Monday, 8 June 2015

Antonio Caldara, Dafne - Salzburger Landestheater, Heckentheater Mirabell

Premiere performance 7th June

What an extraordinary experience! Yesterday the Salzburger Landestheater brought a lovely opera from Antonio Caldara on the stage of the hedge theatre in the gardens of Mirabell. Hearing this music in such a cozy and elegant atmosphere is maybe the highlight of the Landestheater productions of this season.
Directed by Marco Dott and equipped by Bettina Richter the evening was a great success. The whole producion is simple, does not need much on the stage and shows that they really thought through the whole opera. Many lovely details and some marvelous ideas to support the plot made this production genuinely adoreable. For me it was a great example of simple elegance. The wonderful overall impression is also triggered by the interesting idea that every protagonist has a statue double (represented by 4 dancers). The imaginative choreography by Josef Vesely was great, very artistic and elegant, but still funny with great mimic details.
Vesely (Aminta's statue) himself jumped in for an injured collegue and danced together with Anastasia Bertinshaw (Dafne's statue), Iure de Castro (Febo's statue) and Andrii Lytvynenko (Peneo's statue).
I was most impressed by Bertinshaw and de Castro for they personified their roles so elegant and convincing that it was a pleasure to watch them. Bertinshaw really looks like a greek statue with her graceful elegant apperance (who would not fall in love with her) and also de Castro posed like a real greek god. Particularly funny were the several moments when the statues reacted to the humans making selfies and photos with them. I really had some great laughs during the performance due to the funny ideas.
But now to the musical part: Peter Ewaldt conducted the Mozarteumorchester with great elegance as well and accompanied his singers very appropriately and tastefully. The orchestra seemed to feel very comfortable with this music and performed it genuinely wonderfully with a great sense of phrasing.
Dafne's father Peneo was sung by Marcell Bakonyi who has a very noble voice which is capable of transmitting emotions very well. Especially his appearance with the bag full of touristic stuff was very entertaining.
Armin Gramer sang the role of Febo and gave a nice performance with his gentle even counter tenor voice. He impressed with great agility and very good acting (especially that he turns quite unsympathetic continuosly during the whole opera).
Kristofer Lundin sang Aminta, Dafne's other lover, and did that very beautifully. His youthful tenor has quite some stamina but also a very gentle timbre. I thought his character was quite heartbreaking and I always felt a little bit sorry for his character. Nevertheless he gave a very convincing and fine performance. I am pretty sure that he will sing some major roles in the closer future  for he seems to have a really good voice.
Dafne herself was sung by Hannah Bradbury with a clear beautiful and gentle light soprano voice. I wonder why she is not used for main roles more often. Her voice is chrystal clear with a strong but still light timbre. I loved how she created the contrast between impulsive young girl in the beginning and the broken disappointed woman in the end.
So finally I can say that this performance was an enormous pleasure to watch and hear. I highly recommend everyone who has the possibility to witness one of the following performances to do so because it genuinely is an experience not to be missed!!
Therefore: 9 stars from me.

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