Wednesday, August 30, 2017

August 30, 2005: Turandot in Verona

2005-08-30 Turandot (Puccini), Arena di Verona

Turandot = Giovanna Casolla
Altoum = Angelo Casertano
Timur = Paolo Battaglia
Calaf = José Cura
Liù = Maya Dashuk
Ping = Marco Camastra
Pong = Giovanni Floris
Pang = Iorio Zennaro
A mandarin = Carlo Kang
The prince of Persia = Saverio Bambi

Lü Jia, conductor



Arena
30 August 2005 - 21.00

Turandot


Dramma lirico in 3 acts by Giacomo Puccini
Libretto by Giuseppe Adami e Renato Simoni


Principal Conductor Lü Jia
Director Yuri Alexandrov
Scenographer Viacheslav Okunev
Costume Designer Viacheslav Okunev
Choir Master Marco Faelli
Director of the Corps de Ballet Maria Grazia Garofoli
Lighting Designer Paolo Mazzon
Director of stage design Giuseppe De Filippi Venezia


On August 29 my parents and I went to Venice. It was a wonderful and hot day. This day, August 30th we visited the house of Juliet and her "tomb". So it should have been more appropriate if it was Bellini's "I Capuleti ed i Montecchi" or Gounod's "Romeo et Juliette" that was the opera of the evening. Instead it was the great fable of Turandot, the same opera that I saw most of in 2003, but this time, luckily, the weather was on our side, no rain or thunder interrupted the opera. And I got to hear and see the whole end of the opera from "Principessa di Morte" and the happy ending.

This was truly an happy ending for our trip to Verona. The next day we would be turning back to our home.

Needless to say it was a wonderful opera night. I think this Turandot production very beautiful as it is, is still not quite to my liking. Jose Cura was powerful as Calaf, if the singing was not ringing enough, the acting was. It would have been wonderful to see Turandot twice, but that August 27 was canceled did not hurt so much after such a wonderful end.

From OperaDuets Travel and Photos

Monday, August 28, 2017

August 28, 2011: Le Villi in Bergen, Norway


2011-08-28 Le Villi (Puccini), Opera Bergen

Anna = Elena Zelenskaya
Roberto = Eduardo Villa
Guglielmo Wulf = Anooshah Golesorkhi

Anne Randine Øverby, conductor
Stage director - Rocc
Light design - Jens Lange



As I saw Anooshah Golesorckhi dancing to the stage at the notes of Puccini's Le Villi I thought I would also be disappointed by Regie. But this time the opera let itself willingly into Rocc's Regie.

The first part of Le Villi was played as an old play with big gestures and with all having masks. The chorus started out as audience to the play with Guglielmo Wulf  as their favorite actor. Then as Anna came onstage, the "audience" fell asleep. Luckily we, the real audience got Anna's wonderful aria "Se come voi piccina io fossi", and then Roberto came and it was a wonderful duet. Suddenly "the audience" woke up at the sound clocks and Roberto was sung off. White cloths for this part by the principals.

As Roberto is off, the chorus is transformed from "audience" to acting Villis. Just as Anna dies of sorrow since it takes so long for Roberto to come back (I know this because I knew the opera from before, for others good luck it getting it from just seeing this production),  the audience dies to become Villis. The unhappy father curses Roberto and then asks God of forgiving for invoking the Villis. But they are already ready for Roberto. Gran Scena and Aria for Eduardo Villa. BRAVO!!! Then Anna, the undead, new Villi and the other Villis "dance" Roberto to his death. LOVED IT!!!

OD Travel + Photos
Original blog post



For more reviews from my travels, see www.operaduetstravel.com If you want to see more photos from my OperaDuets Travels, go to www.operaduetsphotos.com

August 28, 2011: Cavalleria Rusticana in Bergen, Norway

2011-08-28 Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni), Opera Bergen

Santuzza = Elena Zelenskaya
Turiddu = Eduardo Villa
Alfio = Anooshah Golesorkhi
Mamma Lucia = Tone Kvam Thorsen
Lola = Sylvia Skeie Vik

Anne Randine Øverby, conductor
Stage director - Rocc
Light design - Jens Lange



The crisp, clear sounds of Cavalleria Rusticana had never sounded more beautiful and true than the orchestra of Opera Bergen played it under its leader Anne Randine Øverby. Beatiful and clear it sounded at the same time it served the drama.

Musically the low-point for me was the Siciliana sung Eduardo Villa. It sounded like it was sung by an old tenor at the end of his career. Is it that the Siciliana (O Lola, ch'ai di latti la cammisa) is so difficult to sing right, or is it just that it is the beginning of the opera. I don't know. I just know that Eduardo Villa convinced me vocally and dramatically later in the evening, especially in the duet between Turriddu and Santuzza.

The evening was an evening of old, seasoned opera singers. They all warmed up or maybe it was me who warmed up to them. But then it was the Regie of young director Rocc that almost ruined Cavalleria Rusticana singelhandedly.

The chorus, who was they supposed to be in this production. Was they drunken teen-agers from a graduation party? Lola and Mamma Lucia seemed to work in this "High School". I imagined Mamma Lucia as the rector. Lola as just one of the teachers. Alfio, her husband, instead of being one of the prominent men of the village seemed to be a traveling beggar.

I mistook Mamma Lucia for Santuzza since she was the first of the principals to present herself and she was even praying. Both Santuzza and Mamma Lucia was had black hair and same age (so it seemed) and they were the only ones who in this production were sincere. In many ways Cavalleria Rusticana was here the story of hypocrites against sincerity. Turriddu was no hypocrite, or was he. And Alfio...

Most of what the chorus did not help the story forward, it confused rather than explain. Was that intentional from director Rocc? But one point was rather good: Instead of the tradional horrendous screaming "Hanno mazzato compare Turriddu" , one of the chorists was given a note and said in the most strange voice this message twice. I think it was THE PROOF of Hypocrisy if we needed it.

Given the material they were given I cannot imagine the principals and chorus could have improved it more. Eduardo Villa was really Turriddu, Elena Zelenskaya was truly Santuzza, I loved Tone Kvam Thorsen's Mamma Lucia (elegant, and so moving), Anooshah Golesorkhi was a solid Alfi, and I disliked Sylvia Skeie Vik (I always dislike LOLA, always, no matter who sings it and especially when they are believable.

And naturally it started to rain in the middle of the opera. Even the weather gods was not loving this opera completely.

OD Travel
Original blog post


For more reviews from my travels, see www.operaduetstravel.com If you want to see more photos from my OperaDuets Travels, go to www.operaduetsphotos.com

August 28, 2005: Aida in Verona

2005-08-28 Aida (Verdi), Arena di Verona

The King = Carlo Striuli
Amneris = Marianne Cornetti
Aida = Amarilli Nizza
Radames = Salvatore Licitra
Ramfis = Giorgio Surian
Amonasro = Silvano Carroli
A messenger = Enzo Peroni
High Priestess = Nicoletta Curiel

Daniel Oren, conductor



Aida
Opera in 4 acts by
Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni

Arena
28 August 2005 at 21.00

Principal Conductor Daniel Oren
Director Franco Zeffirelli
Scenographer Franco Zeffirelli
Costume Designer Anna Anni
Choreographer Vladimir Vassiliev
Choir Master Marco Faelli
Director of the Corps de Ballet Maria Grazia Garofoli
Lighting Designer Paolo Mazzon
Director of stage design Giuseppe De Filippi Venezia


Lead guest dancer Myrna Kamara
Male lead dancer Giovanni Patti

Just the day before we arrived in Verona, on August 27 I should have seen Turandot in the Arena but it rained away. First it seem that if the opera was to be canceled we still wouldn't get our money back because of Arena rules. But luckily when we had waited over 2 hours for the opera to begin or be canceled, then finally it was announced canceled and we could get our money back. Back to the ticket office, I queued for over 1 hour, so at midnight we were ready to go to our hotels. Dripping wet, of course...

But another day was Sunday August the 28th. The sun was shining. And hope was high. Yesterday was but a memory. And as it was closing to evening and opera night, still the rain had not come, and it was a nice hot evening. For the first time my parents was to see Aida in the Arena. The perfect end of a perfect day. Being tourists in Verona, and then a soiree with JCx-friends as an aperitif for the opera, even though the Radames of the evening was Salvatore Licitra and not Jose Cura, our hero for the Jose Cura Connexion.

My parents was so overwhelmed by Aida that they simply refused to go to another opera, Turandot with Jose Cura as Calaf (August 30th). And I do agree with my parents: this was a perfect Aida. Salvatore Licitra with his ringing voice. Marianne Cornetti as Amneris and Amarilli Nizza as Aida was great. Carlos Striula as the King and Giorgio Surian as Ramfis was two great basses. Silvano Carroli did his best as Amonasro, a bit worn in voice. The acting was phenomenal in this Aida. Just on the point, and never a second late or too early, the ever-troubling problem of opera acting.

Salvatore Licitra was so great as Radames that I almost thought of changing Jose Cura for Licitra. But my heart is set on Cura. Even if I thought that Licitra sang more beautiful than Cura, but I cannot imagine myself traveling so often for Licitra. It will be always JCx!!

From OperaDuets Travel and Photos

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

August 23, 2003: Carmen in Oslo, Norway

2003-08-23 Carmen (G. Bizet), Den Norske Opera (Oslo)

Carmen = Marina Domashenko
Don José = Torsten Kerl
Micaëla = Elizabeth Norberg-Schulz
Escamillo = Gregg Baker
Frasquita = Kjersti Reppe
Mercedes = Nanna Maria Cortes
Remendado = Arild Helleland
Dancairo = Thor-Inge Falch

Patrick Fournellier, conductor



Carmen with world-names in the roles!

The saison starts with Georges Bizet's opera
CARMEN
Saison premiere Saturday 23. august at18.00

One of the worlds most performed operas marks
the opening of the season.
The cast is full of world known soloists.

CARMEN
Opera in 3 acts by Georges Bizet
Libretto by Henri Meilhac / Ludovic Halévy

Premiere: 23/8
Days of performance 25/8, 26/8, 27/8, 28/8, 29/8, 30/8, 1/9, 2/9, 3/9, 4/9, 5/9, 6/9
Duration : app. 3 h 15 m
Sung in French
Norwegian subtitles

Conductor: Patrick Fournellier
Direction: Runar Borge
Choreograhpy: Runar Borge
Set Design: Svein Lund-Roland
Costumes: Mathias Clason
Lighting Design: Gretar Sveinbjørnsson
Choir & Childrens Choir: Steffen Kammler and Edle Stray-Pedersen



The Norwegian National Opera`s Children's Choir, Choir and Orchestra
Wonderful Carmen in Operaen in Oslo!

I liked the production, using the relatively small stage in a superb way. Torsten Kerl was the golden-haired Don José, a big man and tenor, with a securely and beautifully produced Flower-aria. Marina Domashenko was a passionate Carmen, wonderfully sung, danced and acted. After many years I hear Elizabeth Norberg-Schulz live again, in Oslo, her voice has matured and has a more full-rounded sound. And she got a standing ovation after the opera, very well deserved. Gregg Baker was a powerful Escamillo, really great in movements and perfectly the natural center of any party.

From OperaDuets Travel

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

August 22, 1997: Opera Gala in Hamburg

1997-08-22 Hamburger Operngala, Rathausplatz

Agnes Baltsa, mezzo
Josep Carreras, tenor
Isabel Rey, soprano

David Gimenez, conductor



PROGRAM
1. Mozart : Le Nozze di Figaro
2. Tosti: Marechiare JC
3. Tosti: Vieni sul mar JC
4. Le Nozze di Figaro- Voi che sapete AB
5. L'Italiana in Algeri - Pensi alla Patria AB
6. L'Arlesiana - E la solita storia JC
7. Cavalleria Rusticana - Voi che sapete AB
8. Cavalleria Rusticana - Intermezzo
9. Cavalleria Rusticana - Tu qui, Santuzza ABJC


2100-2125
1. Las Bodas de Luis Alonso
2. Me llaman la prima rosa IR
3. Granada JC
4. El duo de la Africana IRJC
5: Carmen - Habanera AB
6. Coren'grato JC
7. O mio babbino caro AB
8. Dein ist mein ganzes Herz JC
9. Die Lustige Witwe - Lippen schweigen ABJC



EXTRA
1. Isabel Rey, koloraturarie
2. Agnes Baltsa, Seguedilla
3. Jose Carreras, O sole mio
4. Baltsa, Carreras, Rey LA TRAVIATA - Brindisi
5. Jose Carreras; O sole mio


Fantastic concert. It was rainy and even some thunder in the second half of the concert.


The concert at Rathausmarkt "Operngala"

18.10. I were at the Rathausmarkt, bought my program, and found my
seat. One could buy Danish dish, a Japanese sushi dish, drink
champagne (of course it wasn't cheap, but almost stylish). I was just
drinking from my bottle of cola-light (big bottle). Not so stylish,
but cheaper!!!

at 20.00

The concert begins, a big applause to the conductor, no, it was
director of the Hamburger Opernwoche. He talks for a short while, then
he gave the word someone import in Hamburg. She talk for a long time,
it seemed. (But in real time the two talked for 10 minutes).

But then David Giménez, came young and fresh and full of energy on the
stage, and we could hear:

Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro- Ouverture
Splendid delivery of an opera pearl.

J o s e C a r r e r a s came, at everything seemed a l i v e

Tosti: M a r e c h i a r e
Carreras was great, his voice seemed to have been darkening, it had an
almost baritonal flavor. V i e n i s u l m a r


A g n e s B a l t s a

Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro_-V o i c h e s a p e t e

I still gets tears in my eyes when I think of that performance, never
was the aria sung so .... (my words fails me)

Rossini: L'Italiana in Algeri - P e n s a a l l a p a t r i a

She always sings this aria like a goddess. Always when you hear and see
Agnes Baltsa, one is reminded that she can't separate the aria from
the acting, the role, unlike so many other singers, who when it is
concert they don't act.

J o s e C a r r e r a s

Cilea: L'arlesiana _ E l a s o l i t a s t o r i a

Fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A g n e s B a l t s a

Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana - V o i l o s a p e t e , o
m a m m a

Intermezzo (orchestra)

A g n e s B a l t s a & J o s e C a r r e r a s

T u q u i , S a n t u z z a

Great, great, great

End of part 1
----------------------------------------------------------------- Part
2 of the concert.

Resounding in my head was the duet from Cavalleria Rusticana. Nobody
can sing Santuzza like Baltsa, no one can be a better Turriddu than
Carreras. But thinking about it, now, I don't know whether Carreras
has ever sung Turriddu on stage in a opera performance.

It was a 25 minutes break between the two parts of the concert

Agnes Baltsa was wearing a dress, white on the top, and fluffy on the
arms, and the long skirt was black. To get an idea, see:
Baltsa picture.

Isabel Rey was wearing a "turkise" dress. (bleu with green flavor)

Than at 21.25 the concert commences:

Alonso: Las Bodas de Luis Alonso-Intermedio

I s a b e l R e y

Alonso: El Barberillo de Lavapies _ M e l l a m a n l a
p r i m a r o s a
What a joy to hear her fresh and highly individual voice, she doesn't
sound like Caballé, Victoria de los Angeles or Pilar Lorengar, but she
is definitely in their league. A new great Spanish soprano. She have
studied under Montserrat Caballé and Alfredo Kraus, so the program
says.

J o s e C a r r e r a s

Lara: G r a n a d a

naturally the audience goes wild (in the heart, more than action,
maybe it was to hot in Hamburg, I don't know)

C a r r e r a s & R e y

Caballero: EL DUO DE LA AFRICANA

They are acting, they are singing, it is FANTASTIC!!!!!!

A g n e s B a l t s a

Bizet: CARMEN - H a b a n e r a

Great, yes, yes, yes I want to see her as Carmen live on stage
no matter what it costs. How can I say that I have seen Carmen onstage
when she was not the Carmen

J o s e C a r r e r a s

Cardillo: C o r e n ' g r a t o

Jose is just great.

A g n e s B a l t s a

Surprise of the evening:
Puccini:Gianni Schicchi O m i o b a b b i n o c a r o

A mezzo singing one of the great showpiece aria for any young soprano
(like Isabel Rey). With Agnes Baltsa the aria goes further than just
show-piece than just comedy. She gives the aria an touch of tragedy
after all, the soprano is begging her father of getting to marry her
love, if he says no, she will jump into the river Arno.

Wonderfully sung, she ends with a pianissimo.
It is touching, the not so young mezzo, gives away a young woman's
true heart

J o s e C a r r e r a s

Lehar: The land of smiles D e i n i s t m e i n g a n z e s
H e r z

Nobody, even with a better German pronunciation could have sung the
aria better.

B a l t s a & C a r r e r a s

Lehàr Die Lustige Witwe L i p p e n s c h w e i g e n

Great duet from de Merry Widow. one disappointment: Agnes wanted to
waltz, he didn't. But still Fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!

Extras:

Jose Carreras being the perfect gentleman arranges that I s a b e l
R e y will sing the first extra. He decides which aria she will
sing, gets her laughing yes, and indicating that she knows that aria
perfectly. But I don't .

A g n e s B a l t s a

Bizet: Carmen: S e g u e d i l l a

J o s e C a r r e r a s
O s o l e m i o (or T o r n a a S u r r i e n t o).

Photographs being taking at the same time as we see the heavenly
blitz. Jose loses no nerve.

B a l t s a , C a r r e r a s & R e y

Verdi: La Traviata - B r i n d i s i
Pure heaven

J o s e C a r r e r a s

O s o l e m i o
It was a pure demonstration of strength.

OD Travel

Thursday, August 17, 2017

August 17, 1989: La Chulapona in Edinburgh

1989-08-17 La Chulapona (Moreno Torroba), Playhouse Theatre (Edinburgh)

Manuela, jefa del taller de plancha = Lola Casariego
Rosario, oficiala y amiga de Manuela = Amalia Barrio
José María, novio de Manuela = Ricardo Muñiz
Juan de Dios, hermano de Manuela = Julio Incera
Señor Antonio, padre de Emilia y eterno enamorado de Manuela =José Luis Cancela
Doña Venustiana, madre de Rosario y prestamista = Rosaura De Andrea
El Chalina, organillero achulado y algo aprovechado = Rafael Castejón
Don Epifanio, padre de Manuela y pobre cesante = Luis Barbero
Emilia = Marisa Ruz
Organillero = Mario Martín
Lolita = Manolita Antolinos
Ascensión = Juanita Ruiz
Concha = Ada Rodriguez
Ist Guard = José Antonio Sanguino
2nd Guard = Ion Garyalde
Manolito = César Lucendo
Young man in tavern = José Varela
Drunkard = Jesús Alcaide
Flamenco singer = Maria "La Coneja"
Ganadero = José Antonio Sanguino
Cansino = José Sánchez Cela
Peasant = Carlos Rubio
Maravilla = Pilar Del Río
Guadalupe = Emilia Fuentes
Café owner = Andrés Fuentes
Sleeping man = Rafael Del Río
Guitarist = Francisco Bohollo

Dancers = Elvira Andrés, Nuria Castejon, Paloma Moraleda
Pilar Rubio, Carlos Fernández, Isaac Fernández, Juan Manuel Lillo, Ricardo Ocaña



Miguel Roa, conductor

National Opera of Spain, Teatro la Zarzuela, Madrid
Producer - Gerardo Malla
Designer - Mario Barnedo
Choreography - Goyo Montero
Light design - Eric Teunis


My first Zarzuela experience. It was wonderful. But if I understood Spanish it would have been even better. It had lot of dialogue and was funny too, but it was all in Spanish.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

August 16, 1989: Montserrat Caballe in Edinburgh

1989-08-16 Recital Montserrat Caballe, Usher Hall (Edinburgh)

Montserrat Caballe, soprano
Miguel Zanetti, piano



(Vivaldi, Bellini, Mercadante, Rossini, Granados, Mompou, Obradors, Turina)
5 extras
1: La Paloma
2.
3. Los Clavelitos
4. Lunar...
5. Melanope

OperaDuets Travel

It was a painful experience. Baroque arias etc and then I was really sick, pain in my body. And we were sitting high up and far away in a balcony. I just remember the pain. But I am sure La Superba was simply superb. But all I wanted to be in bed and have some pain killers. She sang 5 extras so it must have been a great recital for those that were not ill.


Friday, August 11, 2017

August 11, 2007: Nabucco in Bergen, Norway

2007-08-11 Nabucco (G. Verdi), Vest Norges Opera (Bergen)

Nabucco = Anooshah Golesorkhi
Ismaele = Johann Valdimarson
Zaccaria = Vadim Lynkovsky
Abigaille = Anna Shafajinskaia
Fenena = Charlotte Paulsen
High Priest of Belo = Silvio Riccardi
Abdallo = Geir Morvik
Anna = Sylvia Skeie Vik

Anne Randine Øverby, conductor



SUMMER OPERA 2007

Giuseppe Verdi
Nabucco

Open air at Bergenhus Castle
August 11, 14, 16, 18, at 21:30

Stage director: Bruno Berger Gorski
Conductor: Anne Randine Øverby
Sets: Opera Bergen
VNO's Orchestra
Bergen Opera Choir

What is the difference between Verona, Italy and Bergen, Norway? That's easy, weather. Warm and nice in Verona /cold and windy in Bergen. Same opera, though, Verdi's Nabucco, different singers etc.

This time another wonderful Abigaille, a joy to listen to and her acting was tops. I think our Nabucco had a cold, no wonder, he was in Bergen singing outdoors with not the warmest costume. A wonderful actor and singer he is, as always. Ismaele weak, but OK. Fenena wonderful voice, acted well enough. Zaccaria was a young bass who sang better as the evening progressed. Orchestra and chorus was OK, but in Nabucco they were to few to really get the Forte/Fortissimo going. Va, pensiero was the best part, but being so few people in the chorus it was amazing how well they did it. (Keep in mind that I am comparing this to Arena di Verona's NABUCCO with a huge chorus and orchestra and Nucci and Guleghina in the big roles)

The Production of Nabucco, a non-changing scene used very well. We were at Bergenhus Castle and the small space was used admirably. The director had once again created an opera based on a color scheme, nothing wrong with that necessarily. Hebrew color was blood-red and black was the Assyrian color. The crown was a gold-colored laptop. (OK when you do not expect anybody to understand Italian or the plot, no?) There were several laptops in the opera, never clear what they were there for but they had something to do with Nabucco and his followers (and Abigaille). Abigaille was hailed as Queen via mobile phones. So this was a modernization of Nabucco. Luckily the singing made sense. But there was a misunderstanding of the plot, Vieni O Levita, that was when Fenena converts to Judaism, was sung without Fenena, they thought Zaccaria was making himself boss over the Hebrew but in Nabucco he is already the most distinguished Hebrew.

So was the director making his own opera? Maybe.

OD Travel + Photos

Original blog post

Thursday, August 3, 2017

August 3, 2013: IL Trovatore in El Vendrell, Spain

2013-08-03 Il Trovatore (G. Verdi), El Vendrell (Spain)

Count of Luna = Fernando Alvarez
Leonora = Michelle-Marie Francis Cook
Manrico = Sergi Giménez Carreras
Azucena = Montserrat Carreras
....

Joan Toldra, conductor
Orquesta Musica Viva y la Coral Polifònica del Vendrell.
Acompanyado de la escuela de baile, La Factoria



So there I was, in El Vendrell, to see IL TROVATORE in the tiny Plaza Vella.

Michelle Francis Cook, a soprano destined to sing big roles in the big stages of the world (my opinion), sang Leonora with aplomb and delicacy. Sergi Gimenez never lost his way even when the orchestra sounded truly lost in Verdi's masterpiece. I loved his acting, but as he is the nephew of Josep Carreras he (and I) can never escape the memory of Carreras' voice. Fernando Alvarez was a strong, commanding Conte di Luna.

Of the main singers, Montserrat Carreras as Azucena was the one to suffer most from the lack of sync between the orchestra and stage. She had to do with what she had and what she had was the support of the other singers. Sergi was a great support!!

The chorus did an admirable job. I believe the cut in the score was not helpful. One had to take leaps of logic or know Trovatore well to understand it. It also made it harder for the orchestra to follow the score and the singers. Maestro Joan Toldra's tendency to go slow did not help. The orchestra also lacked some of the instruments needed to really make the music swing.

In many ways I could hear the complexity of Giuseppe Verdi's score and to suffer when it became to much to achieve in this night in lovely El Vendrell. But what can one expect after just one real rehearsal. To perfectly understand the musicality and the story of Il Trovatore much rehearsal is needed. But with their limited resources it was admirably done.

OD Travel & Photos
Original blog post
For more reviews from my travels, see www.operaduetstravel.com If you want to see more photos from my OperaDuets Travels, go to www.operaduetsphotos.com

August 3, 1996: The 3 tenors in Munich


1996-08-03 The 3 tenors, Olympia Stadium (Munich)

Josep Carreras, tenor
Placido Domingo, tenor
Luciano Pavarotti, tenor
Philharmonia Orchestra
James Levine, conductor

From tenorissimo.
MUNICH Olympia Stadium, August 3, 1996
Philharmonia Orchestra, conductor James Levine
on tv

Solos:

Carreras: Musica proibita (Gastaldon), Lamento di Federico (È la solita storia del pastore) from Cilea's 'L'Arlesiana', Granada (Lara), Improvviso (Un dì all'azzurro spazio) from Giordano's Andrea Chenier

Domingo: No puede ser from Sorozabal's 'La Tabernera del Puerto', O souverain, o juge, o père from Massenet's 'Le Cid', Dein ist mein ganzes Herz from Lehar's 'Das Land des Lächelns', E lucevan le stelle from Puccini's 'Tosca'

Pavarotti: La mia canzone al vento (Bixio/Mancini), Addio alla madre (Mamma, quel vino è generoso) from Mascagni's 'Cavalleria Rusticana', Mamma (Bixio/Mancini), Nessun dorma from Puccini's 'Turandot'

Together:
Medley I: Because, La Danza, Be my love, Marechiare, Muñequita linda, Torna a Surriento

Medley II: Maria, Tonight, Ò paese d'ò sole, Cielito lindo, Moon River, Caminito, Mattinata, Amapola, O sole mio

Encores: La donna è mobile, O sole mio

UPDATE 2009-08-07:
I remember it was raining and some people used umbrellas. People were encouraged to use raincoats and such instead in interest in other who wanted to use not just hear The 3 Tenors. I was disappointed to hear just the same songs and arias as in Gothenburg especially since they had said in documentary of earlier 3 Tenors' concert that with their vast repertory they could have had 10 concerts in a row and not repeat a single song. But that was a naïve dream. I should have known better.

My seat was not a very good one so without the big screens I would have seen virtually nothing. My parents sat outside the arena in pouring rain and enoyed the sounds from the arena. I was the only one with tickets. More about how I got the tickets and such is forgotten...

OD Travel

Monday, July 31, 2017

July 31, 2009: Turandot in Barcelona

2009-07-31 Turandot (Puccini), Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona

Turandot = Anna Shafajinskaia
Liu = Daniela Dessi
Calaf = Fabio Armiliato
Timur = Giorgio Giuseppini
Ping = Gabriel Bermúndez
Pang = Eduardo Santamaría
Pong = Vincenc Esteve Madrid
Althoum = Josep Ruiz
Mandarin = Philip Cutlip

Giuliano Carella, conductor



I hoped that this time it would not end with suicide. But this Turandot died too like on July 30th.

Still, it was another Turandot. First the performance did not start until 30 minutes later. That was because Daniela Dessi was not well but she still came. It was not possible to hear that she was not well except that she was singing softer in 3rd act and the orchestra was gentle with her. But for normal ears all was well. Not just well but splendid. And her husband-tenor Fabio Armiliato was a great Calaf. Giorgio Giuseppini was great as Timur.

Anna Shafajinskaia was Turandot. I almost thought that she had been replaced by Maria Guleghina. But Anna did not have Maria's specialties. Anna S. was in a more steely voice which was perfect for Turandot. But after Maria Guleghina's Turandot it was not enough for me even if singing and acting was more than perfect. But with Guleghina there is an extra tension, personality and charisma.

The main thing, the duet between Calaf/Turandot was acted so differently that I really hoped to the last that Turandot would choose life. But no Happy Ending. Great opera performance, but ...

OD Travel + Photos

Original blog post: Turandot in Barcelona July 2009


For more reviews from my travels, see www.operaduetstravel.com
If you want to see more photos from my OperaDuets Travels, go to www.operaduetsphotos.com

July 31, 2003: La Traviata in Verona

2003-07-31 La Traviata (G. Verdi), Arena di Verona

Violetta Valéry = Angela Gheorghiu
Flora Bervoix = Milena Josipovic
Annina = Loredana Bigi
Alfredo Germont = José Cura
Giorgio Germont = Ambrogio Maestri
Gastone de Letorières = Mauro Buffoli
Baron Douphol = Graziano Polidori
Marquis of Obigny = Alessandro Calamai
Doctor Grenvil = Enrico Iori
Giuseppe = Mario Guggia

Daniel Oren, conductor


Arena di Verona
31 July 2003 - 21.15



La Traviata Recital


Melodrama in 3 acts by Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave


PRINCIPAL CONDUCTOR Daniel Oren


CHOREOGRAPHER Maria Grazia Garofoli
CHOIR MASTER Marco Faelli
Director of the Corps de Ballet Maria Grazia Garofoli
Light Designer Paolo Mazzon
Director of stage design Giuseppe De Filippi Venezia


Flora's Servant Angelo Nardinocchi
Commissioner Angelo Nardinocchi

After the wonderful Carmen on July 29th, with the meeting of José Cura backstage, mostly photographing on my part, and a little to drink afterwards in a cafe that was mostly closed, I was not in my hotel until 0315, and did not sleep until 4. And yesterday it was a wonderful luncheon with JCx members, that was nice, but I was tired from the late night, and did not have much energy. And on this day, head-ache from morning to night. My head was only alright when the opera was going on, in the pauses the ache came back again.

How nice that La Traviata's is mostly so complex, that us normal people, have difficulties humming it. Especially is Violetta arias hard to hum.

I really like the scenography for this La Traviata, semi-scenic version, was really full opera, not concert-like at all. Beautiful white was the scenography, enough for all who knows the story, and with Angela Gheorghiu and José Cura in the leads, really a great evening. Ambrogio Maestri, Giorgio Germont, was naturally very welcomed as an Italian between the Rumanian Gheorghiu and the Argentinean Cura. First time for me to see Angela Gheorghiu live. I liked her performance very much, and naturally Cura was great as Alfredo. If only I was closer to the stage.

It was perfect. Only one thing, (I did hear people mention AG is the new Maria (Callas), is the end of the opera when Angela sings the line when she feels a new life and subsequently dies, To hear the word being spoken in Italian gives really a shudder down one's spine. Sung it is nothing.. not even beautiful. Otherwise did Angela Gheorghiu really make a great impression as Violetta Valéry.

José Cura was wonderful as Alfredo Germont, daring and warm and passionate. Sometimes his voice what on the rough edge. But it is only when I think about it, later, that one thinks, ah!, he was tired. But in the performance I did not feel that at all. Wonderful to see José Cura and Angela Gheorghiu backstage, not together, they were apart, but at point I was there, right between the opera-giants,... little me.

OD Travel + Photos

Sunday, July 30, 2017

July 30, 2009: Turandot in Barcelona

2009-07-30 Turandot (Puccini), Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona

Turandot = Maria Guleghina
Liu = Ainhoa Arteta
Calaf = Marco Berti
Timur = Stefano Palatchi
Ping = Gabriel Bermúndez
Pang = Eduardo Santamaría
Pong = Vincenc Esteve Madrid
Althoum = Josep Ruiz
Mandarin = Philip Cutlip

Giuliano Carella, conductor



It ends with a suicide.

First I thought the whole opera ended with Liu's death. Then came a curtain of the sky filled with stars in the night. A wonderful duet started. And Turandot killed herself after "I know his name. His name is LOVE". And Turandot killed herself because he was Love, and she was Death. A night filled with horror had drowned her white dress with the blood of inhabitants of the city. Nessun dorma, he sang dreamily of glory and love, not caring that his nobody shall sleep would mean torture and death to others. Calaf only cared when his own father and Liu was threatened. And Turandot herself: fascinated by Calaf and by the sacrificial love of Liu, but in the end not willing/capable to step out of her death cult and into becoming a loving woman.

Vocally it was never any doubt about Marco Berti's Calaf. A clarion voice with both Non piangere, Liu and Nessun dorma with the closest to perfection I ever heard live. He was no tempted to hold the last tone in Nessun dorma as long as possible I am certain he would have won that contest. But it is opera and no contest. Ainhoa Arteta was wonderful as Liu. Stefano Palatchi as Timur was not so demanding a voice as he should. But acted wonderfully. Ping, Pang and Pong was Ok when one got over the costumes in the act 1 and start of act 2. Ping was Gabriel Bermundez who sang Silvio in Zurich on July 8. Sadly he was often the weak link. But in the 3rd act he was wonderful.

Maria Guleghina as Turandot, what can I say about her. She is definitely more of a Tosca than a Turandot. But maybe it was the production and director's fault. I wonder how it had been had Guleghina been able/allowed to put all her energy and acting skills in the role. She was best vocally and all when she could step free from the robotic Chinese choreography.

But other than that, I liked the production and the choreography (of the dancers).

OD Travel + Photos

Original blog post: Turandot in Barcelona July 2009

For more reviews from my travels, see www.operaduetstravel.com
If you want to see more photos from my OperaDuets Travels, go to www.operaduetsphotos.com

Saturday, July 29, 2017

July 29, 2003: Carmen in Verona

2003-07-29 Carmen (G. Bizet), Arena di Verona

Carmen = Marina Domashenko
Micaela = Hei-Kyung Hong
Frasquita = Cristina Pastorello
Mercedes = Milena Josipovic
Don José = José Cura
Escamillo = Samuel Ramey
Dancairo = Marco Camastra
Remendado = Antonio Feltracco
Zuniga = Dario Benini
Morales = Roberto Accurso

Alain Lombard, conductor


Arena di Verona
29 July 2003 - 21.15

Carmen


Dramma lirico in 4 acts by Georges Bizet
Libretto by Ludovic Halevy - Henry Meilhac


PRINCIPAL CONDUCTOR Alain Lombard


DIRECTOR Franco Zeffirelli
Assistant Director Marco Gandini


SCENOGRAPHER Franco Zeffirelli
COSTUME DESIGNER Anna Anni
CHOREOGRAPHER El Camborio
Assistant Choreographer Lucia Real


CHOIR MASTER Marco Faelli
Director of the Corps de Ballet Maria Grazia Garofoli
Light Designer Paolo Mazzon
Director of stage design Giuseppe De Filippi Venezia


...
Visiting lead dancers Lucia Real - Belen Lopez - Jose' Triguero - Joaquin Mulero
JCuraPhotos
2003-07-29 Carmen (G. Bizet), Arena di Verona

Carmen = Marina Domashenko
Micaela = Hei-Kyung Hong
Frasquita = Cristina Pastorello
Mercedes = Milena Josipovic
Don José = José Cura
Escamillo = Samuel Ramey
Dancairo = Marco Camastra
Remendado = Antonio Feltracco
Zuniga = Dario Benini
Morales = Roberto Accurso

Alain Lombard, conductor
José Cura on horseback in the arena, twice. First alone on the horse, leading the garde montante, then with Carmen on a horse in the mountains. Photo. We even saw donkeys and carriages onstage. Dancing almost all the time on both wings of the performance, except in the last duet, when José kills Carmen.

Recitative version. I have heard this before, but it was really dull recitatives in Verona. José Cura is a wonderful Don José, Hei-Kyung Hong is great as Micaela, Samuel Ramey as Escamillo sounds like he is at the end of the road (painful to hear SR sing, great man, Ramey). The Carmen is really enjoyable when she sings, but when she talks... it is not beautiful, nor seductive, just irritating. And when Marina Domashenko came out after Carmen, she just went straight through the crowd, talk to a friend/fan, and off she went, maybe somebody would have wanted her autograph, or to take a photo. José Cura, on the other hand, was really tired, but was backstage a long,long time, it was, I think almost 02.30 when he left. He was tired, hungry, and a real gentleman.

The 4th act started with A dos cuartos, and then it was a shout "Gitana!" and at the music of the Entr'acte music to usually starts the 4th act, was great Spanish dancing (sevillana or flamenco like).

An absolutely thrilling "C'est toi? C'est moi!" And a lot of applause. Marina Domashenko who had really danced and used the castagnettes in the 2nd act of "Je vais danser en votre honneur" also danced on the at the end, with the Spanish dancers enjoying it, like "Olé!" and José Cura danced, too. It was just simply a really fantastic Carmen.

OD Travel + Photos

Thursday, July 27, 2017

July 27, 2003: Aida in Verona

2003-07-27 Aida (G. Verdi), Arena di Verona

The King = Carlo Striuli
Amneris = Larissa Diadkova
Aida = Micaela Carosi
Radames = Piero Giuliacci
Ramfis = Giacomo Prestia
Amonasro = Ambrogio Maestri
High Priestess = Antonella Trevisan
A messenger = Mauro Buffoli

Daniel Oren, conductor

After traveling most of the day by train. 9.30 from Munich and in Verona by 1505. I went by taxi to the hotel. Luckily the Hotel Tryp have a courtesy bus, so I was lucky enough to use that most of the time I was going to Verona, Piazza Bra and the Arena. Anyway I took one of at 19 something, it is a 9-seater, and it is free if the seat is free. I saw a hugh queue of people, actually more than one. I though they was wanting tickets, no, they were lining up, so that they could get a good seat in the unnumbered seats, the cheap tickets. So I got a cheap ticket for sector B, well, Euro 17,50 (is cheaper than Euro 139).

So there I was, it was still not even 20hrs, and I was hungry. But luckily I could buy Coca Cola and something to eat. I was seated beside the stage, so sometimes the singers were hidden behind the statues, but I could also see people getting out from under the pyramid. It was a black curtain there, but it was a very windy night. It was also lightning during most of the Aida, but no rain, so the show could go on. I don't think I heard any thunder. Maybe the orchestra drowned it?

Then it was 21.15 the opera starts. I would have loved to get to see Salvatore Licitra as Radames, but it was another chubby tenor that sang. Quite good. Ambrogio Maestri who I later saw as Germont père in La traviata, was Amonasro. Very imposing voice. Micaela Carosi, that sang Liú almost a month ago in Turandot with Cura, was really impressive as Aida. Larissa Diadkova as Amneris was great, impressive. The duet between Aida and Amneris was great, but unfortunately when Amneris line came "Fissami in volto... " (look me in my face) Amneris did not look at Aida, a serious mistake. Another bad thing was that the war prisoners was so few, like just a handful, now how could Amonasro think that he could win over the plenty Egyptians with that lot. Radames, not very impressive, the King and Ramfis, why afraid to release them....Stupid. Less priests and more Ethiopians.....

A typical overloaded Zeffirelli opera, do really the whole stage have to be packed... And action (like dancing) going on all the time. So many distractions. But that's the Arena.

Another thing... famous opera... people humming or singing along the singers and orchestra, annoying. And sometime talking or laughing, or just humming, really bad.
Arena
27 July 2003 - 21.15



Aida


Opera in 4 acts by Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni


PRINCIPAL CONDUCTOR Daniel Oren


DIRECTOR Franco Zeffirelli
SCENOGRAPHER Franco Zeffirelli
COSTUME DESIGNER Anna Anni
CHOREOGRAPHER Vladimir Vassiliev
CHOIR MASTER Marco Faelli
Director of the Corps de Ballet Maria Grazia Garofoli
Light Designer Paolo Mazzon
Director of stage design Giuseppe De Filippi Venezia


CAST



Prima ballerina Myrna Kamara
Male lead dancer Gregor Hatala
Akmen Amaya Ugarteche

OD Travel

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

July 26, 1996: The 3 tenors in Gothenburg, Sweden

1996-07-26 The 3 tenors, Ullevi Stadium (Gothenburg)

Josep Carreras, tenor
Placido Domingo, tenor
Luciano Pavarotti, tenor
Philharmonia Orchestra

James Levine, conductor



From tenorissimo.com
GOTHENBURG Ullevi Stadium, July 26, 1996
Philharmonia Orchestra, conductor James Levine
on tv

Solos:

Carreras: Lamento di Federico (È la solita storia del pastore) from Cilea's 'L'Arlesiana', Improvviso (Un dì all'azzurro spazio) from Giordano's 'Andrea Chenier', Granada (Lara)

Domingo: O souverain, o juge, o père from Massenet's 'Le Cid', No puede ser from Sorozabal's 'La Tabernera del Puerto', Dein ist mein ganzes Herz from Lehar's 'Das Land des Lächelns', E lucevan le stelle von Puccini's 'Tosca'

Pavarotti: Addio alla madre (Mamma, quel vino è generoso) from Mascagni's 'Cavalleria Rusticana', La mia canzone al vento (Bixio/Mancini), Mamma (Bixio/Mancini), Nessun dorma from Puccini's 'Turandot'

Together:
Medley I: Because, La danza, Be my love, Marechiare, Muñequita linda, Torna a Surriento

Medley II: Maria, Tonight, Ò paese d'ò sole, Cielito lindo, Moon River, Caminito, Mattinata, Amapola, O sole mio

Encores: La donna è mobile, Torna a Surriento, O sole mio

OD Travel

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

July 25, 2015: Don Carlo in El Escorial, Madrid

2015-07-25 Don Carlo (Giuseppe Verdi), Teatro Auditorio San Lorenzo de El Escorial (Madrid)

Pelipe II. = John Relyea
Don Carlos = José Bros
Isabel de Valois, tercera esposa de Felipe II = Virginia Tola
Rodrigo, marqués de Posa, amigo y confidente de Don Carlo  = Ángel Ódena
Fraile = Simón Orfila
Gran Inquisidor de Espana = Luiz Ottavio Faria
Princesa de Eboli = Ketevan Kemoklidze
Tebaldo = Sonia de Munck
Voz de Cielo = Auxiliadora Toledano
Conde de Lerma = Gerardo Lopez

Maximiano Valdés, conductor
Orquesta de la Comunidad de Madrid
Coro de la Comunidad de Madrid
Coro de la Orquesta Sinfonica Verum
Banda Interna de a Orquesta Sinfonica Verum

Director de escena - Albert Boadella
Escenografía - Ricardo Sánchez Cuerda
Figurinista - Pedro Moreno
Iluminador - Bernat Jansà
Coreógrafo - Amauri Lebrun

Director del Coro - Pedro Teixeira


So the idea of Albert Boadella was create a more historical correct Don Carlo by Verdi. So he starts off with putting up the the opera in El Escorial. Escorial is after all mentioned in the opera but non of the action is set there. The places in opera is San Yuste monastery in Extremadura, the Royal Palace in Madrid and in the Queen's Garden there. Outdoors in.a Plaza in Madrid for the auto-da-fe and a prison. The opera is played in the hyper-modern Theatre Auditorio in San Lorenzo de El Escorial. The royal building and monastery called just Escorial in the opera is just some hundreds of meters of The Theatre. El Escorial is a big area with several villages and it an hour away from Madrid.

To make the opera or indeed Schillers play more historical is not easy. Historical correctness was not really something Schiller or later the librettist cared too much about. Schiller did try to get the History Right but in the en it was more important to get the drama right, a compelling story. Lucky as the drama was made into an opera it got a better structure and is much more compelling. Historical it is quite false especially the idea that Don Carlos, Infante of Spain and Elisabeth de Valois was ever in love with each other. But first it was Don Carlos who was going to marry Elisabeth. But then it became obvious that Don Carlos was not the right person and the alliance between France and Spain could only be strengthened by the French King's daughter marry the King of Spain, not just the heir of The Spanish throne.

One of the most interesting conflicts in the opera is between the throne and the altar. How long must the throne bend before the altar. In reality Philip 2 of Spain supported Inquisition fully. Assumed guilty was the King's idea of justice. There was conflict often between The king of Spain and the Pope. Philip believed himself closer to God than the Pope. The Pope was not just a religious leader at this time but a sovereign that often went to war and not always for religious reason. Philip made everything for God. The only acceptable faith was the Roman Catholic faith and that meant all Spaniards should follow Philips. Philip was King, Prophet and Priest, and naturally best pals with God. He often made decisions with the firm belief that God would perform the miracles Philip needed. Europe's history might have seen most different if Philip had been more of a realist than a fanatic.

Don Carlos and Elisabeth de Valois was the same age and died in the same year, a terrible year for poor Philip. The only woman that Don Carlos respected and never was uncivil towards Elisabeth. Maybe Boadella was right that Don Carlos loved Elisabeth with an infantile love. There was nothing in Don Carlos to compel Elisabeth to fall in love in, but there was reasons for compassion.  The marriage between Philip and Elisabeth was a happy one. She was his third wife, his second marriage with Maria Tudor of England had not been a happy one, so Philip was devastated when she died because of childbirth. To loose the heir of a kingdom is always a disaster and Philip never wanted Don Carlos dead even as difficult he was and in the end Philip could no longer delude himself that it would be a good idea to have this strange, dangerous person on the Throne of Spain.

The idea of Rodrigo of Rosa is a creation of the times of Schiller who wrote Don Carlo also as a commentary of new idea in politics in Germany. The idealism of Rodrigo does not belong to the century of Philip 2 of Spain. In El Escorial Don Carlos was played as a hunchback with a lame leg and with many nervous ticks. Still someone to trust to change the life of all in the Netherlands. Maybe it was then. The truth about Don Carlos is that he looked at Netherlands and wrote letters to leaders there as he was on the way to treason, and later he attacked his father with a knife or tried. It was popular to tell that Philip killed his son (it was a Protestant rumor). Later a former secretary of Philip, who had managed to run from Spain to England with Death sentence on him. This Secretary Perez had some underhanded affaire with the Princess of Eboli, so he started another rumor that Philip and had an adulterous affair with her. The Princess was dead by that time.

I had come to El Escorial to see an extraordinary Don Carlos but I had seen almost every new thing before. The singing was excellent and the orchestra too. It was a little too much to hint as Elisabeth and Carlos had been childhood friends in the figurines. Eboli looked like historical Eboli with her eye patch. Elisabeth de Valois looked like her historical portrait, same with Philip II but Don Carlos looked too mature but sounded young enough. Don Carlos was unattractive buy the voice was divine.

This was the 4 act Italian version played in the 3 pieces. I love this version but then Rodrigo dies, LACRYMOSA. Until Lacrymosa we have drama going on and working wonderful but then we have "the wonder father-son duet". But it is so illogical and it doesn't fit. Drama just stop up, hi belcanto for no reason, and the scene with fizzles away.

Last act and also the whole opera quietly fizzles away with unnecessary "Carlo il grande imperatore".


OD Travel & Photos
Original blog post

For more reviews from my travels, see www.operaduetstravel.com If you want to see more photos from my OperaDuets Travels, go to www.operaduetsphotos.com

July 25, 2013: Nabucco in Verona

2013-07-25 Nabucco (Verdi), Arena di Verona 

Nabucco = Ivan Inverardi
Ismaele = Lorenzo Decaro
Zaccaria = Vitalij Kowaljow
Abigaille = Lucrecia Garcia
Fenena = Sanya Anastasia
High Priest of Belo = Abramo Rosalen
Abdallo = Carlo Bosi
Anna = Maria Letizia Grosselli

Julian Kovatchev, conductor

Director - Gianfranco de Bosio

Set - Rinaldo Olivieri



I loved this production. All seamed so historial correct. And then we had this wonderful Abigaille, Lucrecia Garcia. She really made it all so perfect. Nobody shone like her in this show. Of course, it would not have worked without the other singers, the chorus and orchestra w/conductor. I love Abigaille!!! Lucrecia Garcia is certainly a singer I would love to see and hear more.

OD Travel & Photos
Original blog post

For more reviews from my travels, see www.operaduetstravel.com If you want to see more photos from my OperaDuets Travels, go to www.operaduetsphotos.com

July 25, 2003: Jose Cura in Munich

2003-07-25 Opera Concert, Gasteig Munich

Jose Cura, tenor & conductor

Tullio Gagliardo, conductor


I came to Munich on the day of the concert. After first getting to my hotel, and a nice hot shower, my first task was to find the venue. GASTEIG. And after looking here and there I also found out which building the hall itself was in. The hall was called Philharmonie. After getting something to eat, Stachus McDonalds I was back in time, more people was there, some in gala dress other more normally dressed.

I meet Yvonne, my Swiss friend, and by a coincidence our tickets showed that we sitting next to each-other. Met more Cura fans later. The hall was not totally packed, it was some empty seats here and there. Then the orchestra members came in, not in a very orderly fashion, but they played beautifully, it is after all a professional opera orchestra.

The sound of a harp, and Cura is singing Deserto sulla terra from Trovatore, beginning from offstage, and coming in singing.
Giuseppe Verdi:
IL TROVATORE - Deserto sulla terra
Jose Cura, tenor Tullio Gagliardo, conducts
"Guten Abend" . He conducts a wonderful interpretation of the Overture of Nabucco.
NABUCCO - Ouverture
Jose Cura, conducts
The other conductor comes in, he gets a big hand from the audience. And the wonderful aria that Corrado sings in the beginning of the opera Corsaro, is almost perfectly sung by Cura. The orchestra is very good in following Cura and Gagliardo
IL CORSARO - Ah si, ben dite...Tutto parea sorridere
Jose Cura, tenor Tullio Gagliardo, conducts
An ovation of applause, at the moment when the applause is lessening, one suddenly hears Cura's voice "O figli, o figli miei". It seem to the utterly shattering for Cura to sing this immensely sad aria. A man grieving the loss of his children and his wife. My fatherly hand was not there to protect you, my children dying, crying after their father. José Cura must have really dug into the feeling, a family man himself. BRAVO Cura!
MACBETH - O figli...Ah, la paterna mano
Jose Cura, tenor Tullio Gagliardo, conducts
After a short while Cura came back alone to conduct the overture from La Forza del Destino, a fiendishly difficult piece to conduct. The twist and turns of the music, the different dynamics. But my impression is very good. Cura is a good conductor. Even if this orchestra naturally must have done this piece many times, without a good conductor, they would get lost here.
LA FORZA DEL DESTINO - Overture
Jose Cura, conducts
My favorite aria, conducted by Gagliardo, sung by Cura. A wonderful clarinettist sets the feeling/emotion on the right spot. The best La vita e inferno/O tu che in seno agli angeli, ever. Everybody was overwhelmed by this aria.
LA FORZA DEL DESTINO - La vita è inferno
Jose Cura, tenor Tullio Gagliardo, conducts
Tullio Gagliardo back onstage to conduct Intermezzo from Pagliacci, I could not understand why. I thought Cura would conduct all the instrumental pieces. But then I understand the intermezzo goes straight over to Vesti la giubba, which Cura really being Canio there. He starts on the floor, sitting on the stage. It is really wonderfully operatic
Ruggiero Leoncavallo:
I PAGLIACCI - Intermezzo / Vesti la giubba
Tullio Gagliardo, conducts Jose Cura, tenor

PAUSE

Again another wonderful clarinet-solo starts yet another wonderful aria sung by José Cura. Beautifully done. A masterpiece.
Giacomo Puccini:
TOSCA - E lucevan le stelle
Jose Cura, tenor Tullio Gagliardo, conducts
José Cura starts before we are finished applauding a perfect E Lucevan le stelle, and he launches into a passionate and desperate Addio, fiorito asil from Madama Butterfly. A very short aria, but Cura put all into it. What a concert!
MADAMA BUTTERFLY - Addio, fiorito asil
Jose Cura, tenor Tullio Gagliardo, conducts
What a surprise Le Villi in the program. Naturally I would have love Cura to sing the long aria from Le Villi. But to experience him conducting the Witch Dance from Le Villi was also great. A bit short, though. More, please!!!!
LE VILLI - La tregenda
Jose Cura, conducts
Puccini's music is never more modern than in Il Tabarro, and this is very verismo and dark. Cura actually managed to make this opera aria, dark and almost disharmonic into one of my favorites. Not when I listened to it in the Puccini CD, but here in Munich July 25th, 2003. BRAVO!!
IL TABARRO - Hai ben ragione
Jose Cura, tenor Tullio Gagliardo, conducts
Water bottle to the stage. "It is hot"... "Why do we have to be dressed like Penguins, we should be doing it in jeans and T-shirts"..."Let's give another one, Maestro!" And the he starts with a wonderful rendition of Non piangere, Liú!!!
TURANDOT - Non piangere, Liú
Jose Cura, tenor Tullio Gagliardo, conducts
And as the end of the official program, the Argentine aria from Aurora, the song of the Argentine flag. He never does a less than perfect rendition of the aria. After all, he is a proud Argentine. Naturally it is in Spanish.
Hector Panizza:
AURORA - Intermezzo epico
Jose Cura, tenor Tullio Gagliardo, conducts

BRAVO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Extras:
1. Puccini: MANON LESCAUT - Tra voi belle, brune, bionde
Jose Cura sings and conducts, the violinists use their violins as guitars. Cura tells that in Regensburg 2 days ago, the musicians were acting as students (Manon Lescaut, act 1), doing the middle section Ha Ha, laughing. "But this is such a serious place"

2. Brahms: Ungarische Tanz. Jose Cura, conducts I thought it was Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody or something. But in Verona after Carmen on July 29, Cura told me it was Brahms Hungarian Dances.

3. Puccini: TURANDOT - Nessun dorma
Jose Cura, tenor Tullio Gagliardo, conducts
Before Cura sang Nessun dorma he told us that "2 hours ago I got a telephone from Verona, they want me sung 2 more Turandot, so tomorrow I must sing Turandot in Verona... But, you know, I am tired" He did sang Turandot on July the 26th, the day after this concert. He was also due to sing the last on August the 2nd, but at last the toll on Jose did get on him, so Cura got sick, and another tenor replaced him.

End of concert, but Jose Cura has to do some signing and being photographed for almost an hour, before he can go... It was 2300 when he left, and I and bunch of other Cura fans, sat a long time together in a restaurant not far from the Gasteig. So it was really late when I came back to my hotel. But since I was luckily persuaded by my wonderful Swiss friend to take a taxi, I was there a bit over 1 in the night. I would have loved to see Turandot again with Cura, this time maybe the complete opera, with the complete love-duet. But I thought, I save money and my poor head... I'll rest tomorrow.

Bravi tutti!

Bravo, Jose Cura!

OD Travel + Photos

Monday, July 24, 2017

July 24, 2013: Il Trovatore in Verona

2013-07-24 Il Trovatore (G. Verdi), Arena di Verona

Count of Luna = Dalibor Jenis
Leonora = Leah Crocetto
Azucena = Andrea Ulbrich
Manrico = Carlo Ventre
Ferrando = Sergej Artamonov
Ines = Elena Borin
Ruiz = Paolo Antognetti
An old gipsy = Victor Garcia Sierra
A messenger = Cristiano Olivieri

Giuliano Carella, conductor

Director and sets designer - Franco Zeffirelli
Costumes - Raimonda Gaetani
Choreography - El Camborio ripresa da Lucia Real
Fencing master - Renzo Musumeci Greco



IL TROVATORE, Arena di Verona 2013-07-24.

Trovatore was finally set in the right time. The Middle Ages. The great towers was on the stage. Like in Macerata it was played as a 2 act opera. Scene changes was smooth. Extra music was added for the zingaras, and there was castagnettes and much dancing. The zingaras and their dancing and music also came to the Di Luna men and their siege.

OD Travel & Photos
Original blog post



For more reviews from my travels, see www.operaduetstravel.com If you want to see more photos from my OperaDuets Travels, go to www.operaduetsphotos.com

July 24, 2010: Agnes Baltsa in Munich

2010-07-24 Liederabend Agnes Baltsa, Bayerische Staatsoper (Munich)

Agnes Baltsa, mezzo
Achilleas Wastor, piano


The recital was wonderful. Prinzregententheater is much smaller than Nationaltheater and it was completely full. Agnes Baltsa is very popular in Munich. But the small size and with so many people meant that it was warm and the air inside became thick especially by the the second part. The pianist was sweating. The piano was suffering. And even Agnes Baltsa got tired in the end. But she still sang not only the whole program but her 2 encores: Garifollo st'afti, and "Stay with me" by a famous Greek composer named K(something). Agnes Baltsa told me herself the meaning of the song (or tried to) and said the composer's name (but sadly I don't remember more of it).

Mános Hadjidákis (*1925 Xanthi - †1994 Athen)
Peribanou
(Klavier solo)

Stavros Xarhákos (*I939 Athen)
Áspri méra ke ja mas (Es werden glücklichere Tage kommen, auch für uns)

Míkis Theodorákis (*1925 Khios)
To tréno févgi stis ochtó (Der Zug fährt um acht ab)

Mános Hadjidákis
Óniro pedión tis gitoniás (Die Träume der Nachbarskinder)

Vassílis Tsitsánis (*1915 Trikala - †1984 London)
Horisam’ ena dilino (Und eines Tages hatten wir uns auseinandergelebt)
Sinefiasmeni kiriaki (An einem regnerischen Sonntag)
(Klavier solo)

Stavros Xarhákos
Stou Óthona ta hrónia [Zur Zeit von König Otto)
Háthike to fegári (Der verlorene Mond)

Vassílis Tsitsánis
Archóntissa (Meine Edelfrau)
Ta kavourákia (Die Krabben)

---- PAUSE ----

Míkis Theodorákis
Hartaetí (Drachensteigen)
(Klavier solo)

Spíros Peristéris (*1900 Smyrna - †1966 Athen)
Mes ston ondá enós Passá (Im Privatgemach eines Paschas)

Mános Hadjidákis
O tachitrómos péthane (Der junge Postbote starb)

Stavros Xarhákos
To praktorío (Die einsame Station]

Mános Hadjidákis
Nihterino (Nocturne)
Kalamatianos
Megali sousfa
(Klavier solo)

Stavros Xarhákos
Varkaróla (Barkarole)

Mános Hadjidákis
Páme mia wólto sto fegári (Spazieren wir zum Mond)

Stavros Xarhákos
Nin ke aí (Jetzt und für immer)

The Pianist only smiled when Agnes Baltsa was taking the bow with him. Alone he often looked stern. Agnes Baltsa was all smiles. Even to the man in the front row who took many photos even when she was singing. This time she really enjoyed the photographs being taken, and what a treat that was. And then even a Signierstunde, things could not be better.

OD Travel + Photos

Original blog post: Agnes Baltsa: "Stay with me" by K, regrets or no?

For more reviews from my travels, see www.operaduetstravel.com If you want to see more photos from my OperaDuets Travels, go to www.operaduetsphotos.com

July 24, 1985: Fledermaus in Vienna (Volksoper in der Staatsoper)

1985-07-24 Die Fledermaus (Johann Strauss), Wiener Staatsoper

Gabriel von Eisenstein, Rentier = Harald Serafin
Rosalinde, seine Frau = Mirjana Irosch
Frank, Gefangnisdirektor = Karl Dönch
Prinz Orlofsky = Claudia Eder
Alfred, Gesangslehrer = Richard Karczykowski
Dr. Falke, Notar = Russell Smythe
Dr. Blind, Advokat = Heinz Hellberg
Adele, Stubenmädchen = Ilonka Szep
Ida, ihre Schwester = Guggi Löwinger
Frosch, Gerichtsdiener = Ossy Kolmann

Franz Bauer- Theussl, conductor


The Wiener Volksoper in the State Opera. The difference with Volksoper and Staatsoper is not just the ticket price, it is status, and it is repertory and language. Volksoper gives operetta and opera in German language. The Staatsoper gives opera in the original language, it was not always so but always was Staatsoper big brother and Volksoper little brother. In recent years only Jánácek's Jenufa was played in Staatsoper in another language as the original (Czech) in German.

And also in Fledermaus we couldn't understand the Austrian jokes. But it was wonderful.

OD Travel

Sunday, July 23, 2017

July 23, 2014: Josep Carreras in Dalhalla, Sweden

2014-07-23 The Legendary Tenor José Carreras, Dalhalla, Sweden 

José Carreras, tenor
Simge Büyükedes, soprano

Stockholm Concert Orchestra

David Giménez, conductor



THE LEGENDARY TENOR JOSÉ CARRERAS

On July 23rd, 2014 is it exactly 20 years since Birgit Nilsson opened the first Dalhalla festival with her concert. So this is the Jubilee Concert for Dalhalla. Josep Carreras was chosen to do the special Jubilee Concert as he is now a legend himself. Many years ago he sang with Birgit Nilsson in Tosca (in the US) and she refered to him as "her baby Cavaradossi".

Simge Büyükedes was the unknown quantity in this concert and she was the one who sang opera arias in the concert, the famous ones from Rusalka and La Wally. She was born in Istanbul, Turkey. A wonderful soprano voice that is like velvet. The weather that had threatened the concert with thunders, lightnings and heavy rains that luckily stopped in time of the concert begin at 2100 might have had an effect on her voice as it in the second half seemed to loose some of the strength. A slight cold could be hard on the voice. Josep Carreras was as he is nowadays a strong voice but not so subtle as when he was younger, no wonder when the man is over 67 years old. Nevertheless this was a party of well song canciones, musical tunes, zarzuela and opera arias. The Majesties of Sweden was there. And there were encores and Bravos and Bravas. The man holding it all together was David Gimenez conducting STockholm Concert Orchestra.


PROGRAM
1
1. Verdi: NABUCCO - Ouverture (Orchestra)
2. Donizetti: Te voglio bene Assaje (Carreras)
3. Tosti: L'ultima canzone (Carreras)
4. Dvorak: RUSALKA - Song to the Moon (Büyükede)
5. Albeniz: El eco de tu voz (Carreras)
6. Rubas: Rosó - pel teu amor (Carreras)
7. LA WALLY - Ebben ne andro lontana (Büyükede)
8. Bizet: L'Arlesienne suite - Farandole (Orchestra)
9. Leigh: THE MAN OF LA MACHA - The Impossible Dream (Carreras)

2
10. Rendine: Vurria (Carreras)
11. Valente: Passione (Carreras)
12. Delibes: Les filles de Cadiz (Büyükede)
13. Satie: Je te veux (Carreras & Büyükede)
14. Jimenez: LA BODA DE LUIS ALONSO - Intermedio (Orchestra)
15. Barbieri: EL BARBERILLO DE LAVAPIES  - Cancion de Paloma (Büyükede)
16. Caballero: EL DUO DE LA  AFRICANA - Duo y Jota (Carreras & Büyükede)
17. Cardillo: Core n'grato (Carreras)

ENCORES

1. Gitarra Romana (Carreras)
2.  I Could Have Danced All NIght (Büyükede)
3. Non ti scordar di me (Carreras & Büyükede)
4. Torna a Surriento (Carreras)

5. Libiamo ne lieti calici (Carreras & Büyükede)

OD Travel & Photos
Original blog post

For more reviews from my travels, see www.operaduetstravel.com If you want to see more photos from my OperaDuets Travels, go to www.operaduetsphotos.com

July 23, 2013: La Traviata om Verona

2013-07-23 La Traviata (G. Verdi), Arena di Verona 

Violetta Valéry = Elena Mosuc
Alfredo Germont = Matthew Polenzani
Giorgio Germont = Artur Rucinski
Flora Bervoix = Chiara Fracasso
Annina = Alice Marini
Gastone = Stefano Consolini
Baron Douphol = Federico Longhi
Marchese D'Obigny = Dario Giorgelè
Doctor Grenvil = Victor Garcia Sierra
Giuseppe = Antonio Feltracco
Domestico/Commissionario = Gabriele Ribis

Andrea Battiston, conductor

Director, sets, costumes and lighting designer - Hugo De Ana

Choreography - Leda Lojodice




LA TRAVIATA, Arena di Verona 2013-07-23

Traviata and Trovatore, two of the greatest classics of Opera. And in Verona, finally Regie that is true and real. Hugo de Ana's Traviata had only one fault, in preludio to the opera and the preludio to the last act, he just had to remind us that Violetta is dead and everything is to be told. 3 great frames (like to old paintiings) was the stage. The middle frames was naturally the main stage. But it was still true to the time of Violetta. Loved it, and Elena Mosuc was great as Violetta!!


.OD Travel & Photos
Original blog post

For more reviews from my travels, see www.operaduetstravel.com If you want to see more photos from my OperaDuets Travels, go to www.operaduetsphotos.com

July 23, 1995: Josep Carreras in Aarhus, Denmark

1995-07- 23 Opera Galla, Århus idrætspark

Sissel Kyrkjebø, singer
Ilona Tokody, soprano
Josep Carreras, tenor

David Gimenez, conductor


SISSEL KYRKJEBØ I FRILUFTSKONSERT MED JOSE CARRERAS

Århus (NTB-RB): Sissel Kyrkjebø deltok sammen med verdensstjernene Jose Carreras fra Spania og Ilona Tokody fra Ungarn på en operagalla i Århus søndag kveld. Dronning Margrethe og flere tusen tilhørere var til stede under friluftskonserten i Århus Idrætspark. Sissel innledet forestillingen med blant annet Griegs "Solveigs sang", "Summertime" fra Gershwins opera "Porgy and Bess" og "Climb every mountain" fra musicalen "Sound of Music".

Vel er vår sangfugl gift med en danske og populær i Danmark, men de fleste tilhørerne som hadde rigget seg til med tepper, vin og kaffekanner i den litt kjølige Århuskvelden, var nok først og fremst kommet for å høre den spanske supertenoren Carreras.

Ikke mindre enn fem ekstranumre måtte de tre sangerne gi. Carreras måtte nok holde sin store stemme litt igjen under det aller siste nummeret sammen med de to kvinnelige solistene, vennsskapssangen fra OL i Barcelona 1992.

Idrætsparkens 75-års jubileumsfest ble avsluttet med et overdådig fyrverkeri.

OD Travel + Photos

July 23, 1985: Wiener Blut, Kammeroper Wien (Vienna)

1985-07-23 Wiener Blut (Johann Strauss), Kammeroper Wien

Fürst Ypsheim-Gindelbach, Premierminister von Reuss-Schleiz-Greiz = Joseph-Rene Rumpold
Balduin, Graf Zedlau, Gesandter von ReuB-Schleiz-Greiz = Reinhard Brussmann
Gabriele, his wife = Sabine Rossert
Graf Bitowski = Martin Viktor
Demoiselle Franziska Cagliari, Tanzerin im Karntnertor- Theater in Wien = Margarita Touschek
Kagler, ihr Vater, Karussellbesitzer = Helmut Amon
Josef, Kammerdiener d. Grafen = Franz Supper
Pepi Pleininger, Probiermamsell = Gabriele Salzbacher
Ein Stubenmadchen bei Demoiselle Cagliar = Silvia Prey
Ein Fiakerkutscher = Anton Kurzbock

Hans Zauner, conductor


Holiday in Vienna with opera/operetta. The music was charming but naturally we didn't understand the German jokes, or I should really say Viennese jokes. What remember most is going back from the Schönbrunn Castle, it was dark but still quite hot, my mum and I saw on a building showing both the time/ temperature. So it was almost midnight but is was 23 C (or more I can't remember).

OD Travel

Saturday, July 22, 2017

July 22, 2013: Un Ballo in Maschera in Milano

2013-07-22 Un Ballo in Maschera (Verdi), Teatro alla Scala, Milano

Riccardo = Marcelo Alvarez
Amelia = Sondra Radvanovsky
Renato = Zeljko Lucic
Ulrica = Marianne Cornetti
Oscar = Serena Gamberoni
Sam = Fernando Rado
Tom = Simon Lim
Silvano = Alessio Arduini
Minister of Justice = Andrzej Glowienka
Un servo d’Amelia = Giuseppe Bellanca

Daniele Rustioni, conductor

Staging - Damiano Michieletto
Sets- Paolo Fantin
Costumes - Carla Teti

Lights - Alessandro Carletti


UN BALLO IN MASCHERA, Teatro alla Scala 2013-07-22.


The Boston version. But now updated to 2013. Vote for Riccardo 2013, incorrotta gloria!! Marianne Cornetti sang Ulrica, and just look at her, blonde and dressed in white. No African-American praying to Satan here. Ulrica is here a miracle worker and we see it, blind see, people rise up from walking again. Marcelo Alvarez was stupendous as Riccardo. Luckily he was not made into a blonde like poor Amelia.  One could hardly recognise Sondra Radvanovsky with her blonde hair. Making her into a desperate middle-aged women with brown skirts and brown trousers. She was great!! Oscar was in this production a secretary and without any doubt a woman, a young woman. No boy here. In  2013 no man can just kill his wife for adultery and think it is going to be right. And really it was in this scene the regie got most things wrong. The child is inside with the father and Amelia is singing her heart out outside. Who can hear it? The change of heart plausible. The child there as Tom and Sam arrive... No, I don't think they got it right. Un ballo in maschera, but nobody is carrying masks or dressed as anyone other than themselves. A play with placards of Riccardo in human size. Then Riccardo dies but first he becomes a ghost and Amelia is mouthing what he is singing as she is reading a paper. Now, that end worked. BUT!!!!!!


For more reviews from my travels, see www.operaduetstravel.com If you want to see more photos from my OperaDuets Travels, go to www.operaduetsphotos.com

July 22, 2004: Greek songs in Regensburg

2004-07-22 Greek night, Thurn und Taxis Schlossfestspiele (Regensburg)

Agnes Baltsa, mezzo
State Orchestra of Hellenic Music
Stavros Xarhakos, conductor


Stavros Xarhakos: Otan horeve i Frinta*
(As Frinta danced)
Stavros Xarhakos: Áspri méra ke ya mas (There will be better days, even for us)
Mikis Theodorakis: To tréno févgi stis októ (The train leaves at eight)
Manos Hadjidakis: Óniro pedión tis gitoniás (Dream of urban children)
Stavros Xarhakos: Nikterino paliou pathous*
(Nocturne of ancient passion)
Stavros Xarhakos: Stou Óthona ta hrónia (When Otto was king)
Stavros Xarhakos: Hathike to fegari (The lost moon)
Vasilis Tsitsanis: Arhóntissa (Princess of my heart)
Vasilis Tsitsanis: Ta kavourakia

Pause

Stavros Xarhakos: O sinthesis taxidevi sto potami* (The composer sails in the river)
Spiros Peristeris: Mes'ton onta enos passa (In private room)
Manos Hadjidakis: O tahidrómos (The postman)
Stavros Xarhakos: To praktorio (The lonely station)
Stavros Xarhakos: Stis skies trion filon* (In the shadow of three friends)
Stavros Xarhakos: Varkarólla (Barcarolle)
Manos Hadjidakis: Dioxe ti lipi palikari (Leave you sorrow behind, young man)
Stavros Xarhakos: Nin ke ai (Now and forever)

Extra:
Manos Hadjidakis: Garífallo st' aftí (A carnation behind your ear)

* for orchestra

I took the train to Regensburg. At 1215 I was in Regensburg HBF, my hotel is not far from here. In Thurn und Taxis Schlossfestspiele 2004 my second Greek night with Agnes Baltsa and Xarhakos conducting. The exactly same program as in Ingolstadt. I think Ingolstadt was the better concert, others thought that this one was slightly better.

Maybe it was my seat, the audience (from where I was seated) did not react so enthusiastically as in Ingolstadt. And I had the misfortune to have Xarhakos standing right in front of Agnes Baltsa, I could mostly just see her hands, and I was sitting next to someone who was not quiet... And maybe the head-ache I had before going to the concertwasn't the best prelude to a concert... The loud-speakers where OK, but the orchestra seem not to have good balance, but then the orchestra was not in the center of the stage, it was more in the left (as seen from the audience). Agnes Baltsa was enjoying herself and the orchestra and pushed Xarhakos to bow for the audience, just likein the other concert, and the audience responded enthusiastically.

Personally I really loved the Ingolstadt concert, Regensburg was beautiful, but not quite the top's.

State Orchestra of Hellenic Music
Stavros Xarhakos, Leitung

Programm:
„Lieder meiner Heimat“ – von Mikis Theodorakis,
Stavros Xarhakos u.a.

OD Travel + Photos

July 22, 1987: Der Graf von Luxemburg, Bad Ischl

1987-07-22 Der Graf von Luxemburg (Lehar), Kurhaus Bad Ischl

Rene, Graf von Luxemburg = Karl Lobensommer
Fürst Basil Basilowitsch = Peter Branoff
Gräfin Stasa Kokozow = Getraud Eckert
Armand Brissard = Joey Pflüger
Juliette Vermont = Gaby Bischof
Angele Didier = Kristina Mickel

Eduard Macku, conductor



I seem to remember that we went to two different operettas in Bad Ischl during the operetta festival weeks. Any way it was very spesial to be in Bad Ischl and I enjoyed this operetta very much.

OD Travel

Friday, July 21, 2017

July 21, 2013: Aida in Verona

2013-07-21 Aida (Verdi), Arena di Verona

The King = Carlo Cigni
Amneris = Daniela  Barcellona
Aida = Hui He
Radamès = Jorge de León
Ramfis = Marco Spotti
Amonasro = Alberto Mastromarino
A messenger = Riccardo Botta
High Priestess = Elena Rossi

Omer Meir Wellber, conductor

Director - Carlus Padrissa e Alex Ollé / La Fura dels Baus
Set - Roland Olbeter
Assistant Director / Choreographer - Valentina  Carrasco
Costumes - Chu Uroz

Lighting designer - Paolo Mazzon


AIDA, Arena di Verona 2013-07-21. Regie by Fura del Baus. Hui He was an amazing AIDA, Jorge de Leon was a lovely Radames and Daniela Barcellona excelled as Amneris.

The costumes was great to OK. Aida is on Egypt so why not make an extra story about the British Museum taking artifacts from Egypt. Well, first because this is opera staged and no film, so it is not working nor is it needed. The Regista must really love moving heavy objects around because it was happening all the time also at delicate musical times. And it really did not add anything of worth to the opera. Only distractions. The crocodiles in act 2 was also a distraction. Mechanical animals, camels and elephants. Cute, but... Was the whipping of the Ethiopian prisioners really necessary and why dressed like that? And all those in orange suits...


Musically speaking it was a triumph, especially the 3 protagonists and orchestra and chorus. The ballett, no. Really, no. Hui He carried the opera. The was the focus point. Alberto Mastromarino was a superb Amonasro. I saw a wonderful AIDA in 2005, please, bring it back!!!!


For more reviews from my travels, see www.operaduetstravel.com If you want to see more photos from my OperaDuets Travels, go to www.operaduetsphotos.com

July 21, 2004: Greek songs in Ingolstadt

2004-07-21 Greek songs, Ingolstadt

Agnes Baltsa, mezzo
State Orchestra of Hellenic Music
Stavros Xarhakos, conductor



Stavros Xarhakos: Otan horeve i Frinta*
(As Frinta danced)
Stavros Xarhakos: Áspri méra ke ya mas (There will be better days, even for us)
Mikis Theodorakis: To tréno févgi stis októ (The train leaves at eight)
Manos Hadjidakis: Óniro pedión tis gitoniás (Dream of urban children)
Stavros Xarhakos: Nikterino paliou pathous*
(Nocturne of ancient passion)
Stavros Xarhakos: Stou Óthona ta hrónia (When Otto was king)
Stavros Xarhakos: Hathike to fegari (The lost moon)
Vasilis Tsitsanis: Arhóntissa (Princess of my heart)
Vasilis Tsitsanis: Ta kavourakia

Pause

Stavros Xarhakos: O sinthesis taxidevi sto potami* (The composer sails in the river)
Spiros Peristeris: Mes'ton onta enos passa (In private room)
Manos Hadjidakis: O tahidrómos (The postman)
Stavros Xarhakos: To praktorio (The lonely station)
Stavros Xarhakos: Stis skies trion filon* (In the shadow of three friends)
Stavros Xarhakos: Varkarólla (Barcarolle)
Manos Hadjidakis: Dioxe ti lipi palikari (Leave you sorrow behind, young man)
Stavros Xarhakos: Nin ke ai (Now and forever)

Extra:
Manos Hadjidakis: Garífallo st' aftí (A carnation behind your ear)

* for orchestra

State Orchestra of Hellenic Music
Stavros Xarhakos, conductor

Programm:
„Lieder meiner Heimat“ – von Mikis Theodorakis,
Stavros Xarhakos u.a.

I took Bus X109 to Ingolstadt 1707 (Kurt-Huber-strasse) and 1826 Bus 70 to Theodor-Heuss-Brucke direct at my hotel ARA comfort. Still time went fast, and soon I took the taxi to Reduit Tilly for the Greek night with Agnes Baltsa & Stavros Xarhakos
(conductor, composer). It was a wonderful night. Many of the known songs from the CD "Songs my Country taught me", Garifollo stafti (Extra number), Aspri mera, Oniro pedion tis gitonias, Varkarola, Arhontissa, O tahidromos. Stou Othona la hronia, To treno stis okto, and 6 songs that were new for me. They were all wonderfully song, but the loudspeakers was too loud, it was almost painful to my ear.



After a wonderful concert, taxi back to my hotel, I was back in my hotel room at approx 2330.

OD Travel + Photos