Friday, 8 April 2016

Gioachino Rossini, Il Turco in Italia - Landestheater Salzburg

Performance 3rd April

 “Costa Crusies“ is written on the front of the cruise liner that dominates the scenery of Marco Dott’s staging. The Allucsion to the Costa Concordia which foundered in 2012 is clear. Also some assumptions why the ship foundered is presented on stage. The adequate stage design and costumes were created by Karl-Heinz Steck. The setting suggests that the acting persons are on the ship, too: Don Geronio as captain, Don Narciso as chief officer und all the other as guests on the trip. Therefor the team used some clichés: Asians taking pictures with their mobile phone, a mother with her grown-up son, treated by her as if he were under 10, a group of drunken people, who would have fit better to a party on Mallorca and so on. Selim didn’t arrive with a ship in “Italia” but, of course, with a helicopter. For this purpose the supertitles were adapted. Using the revolving stage different places on the ship were presented to the audience: sun terrace, the captain’s bedroom or the bridge. As a direction mistake the scene of Don Narciso’s aria “Tu seconda il mio disegno“ could be seen: the singing gets secondary and in centre of the attention is the couple on deck. After the masked ball at which all were dressed as sea dweller or something like that there was a clear quotation from “Titanic”. Both: from scenery and musical. This could also be a definitely hint to the end of the production: the cruise line founders. At the same time the poet Prosdomico sings about the “lieto fine”. That’s why the end of the production seems to be absolutely unexpected and not really understandable. A production that shows some weaknesses and one that loses some esprit in the course of the evening.
Adrian Kelly has been in charge of the artistic direction of the concert as well as playing the pianoforte, which he both coped superiorly with. The Mozarteum Orchester provided the usual good quality, too. Especially the brass section and its soloists were playing excellently. Unfortunately, the orchestra was too loud for the singers depending on the position of the singers and their vocal range, which at last could hardly be heard. Simon Schnorr was convincing as Prosdocimo. He played his role discriminatingly and precisely. The baritone also could bring in his abilities as an actor convincingly. Hannah Bradbury sang the role of Fiorilla. The coloraturas didn't seem to be a problem for her. All lyric phrases were sung self-confidentially and well-shaped. Her rival: Rowan Hellier as Zaide. During the argument with Fiorilla Hellier convinced with a dramatic voice otherwise with a warmer and lyric voice. Unfortunately, both Pietro di Bianco (Selim) and Sergio Foresti (Don Geronio) were struggling with the coloraturas, which haven't been sung precisely. But they were convincing in the parlando. Don Narciso was sung by Carlos Cadoso. The tenor, who according to his biography has already sung a lot of roles by Rossini, coped very well with that role. He coped easily with coloraturas as well as high notes. Only in a low range in the parlando he could hardly be heard accompanied by the orchestra.
A production, that shows weaknesses and excellences, which amused the audiences. 7 stars.
Reviewed by Katharina Schiller


  1. Interesting to read your review. Will watch it again soon. I have never heard coloratura for the role of Don Geronio though. To my knowledge, there is only 'parlando'.

    1. Katharina Schiller24 April 2016 at 13:36

      oh, you're right. I just had a closer look to the notes to be sure about this. But it sounded like coloraturas in the tutti-numbers. I really didn't hear him singing text...
      Maybe I will watch it again and pay more attention to this.