Friday, 11 March 2016

Giuseppe Verdi, Il trovatore - Bayerische Staatsoper, Nationaltheater

Performance 10th March 

The performance of Verdi’s most popular opera for the composer’s lifetime at the Bavarian State Opera last Thursday was really a great moment. The gloomy atmosphere of Olivier Py’s staging and Pierre-André Weitz’ black scenery seemed extremely appropriate for this opera, because there is simply nothing cheerful about the storyline of this opera. A gipsy woman burns her child by accident and the only survivor of the triangle of two men and the woman they both love is the real sufferer when he tragically has to realize that he is the one to blame for the death of his beloved and his longlost brother at the end of the opera.
The revolving stage at this house was used perfectly and showed many different scenes: a stage onstage, where Ferrando could tell the story at the beginning of the opera, the gipsies’ home with a huge locomotive that was used as an anvil during the gipsy choir, an impressively burning big cross that reinforced the terrible fire of the stake that burns inside of Manrico and smaller rooms onstage as a bedroom or a jail. The figures always were in motion and the scenery showed credible interactions between them. Even if the many cogwheels as some kind of curtain and the spinning wheels on the walls of the scenery stayed ambivalent, I loved this production.
Goran Jurić sung Ferrando solidly and even if you could have wished a little bit more vigorous effect of his voice for his narration at the beginning of the opera, he did a fine job.
The Conte di Luna was performed very sovereignly by Igor Golovatenko. With his massive and authoritarian baritone voice he could arouse the tyrant that is driven by jealousy and stops at nothing to get what he wants very vividly.
Nadia Krasteva’s gipsy woman Azucena was thrilling. As spectator you just had to buy her desire for vengeance because of her passionate acting and singing.
The role of Leonora was sung by Julianna Di Giacomo who has got a very multilayered voice. She was able to convince the audience with her ability to sing phrases with great flexibility and a strict control of volume from the low up to the high register. It was like she could adjust her voice perfectly to the particular orchestration. Only her highest tones seemed a little bit strained which ultimately did not affect the listening experience negatively.
Younghoon Lee is a superior tenor that is able to call a very powerful and heroic voice his own. He performed his part of Manrico very varied and while using many different colors with his voice, he was always reliable in all registers. At some parts his voice had a wonderful sobbing timbre and then at parts that required volume, he could deliver a vibrant sound. For example at his demanding aria „Di quella pira l’orrendo foco“ it felt like he would sing his incredibly intense last and highest tone for ages. Justifiably he was rewarded by the hugest applause of the audience after the performance.
As known by everyone the Bayerisches Staatsorchester ranks among the best orchestras for opera worldwide. Antonello Allemandi’s interpretation of the score was stimulatingly propulsive and geared to the singers precisely.
For this performance with its exciting staging, a brilliant cast and an at full blast playing orchestra I give 9 stars.
Reviewed by Lukas Leipfinger

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