Saturday, 7 March 2015

Vincenzo Bellini, I Puritani - Wiener Staatsoper

Performance 6th March

After some time I finally visited the Vienna state opera again to see and hear Bellini's final opera I Puritani. Another wonderful Bellini opera full of beautiful tunes and singing.
The production of John Dew (stage: Heinz Balthes, costumes: José Manuel Vasquez) was incredibly boring and really bad in my opinion. Even though the costumes (at least the ones of Elvira and the queen) were fine. All the other singers (including the choir) had this strange asian-puritan mix of clothes which just seemed totally out of place. And besides that, I always thought we were past those times when singers would just stand at the front stage and sing their stuff!
Marco Armiliato conducted the orchestra of the Vienna state opera very gently with great balance between delicate melodies and ravishing rhythms. He had full control over every single rubato and other tricky parts and still made it sound like it was the easiest thing. How very delightful to hear Bellini conducted and played so well. Also the choir of the Vienna state opera did very well and contributed their part very professionally.
The role of Sir Bruno Roberton was sung by Carlos Osuna who has a strong tenor voice with a very unique timbre. I don't know what exactly it was but he did a good job anyway. Sorin Coliban sang Elvira's father, Lord Gualtiero Valton, and gave a wonderful portrayal with a very authoritarian and noble voice. His profound voice radiated great superiority and wisdom.
Jongmin Park as Sir Giorgi also had a very profound voice with great power but his timbre is way smoother and his voice sounds more gently. Nevertheless he sang very beautifully and gave a great example of Belcanto for deep voices.
As the queen Enriquetta di Francia we heard young mezzo Ilseyar Khayrullova who has a really strong and deep voice. Such a warm timbre and an exemplary profundity! It was a pleasure to listen to her deep lines being sung so wonderfully.
Carlos Álvarez sang Sir Riccardo Forth, the opera's "villain", and gave a solid performance. He has a very strong voice with great power in any register. The timbre is heroic but also delicate in sound. He managed the part very well and delighted us with great Belcanto singing.
John Tessier performed the really demanding role of Lord Arturo Talbot. This very high tenor role calls for a high f (f5) in the final Aria "Credeasi misera" and is composed very high in general. Tessier managed this part very bravely and it seemed that he did not have any problems with the role at all. He sang it very delicate and with great ease. The only thing that did not please me totally was the timbre of his voice. I missed the virility of his timbre sometimes because his voice sounds quite sterile from time to time. Nevertheless he did a fine job facing this incredibly difficult part.
My personal highlight was russian soprano Olga Peretyatko as Elvira. What a singer! She is the absolute epitome of grace, both, vocally and physically. Her light coloratura soprano voice sounds clearly like an angel's voice and her coloraturas are so easygoing that one could think that the part was written for her. And even though her voice is a very light one she still has great stamina in all registers (even in her lower register she has quite some power). Just some of the high notes could have been a little bit stronger, but her performance was breathtaking anyway. I was genuinely impressed by her amazing singing and I would love to see her again soon.
The performance was really great and I enjoyed it very much. So I would give 8 stars for Vienna's Puritani.

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