Friday, March 23, 2018

March 23, 2006: La Favorite in Zurich

2006-03-23 La Favorite (Donizetti), Opernhaus Zurich

Leonor de Guzman = Vesselina Kasarova
Fernand = Fabio Sartori
Inez = Jaël Azzaretti
Alphonse = Roberto Servile
Balthazar = Carlo Colombara
Don Gaspar = Eric Huchet

Marc Minkowski, conductor

La Favorite - Donizetti
In französischer Sprache

Dirigent Marc Minkowski
Inszenierung Philippe Sireuil
Bühnenbild Vincent Lemaire
Kostüme Jorge Jara
Choreographie Avi Kaiser
Choreinstudierung Jürg Hämmerli
Lichtgestaltung Hans-Rudolf Kunz

First time that I saw Vesselina Kasarova live. And I liked the mezzo voice. Only wish it was La Favorita and not La Favorite. O mio Fernando would have been better than O mon Fernand. But today everybody likes to have the original. Well I think Favorita in Italian is better than Favorite in French. But will the operahouses nowadays dare to take the Italian Version that used to be more popular than the French (times has always been changing that). Nice voice, nice acting, nice woman, Kasarova. Unfortunately I found her voice not always as florid as I wished.

Jaël Azzaretti (Inez) was marvelous. Loved her singing. And Carlo Colombara (Balthazar) was as always wonderful, how I love his voice, deep and sonorous. Fabio Sartori (Fernand) has a good voice, beautiful and had he been slimmer then I would understand why Leonor fell for him. One was not always so aware of physical appearance when one listen to such a voice and he was also act, so he became Fernand. Roberto Servile (Alphonse) was not an ideal Alphonse, so unlike Carlos Alvarez in Vienna who I found very attractive as the King. Roberto Servile still had some great moments with Leonor but his thick and not so florid singing gave some rough moments.

The production: very nice scenography but unfortunately the team who created this Favorite had not believed this bel-canto opera good enough to stand on its own feet. La Favorite and the story here need not any more symbolism, just let it unfold. The director though he had good ideas, Fernand is only dreaming this etc. Just let us believe it, that the people and their feelings are real.

But worst of all the ballet, it was actually booed, not something that I believe happened frequently in Zurich. The King is throwing a party/ an entertainment for his mistress, the Favorite, Leonor. But the ballet is an insult to Leonor and an insult to the audience, do you really believe we are stupid, that we do not see the injustice to the women, the double morale. It was really such a disappointment to have that ballet moment done that way right in the middle of a fine opera evening. IT WAS JUST A VERY stupid IDEA.

It was the ballet alone that made a FIVE of even SIX star production become just a 3 star. Luckily the ballet did not end the opera, but it was life a knife in your heart that one. SENSELESS, stupid. Thank God, Carlo Colombara was singing in the last act, his aria was just really the best thing in the whole evening. What a voice!!!!

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