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Subject: Re: Verdi's LUISA MILLER in Turin
From: L L Koster <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:L L Koster <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 30 Apr 2010 08:52:16 -0700
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Hello, Bonnie.
Thank you for giving us this welcome review of what is happening in Turin with opera production.  Turin is a city I often visit when in Italy, so it is especially interesting to me, but I think we all would welcome more reviews generally from opera-goers in Europe and elsewhere since we have a number of reactions to different US productions, but not nearly enough for me reporting on what is of interest elsewhere from those who have had the good luck to be there.
Thanks again,
Lesley K.



________________________________
From: Bonnie Bonis <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Fri, April 30, 2010 10:47:51 AM
Subject: Verdi's LUISA MILLER in Turin

LUISA MILLER, 24 Apr. 2010, Teatro Regio – Torino


Luisa                Fiorenza Cedolins
Miller                Alberto Gazale
Rodolfo                Massimiliano Pisapia
Count Walter            Orlin Anastassov
Federica                Barbara Di Castri
Wurm                Enrico Iori
Laura                Katarina Nikolic
A Peasant            Dominic Armstrong

cond.                Donato Renzetti
dir.                Denis Krief

Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro Regio


Luisa Miller is an opera I’ve been familiar with ever since I was a kid, though 
this was the first time I’d seen it in the theatre. It’s not one of my favourites 
and I’ve never found it particularly moving, but the performance in Turin last 
Saturday had me in tears for most of the final scene. Maybe I was just in a 
susceptible mood, but I came out of the theatre an emotional wreck.

The singing was uniformly on a high level throughout, though no particular 
artist stood out as the star of the production. Even the tenor sounded good 
and did an excellent job. What I found most remarkable were some of the 
cavernously profound low notes emitted by bass Orlin Anastassov.

The fine singing was accompanied by credible acting, which is probably why I 
found the emotional impact so effective.

The sets were fairly neutral, just plain panels to divide the stage into different 
areas when necessary, and a minimum of objects present, at most a table and 
a couple chairs, a sofa. At times, projections on the backdrop depicted green 
forests and meadows as though that was the view from the window.

The costumes were modern, but unobtrusive. The men from the castle wore 
suits: Wurm had more or less the appearance of a gangster. Miller, who did 
not look particularly old, was dressed in poorer fashion, like a labourer. Luisa 
wore simple dresses, in the last act a housecoat over a long white chemise. 
Federica dressed all in red.

I was struck by the similarities, which I had never noticed before, between 
the final scene of Luisa Miller and that of Trovatore. In both operas, the tenor 
lead is overcome with remorse upon realizing that his dying beloved is 
innocent, and this is expressed in strong musical terms. Then, both operas 
precipitate to their close after the heroine’s lingering demise, with a dramatic 
utterance–on a very similar musical phrase–pertaining to the tenor’s death: 
Azucena’s “Egli era tuo fratello!... Sei vendicata, o madre!” and Rodolfo’s “A te 
sia pena, empio, la morte. … La pena tua, mira.” This device in itself always 
delivers an emotional punch.

Whatever it was that made the performance so affecting, the combination of 
forces put into play at the Teatro Regio resulted in a highly successful 
production, and this latest experience only reinforces my opinion that Turin 
has the best opera house in Italy.

--
Bonnie Bonis
Florence, Italy

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