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Subject: Re: ANNA BOLENA WITH GRUBEROVA
From: "Gabriel M. Kuper" <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 8 Nov 1995 10:26:57 +0100
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> On the Italian National Radio Station was broadcasted directly from Opera in
> Munich last saturday evening the live performanceperformance of Donizetti's
> ANNA BOLENA. Here the cast;

I saw it twice (last time on Monday), but not the opening which
was probably what you heard. Since you described the musical side,
I'll start with the production, which was fairly conventional. Rather
simple sets--just a few walls, and doors plus a few props.
Act 2, scene 2 had a big open box on the back of the stage where
you could see the judges deliberating. The direction of the singers
was also quite straightforward--so there's not much to say, other than it
was a good, conventional production. (I can't resist mentioning that
the critic in the SZ suggested that this, rather than Parsifal, would
be a more appropriate opera for a more original production...the standard
German attitude to these "second-rate" italian works in action....)
>
> I received the audio well so I can start giving my impression of the
> broadcast music. May be I'll be in Munich and see it on stage and so write
> more about.

Remember that Nicolesco takes over in December. I think Gruberova
doesn't come back in the role until July. Let me know if you need tickets (I'll
probably be in the queue for festival tickets in January--hopefully
it won't start more than 3 days ahead of time--so if you need tickets, let me
know...)

Not much more I can say, except that I agree with most of your comments.

> Here the Tempo is correct, enough slow where is needed and enough fast to
> underline the quick ends of the "strette finali" (I am sorry but I do not
> know the english term for the quick end of the scenes with multiple
> singers). Luisi is good too with singers and is able to create the correct
> feeling between then and the orchestra, supporting them when they need.
> Enough for a good director of course. But I would have expected more
> brillant sound, more atmosphere and more "abbandono" (let yourself go )
> during the most sentimental pages. That makes a great romantic director. May

I haven't been very impressed with Luisi in the past, but do I think he did
better than usual this time (maybe because he actually got some
reheasal time?...)

> Bros sung everything correctly and passed safely  the difficoulties of this
> rule. He solved the part well, I think, and he gave the real romantic tone
> to his Percy; he underlined all the romantic passages showing that he
> exactly knew how a belcanto romantic tenor should sing, not pnly  with good
> tecnique but with a particular style. Unlikely there is something wrong with

I'm not so sure. For this opera his technique was fine. But he did seem to be
careful negotiating even simple turns, making me rather doubtful that he
would be as good in more florid music (i.e., Rossini). Good style, legato,
phrasing etc, but I'm not sure about the agility.

> Scandiuzzi felt himself in his part with HEnry the 8th. Safe in all notes he
> gave the darkness of this rule of a king affected by "ubris" the greek therm
> for the power that makes you forget about moral duties. His singing is very
> correct and shows a good tecnique knowledge of singing. He is a fine singer
> indeed. He was clever enough to avoid imitation of Samuel Ramey and painted
> a good and personal portrait of the rule.

Also a very good stage presence (with no Ramey imitation there either...)

> Let me write now about Edita Gruberova. This soprano is  one of the most
> criticized today. Everybody says everything about her singing, fron this
[...]
> This Bolena is is a singing lesson. You'll find in it everything of Belcanto
> contained in the "Garcia": trillo, legato, messa di voce, ecc.. But every
[...]

Her recording (from Hunagry) of Anna Bolena arrived in the stores
here just in time for the premiere, so you can all (when it arrives in the
US,  that is...) listen for yourselves. I'm with Marco (and, I'm sure Akira...
do you have the recording already?)

Gabriel Kuper

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