Sunday, 19 October 2014

Ludwig van Beethoven, Fidelio - Semperoper Dresden

Performance 16th October

This season I went to Dresden for the first time. For a long time I was wishing to go there and now I took the chance for a performance of Beethoven's Fidelio. The very old production (premiere 1989) of Christine Mielitz (staging and costumes: Peter Heilein) treats subjects of the cold war and transfers the plot into a prison during this time. Although you could tell that it is a very old production it looked fine and worked out really well.
The orchestra (Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden) was really tremendous under the Rainer Mühlbach as conductor. Every single note and phrase was so clear and delicate that I heard details like never before. The orchestra never covered the singers but always supported them very appropriately.
Don Fernando, sung by Alexander Hajek, did a good job during his short appearance. His voice sounded very noble and warm. Don Pizarro was sung by Matthias Henneberg, who I just saw in Strauss' Die Schweigsame Frau in Munich. I liked him better in Munich, but still he gave a good performance with great dramatic sense and a lot of evilness. Simeon Esper sang Jaquino with a nice and very youthful tenor voice. Unfortunately Jaquino is quite unlikeable in this production which was a pity because Esper's singing was really lovely and way better than his character.
Carolina Ullrich from Chile portrayed the role of Marzelline. She sounded quite strong for this role but did not have any problems to perform it appropriately. She sang very delicate during the soft passages and strong during the ensemble scenes.
Georg Zeppenfeld was singing her father Rocco. His voice is quite strong and profound although I would have casted a singer with a stronger and more profound voice. Sometimes his phrasing seemed a little bit stressed in order to sing every single note. In the end his performance was good but mabye not totally perfect for this certain role.
Stephen Gould must have had a very bad evening. While I was very impressed by the dark and strong timbre of his tenor voice he was very disappointing in respect of phrasing and the higher register which is very important for the role of Florestan. He had great issues with the higher notes and was out of tune several times during his opening monologue during act 2. I was quite disappointed because I was really looking forward to see him.
However Christiane Libor as Leonore once again totally blew my mind. Her really strong and still beautiful lyrical soprano suits this role perfectly. Her dramatic outbursts were impressive and her delicate singing very touching. Although I had the feeling that sometimes she had some minor inaccuriacies it did not affect the overall impression. She definitely is one of the leading singers in terms of German repertory and I am looking forward to see her again soon.
The whole production gave me a very pleasent evening and therefore gets 8 stars of me.

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