Saturday, 24 January 2015

Franz Schubert, Alfonso und Estrella - Mozartwoche Salzburg, Haus für Mozart

Performance 23rd January

As part of this year's Mozartwoche festival I was able to hear another Schubert opera in a concert performance. Antonello Manacorda conducted the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg and the Salzburger Bachchor. All together they made a great performance possible. The only problem was the piece itself. Compared to Fierrabras it seemed like a very boring piece that was a first try to write something big for the stage (even though it is not really an early work). I thought that the libretto was quite boring and a bit ridiculous. The music also had some nice tunes but was not really what I would call exciting, but now more about the singers.
Mayumi Sawada sang the role of a girl and did a fine job with a very delicate but strong voice. Only her diction could have been a little better, but her voice was really beautiful and gave us some lovely minutes.
Benjamin Hulett sang the leader of the King's guard and a youngling. He also sang very beautifully and especially his duet scenes with Sawada were really lovely.
Alastair Miles as Adolfo was one of the highlights of the evening. His voice seems to be predestined for evil roles. The very dark timbre and his dramatic behaviour made his performance really authentic and thrilling. He never had any problems to be covered and I personally liked his songs the most.
As King Mauregato we heard  Michael Nagy who also has a quite powerful profound voice with a less heroic but more noble timbre as Miles. His portrayal of the insecure King was really interesting and I liked his performance quite well.
Markus Werba sang the old King Froila and did a fine job with this role. Even though his voice seemed a little bit too "young" for an old King and he sometimes had problems to sing over the orchestra he sang the role quite adequately. I am always amazed by his quite unique voice because it has a very light but still heroic timbre which is very interesting to me.
In the role of Estrella we heard Mojca Erdmann who once again proved that her voice is too small to sing German romantic repertory. There were several moments when you just could not hear the glimpse of a tone from her even though she was singing. She might sing very beautifully (even though I sometimes don not like the way she does her phrasing) but she definitely has a big stamina issue (even Sawada had a bigger voice than her).
Toby Spence on the other hand was maybe one of the best singers of the evening. His quite light and lyric tenor voice has enough power to be heard over the orchestra and his whole interpretation was very tasteful and convincing. Especially his scenes with Markus Werba were really nice because their voices matched quite well.
I did enjoy the whole evening but it was not really exciting so I give the performance 7 stars.
✰- - 

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