Monday, 23 February 2015

Vincenzo Bellini, La Sonnambula - Salzburger Landestheater

Premiere performance 22nd February

Yesterday I attended the premiere of La Sonnambula at the Salzburger Landestheater which I was really looking forward to because it is one of my favorite Bellini operas. The production of Agnessa Nefjodov (costumes and staging: Eva Musil) was not too bad but also not really good. Many ideas did not really work out and they left a lot of questions unsolved in the end. Surely not one of the best productions of the Landestheater.
Conductor Lorenzo Coladonato conducted very tastefull with a sense for Bellini's neverending melodies and the not less important rhythmical accentuation. The Mozarteum Orchester also did a fine job without any issues and performed this lovely work very delicately. The choir (Chor des Salzburger Landestheater) also did a fine job and managed the several choir passages appropriately and nicely.
Min-Yong Kang as Notaro had just a very short appearance but did well in it. Also Ugur Okay was fine in the role of Allesio which could have been a little greater. In the role of Teresa, the mother, we heard Anna Maria Dur, who has a very strong wagnerproven mezzosoprano with a warm timbre. She portrayed the loving mother very nicely and did a great job with her performance.
Alexey Birkus as Il Conte Rodolfo sang also very well with noble tone. This role obviously fits his voice way better than the role of Sarastro! This time he really gave a spotless performance.
Someone I really liked was Hannah Bradbury as Lisa. She has a nice instrument with a very clear and strong upper register. Besides, she acted really greatly in this unfortunately very unsympathetic role. I really enjoyed her performance a lot.
Maybe the highlight of the evening was 27-year old tenor Pavel Kolgatin in the role of Elvino. What a lovely lyric tenor voice! But also his physical appearance was really nice and the female part of the audience surely would have loved to be his beloved. He gave a really great performance with clear and tastefull singing. A very impressing moment was the climax before Rodolfo's first appearance where Kolgatin held his final not (I think it was a A-flat) incredibly long. He finished almost together with the orchestra which really impressed me a lot.
I wish Lavinia Bini as Amina had impressed me like that. First I have to say that she mostly did a really good job with a angel-like voice, delicate pianissimi and a very strong stamina. Unfortunately she seems to be out of her comfort zone above the high c. Several times she had issues of intonation in her upper register and she skipped the optional high e-flats in her first cabaletta and the first act finale. The e-flat(s) in the finale aria also did not happen (even though she tried...). Moreover they cut half of her final aria "Ah non giunge" (I do not know if it was her decision, but it is just really stupid to cut the most famous aria of the whole aria). I really think that if you sing this role your e-flats should be there when needed (and those optional high notes are not really optional in my opinion). Singing Amina without her high e-flats is like singing Lucia without her high notes, just not appropriate. Nevertheless she did a great job except of that and that is why I would still give 7 stars to the performance.
✰- - 

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