Sunday, February 5, 2017

February 5, 2000: Carmen in Berlin

2000-02-05 Carmen (G. Bizet), Deutsche Oper Berlin

Carmen = Agnes Baltsa
Don José = Alberto Cupido
Micaela = Michaela Kaune
Escamillo = Ludovic Tézier
Zuniga = Arutjun Kotchinian
Frasquita = Esther Lee
Mercedes = Mariana Cioromila
Morales = Kay Stiefermann
Remendado = Uwe Peper
Dancairo = Morten Ernst Lassen
Lillas Pastia = Frido Meyer-Wolff
Andres = Ulrich George

Ralf Weikert, conductor




DEUTSCHE OPER BERLIN
Saturday, 5. February 2000
Time: 19.00-22.30 hrs
Georges Bizet
Carmen
Conductor: Ralf Weikert (Jiri Kout)
Regie: Thomas M. Zipf
Scenography: Pier Luigi Samaritani
Choir: Helmut Sonne
Choreography: Klaus Beelitz

OPERA COMIQUE
with spoken dialogue
FIRST TIME for me: AGNES BALTSA live AS CARMEN
My first time in Berlin, too, but that's another story. It was not Agnes Baltsa's first time in Deutsche Oper Berlin. She really seemed to enjoy herself. Her voice was velvetly. In the beginning she seemed to be suffering from a cold. Maybe that cold had prevented her from singing Carmen in Zurich in January. To describe this evening in the Deutsche Oper, I must invoke the video from Metropolitan with Baltsa/Carreras. That was February 1987, 13 years ago. (My favourite video)-
Act 1: Much more beautiful setting in Berlin, than the Met. The people seemed more real. Beautiful dresses for the city folks. Morales (Kay Stiefermann, for an indisposed Peter Edelman) was funnier than the townspeople. Michaela (M. Kaune) was very pleasing in her singing and acting. More exciting than the Met. Zuniga was very imposing, great bass, this Aruntjun Kotchinian. Alberto Cupido, beautiful tenor voice, a real pleasure! The french dialogue was better spoken in the Met. AGNES BALTSA, incredible how she made Act 1 more exciting than I could have imagined it possible. When she was standing still, not even singing, just like all electricity was in her body. She was throwing some voltages to poor Don Jose. Agnes Baltsa even better than in video, how is it possible!!!
Act 2: The Lillas Pastia Tavern is really outside Sevilla, almost in the mountains. Quite understandable that the smugglers chose this place to be their rendevouz ordinaire. CHANSON BOHEMIENNE!!!. Agnes Baltsa is throwing herself into the singing/dancing. Beautiful voices from Mercedes & Frasquita. Escamillo (Ludovic Tezier), he is thrilling. Carmen is the only one not interested in him. Escamillo is singing the Toreador's Song and I am watching Carmen. Baltsa is thrilling in just being there, on stage, as Carmen.
Smugglers Quintet. Great. Loved sitting there listening for Agnes Baltsa's voice among all voices. Then Don Jose comes in. Although Alberto Cupido sings the Flower Song really well, has a beautiful voice. There is nothing wrong in his acting abilities. I long for the thrill (no 'that') Carreras brings in the video from the Met. SHE is great. The greatest moment of this act is "Non, tu ne m'aimes pas". That is simply GREAT. But the extra thrill is lacking. (It could be just because I am a Carreras fan, but...)
Zuniga, who is sung by an extraordinary bass, comes in. Or rather forces himself in. Breaking in, ridiculing Jose. Naturally the duel. Carmen makes the joke go to him, Zuniga, calling the other smugglers. For the first time, I realized that Don Jose could have chosen not to become a smuggler. It would have been another jail-sentence....
Act 3: A dangerous spot in the mountains. More reality than in the Met. What a great chorus Deutsche Oper has. So clear the voices ring. GREAT AGNES BALTSA!! Cardscene!! thrills upon thrills. The dialogue with the Guide, was better than in the Met. Not so exaggerating. MICHAELA Kaune sang the aria, with all what you can want. Duet/Duell Jose/Escamillo another highlight. CARMEN saves Escamillo!!. Fury from Don Jose. Then Michaela is found, the Ensembles is caressing my ears.
Act 4: Lovely scene outside the Arena. Maximum use of little place, and few people. Seems more than it is. Grand Parade! Duettino Escamillo/Carmen, Mercedes/Frasquita warn Carmen. GRAND DUET Jose/Carmen. ALL HIGHLIGHTS!!


Carmen = AGNES BALTSA
great singing, acting and dialogue
Her Carmen is wild, only one Law (her own)
More persuading than ever! More Electricity! Fantasy Carmen!
Don Jose = ALBERTO CUPIDO
great tenor voice, beautiful voice!
Difficult to hear what he is saying
Michaela = Michaela Kaune
Great Soprano voice
Acting and dialogue
Escamillo = Ludovic Tézier
Toreador's Song Great
Better than Ramey?
great voice, acting, dialogue
Zuniga = Arutjun Kotchinian
What a Voice!!!!
Greater than most Basses!
Personality!!

FRASQUITA = Esther Lee (Cornelia Götz)
MERCEDES = Mariana Cioromila
MORALES = Kay Stiefermann (Peter Edelmann)
REMENDADO = Uwe Peper
DANCAIRO = Morten Ernst Lassen
LILLAS PASTIA = Frido Meyer-Wolff
ANDRES = Ulrich George

OD Travel

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