Sunday, 12 July 2015

Richard Wagner, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg - Tiroler Festspiele Erl (Passionsspielhaus)

Premiere performance 11th July

After the impressing Tristan I also attended the second premiere of this year's festival in Erl. The production, again leaded by Gustav Kuhn has a staging concept made by Jaafar Chalabi and costumes by Lenka Radecky. As ususal in Erl the production was quite minimalistic and especially the staging was very simple with only few accents onstage. The costumes changed between historic ones and business style costumes (the basic idea of the production is to take off old things and make place for the new). The wooden scenery was changed depending on the needs of the scene and looked very beautifully. As well did the costumes. The whole stage direction showed many small details and focused on the comic aspects of the opera. Kuhn showed that he knows the opera and its requirements very well and built up a lovely production.
His musical interpretation also was excellently and the orchestra (Orchester der Tiroler Festspiele Erl) gave a virtuos performance throughout the whole evening. The typical counterpoints of this opera were excellently performed by conductor and orchestra and showed how professional they work together.
The choir (Chorakademie der Tiroler Festspiele Erl) also gave a wonderful performance with the several very important choir passages. Especially during the third act the choir showed how to perform the "Festwiese".
Also the Meistersinger themselves were quite enjoyable with lovely voices and delightful acting: Giorgio Valenta as Kunz Vogelsang, Michael Doumas as Hans Foltz, Raphael Sigling as Hans Schwarz, Ulfried Haselsteiner as Ulrich Eißlinger, Nicola Ziccardi as Herman Ortel, Markus Herzog as Augustin Moser, Wolfram Wittekind as Balthasar Zorn and Frederik Baldus as Konrad Nachtigall.
Michael Mrosek, who sang Kurwenal the night before, gave a funny and lovely Fritz Kothner and Adam Horváth a noble Nachtwächter.
Magdalene, who was sung by Anna Lucia Nardi, was a little bit weak and seemed to have issues not to be covered by the orchestra. Iure Ciobanu on the other hand had a very powerful tenor voice and sung a brilliant David with gentle timbre and great phrasing.
Giovanni Battista Parodi's Veit Pogner was solid but also a little bit boring. His voice definitely suited the role but his interpretation could have been a little bit more exciting.
In the role of Beckmesser James Roser gave a excellent performance with a slim baritone voice which he definitely knew how to use. His portrayal of this very malignant character was just thrilling and very convincing. His performance was surely one of the best of the evening.
Ferdinand von Bothmer sang a very light Stolzing with great ease in his upper register. However his voice could have been a little stronger for there was a great difference of power between David and Walter. Unfortunately not to von Bothmer's advantage. Anyway, he gave a fine and solid performance.
Joo-Anne Bitter is the perfect Eva with her very beautiful voice which has a strong and clear timbre. In the beginning she seemed to be a little nervous but after a while her voice gained power, stamina and appeal. I could not imagine a better Eva for her voice just suited the role perfectly. Also her acting was very convincing and was a pleasure to watch.
And now to the secret main protagonist of the opera, Hans Sachs, who was sung by Michael Kupfer-Radecky. He also has the perfect voice for this role with its noble and euphonious timbre. His stamina is quite impressive as well and his diction makes it possible to understand every single syllable. At no point he seemed to be stressed, strained, or even exhausted. His monologues showed great artistry and his acting made the whole characterization perfect. Bravo!
Even though Meistersinger is not really my favorite opera I liked the whole performance very much. Maybe not as much as I liked the Tristan performance the day before but still I was impressed on which level the singers and instrumentalists perform this demanding opera. So I would give 8 stars to Erl's Meistersinger.

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