a new one, and my last 4 photos was on my new memory-card.

OD Travel + Photos

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