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Subject: Re: Bayerische Staatsoper's Christmas Trittico
From: Kathy Boyce <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Kathy Boyce <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 8 Jan 2018 16:59:03 -0500
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Westbroek sang a superb Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk at the Met, in addition 
to the Elizabeth from Tannhauser, Francesca de Rimini and the Sieglinde, 
all of which I saw, and possibly others I missed.


On 1/8/18 3:44 PM, Donald Levine wrote:
> I was glad to read your review.  I missed the broadcast, unfortunately.  I
> am also a Trittico freak, especially Tabarro.  I always liked Eva Marie
> Westbroek in Italian roles - she is a super Minnie.  She knows the idiom,
> has a superb mid weight dramatic soprano voice and is thoroughly grounded
> in the style as she was one of the last pupils of Iris Adami Corradetti.
> Her voice has possibly seen too much Wagner of late but her earlier Italian
> opera performances are beautiful.  I've never heard Jaho live but would
> love to get the opportunity.  As far as I know, her only outing at the Met
> was a Violetta in 2008 with Jonas Kaufmann as Alfredo.
>
> Donald
>
> On Mon, Jan 8, 2018 at 1:29 PM, G. Paul Padillo <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
>> I don’t recall reading anything here during the holidays about the live
>> webcast of this from Munich.  I thought it would remain on demand for a
>> few weeks, but apparently this is not the case, and that’s too bad.
>>
>> I watched the live performance on December 23rd and, though I was
>> puzzled by some of the directorial choices and the live video “editing” was
>> riveted from start to finish.  One of the biggest issues I had were the far
>> too frequent shots of Maestro Petrenko in the pit, every excruciating
>> facial
>> expression magnified and screen filing, and too often these came at
>> important points of the score where watching the characters would be the
>> logical choice.  One critic I read mentioned "I've seen symphony concerts
>> that didn't show the conductor as much."  Still, a minor quibble, all
>> things considered
>> considered.
>>
>> The production is by Lotte de Beer and she begins the evening by
>> presenting an odd, silent funeral procession for Tabarro.  One senses
>> immediately, and correctly, that all three operas will take place in this a
>> long tunnel-like set with a “surprise” special effect, which will tie all
>> three
>> together, though after the first, it really wasn’t much of a surprise.
>> Eva Marie Westbroek looked great and sounded better than she typically
>> does in verismo-esque operas.
>>
>> Jonghoon Lee and Wolfgang Koch complete the love triangle, both
>> matching her in intensity, and pouring out plenty of both voice AND
>> drama.  Following Luigi’s murder, Giorgietta doesn’t notice him until the
>> entire rear of the stage spins in a 360 degree rotation, his body flopping
>> upside down as it reached its place of origin.  They all remain onstage, as
>> another funeral takes place, the unhappy couple joining in the procession,
>> slowly lumbering toward the rear of the stage as we hear the opening
>> strains of Suor Angelica.  No intermission.
>>
>> As the crowd clears, we see the young nun, her hair being violently yanked
>> and shorn off by one of the older sisters.  Ermonella Jaho gave one of the
>> most beautifully sung Angelicas in my long experience with this opera, the
>> shading, nuances and complete control of the voice was something to
>> behold on every level.  There isn’t a lot of power in the lower range, but
>> she used her voice wisely and the top opened up with glorious, beautiful
>> tone.  Combined with her acting, it was, as Angelica should always be,
>> absolutely heartbreaking  Michaela Schuster was the Aunt and the path of
>> a more oppressive, formidable old broad you would not want to cross.
>>
>> Jaho’s Angelica is a bit more tomboyish than we usually get, and while a
>> sensitive lass, she’s prone towards fits of violence, particularly when
>> provoked.  When she throws over some furniture, lunges at her auntie and
>> grabs the Princesses’ walking stick you fear for the old woman’s life. I
>> was
>> thrilled by the moment, but it felt like it belonged more to a struggle
>> typical
>> of Alexis and Krystal in the old camp drama “Dynasty.”
>>
>> I did have another "uh oh" moment when, during the “miracle” you
>> couldn’t help but notice her son was strapped within an inch of his life
>> to a
>> chair as we waited for that rotating stage to take another horrifying spin,
>> Exorcist style.   During an intermission interview, it made more sense to
>> me as Jaho described that in this production, Angelica dies in horror and
>> agony, the vision of her son, not a miracle, but actually a nightmare as
>> she
>> dies alone.  I kind of liked that, but still prefer "the miracle" Puccini
>> intended.
>>
>> intended.
>>
>> The least intrusive direction came during “Gianni Schicchi” which was
>> something of a miracle on its own.  The unit set from the previous operas,
>> made perfect foil to the renaissance-inspired costumes and action, making
>> the entire thing look like an Old Masters painting come to life.  Ambrogio
>> Maestri toned down and dignified a bit his Falstaff presenting Schicchi in
>> an
>> absolutely delightful impersonation.  Bonus casting came in the guise of
>> Pavol Breslik as Rinnucio, who sang the opening performances, but for the
>> telecast, fell ill and rendered voiceless.  He went on to mime/act the role
>> while one of the company’s newest members, a young Mexican tenor, sang
>> from the side.  Breslik looked (as ever) sensational and though I can’t
>> know what the effect was like in the house, lip-synched perfectly and over
>> the airwaves “sounded” marvelous.
>>
>> The ovation (I know that’s a dirty word these days) was immense, and
>> lasted long since none of the casts appeared for curtain calls until
>> following
>> Schicchi.  I’m a Trittico nut, so this was a beautiful Christmas treat for
>> me, a
>> and I hope the production shows up soon on demand again.
>> For anyone interested, production photos, a trailer, and a podcast can be
>> viewed by clicking the following link.
>>
>> https://tinyurl.com/y88h7gon
>>
>> p.
>>
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-- 
Kathy Boyce
[log in to unmask]

New Hampshire
And the night shall be filled with music... Longfellow
http://www.cafepress.com/operabayreuth


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