Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Max Bruch, Die Loreley - Münchner Rundfunkorchester, Prinzregententheater

Performance 23rd November

For the second Sonntagskonzert of the Münchner Rundfunkorchester I once again made my way to Munich for another rarity of the opera repertory: Max Bruch's Loreley.
The opera, which premiered in 1863 is very traditional and was already outdated when it premiered. The music sounds like from 40 years earlier most of the time. Nevertheless there are some great melodies and lovely ensembles.
Stefan Blunier conducted the orchestra very clear and showed many interesting details of the score. He found the perfect balance between the intimate parts and the great choral scenes. The orchestra once again showed that they are able to perform an opera with great virtuosity and great musical taste. The Prager Philharmonischer Chor also gave the audience chills during the many choir scenes. They were able to display many kinds of atmospheres, from the myserious scenes on the banks of the Rhine to the great scenes at the wedding. But also the cast was very well chosen and gave a magnificent performance.
Sebastian Campione as Hubert (Lenore's father) was singing very beautifully with great power and a very expressive but also noble bass voice. He handled his part with fine musicality and pointed out the beautiful vocal lines of the score.
The archbishop was sung by Thomas Hamberger who has a very powerful authoritarian voice with a very profound gravity. His voice matched the role of the high priest really well and he knew how to radiate his power.
Reinald the minstrel was performed by Jan-Hendrik Rootering who is a quite well known singer for German repertory. He did a good job although his voice sometimes sounded very nasal and his diction could have been better as well.
Benedikt Eder sang the small role of Leupold (Otto's servant). He seemed to be very young but his voice already sounded quite mature with a very noble timbre and a very gentle tone.
Another small role with a great singer was the role of the Winzerin, which was sung by greek soprano Danae Kontora. What a lovely voice and what a beautiful woman! Her light soprano has an incredibly delicate sound and is pure like the voice of an angel. She managed within her short song to thrill the audience from the first note she sang. Bravo!
Magdalena Hinterdobler performed the role of Bertha (Otto's wife) and also did a great job. Her lyric soprano has enough power to surpass the orchestra but also sounds very beautifully and delicate at the same time. Her great cavatine in the second act was one of the big highlights and was rewarded by immense applause.
Pfalzgraf Otto was sung by Thomas Mohr has a definitely Wagner-proven tenor voice. His stamina is exemplary although he sometimes sounded quite strained in the higher register. Nevertheless he found a good balance between dramatic and lyric singing and holded out the whole evening.
Lenore, later Loreley, was sung by soprano Michaela Kaune who has a very beautiful voice with quite clean transitions between the registers and a lovely timbre. She managed to show the different shades of the characters vocally (first very lyric singing, towards the end getting very dramatic). Sometimes I had the feeling she did not feel totally comfortable in the higher register but she did not fail at any moment. Her final Loreley-song was very beautifully performed and had something magic.
All in all I would give the performance 7 stars.
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