Sunday, January 23, 2011

Tristan in Weimar

Franco Farina turned his Tristan adventure into a major success. How could you expect this to happen? He has a thing for heavy Verdian roles, but Tristan is a whole different 'beast'. And yet he managed to sing it through as if it was a piece of cake -- with incredible vocal freshness in Act-3. Definitely one of the most compelling Tristan we were able to listen to in years.
Like everyone else Farina too was struggling with "piani" in the middle of Act-2, but what he was able to pull in Act-3 was beyond astonishing!
It remains to be seen if he can sustain this level of singing for a longer period of time. In any case for his first take on Tristan he deserves a huge BRAVO!  Marion Ammann's Isolde didn't lack stamina either: very powerful performance by this mighty lady in this humanly-sized theater!

Triumphant Marion Ammann and Franco Farina

I'm unsure what to think about Karsten Wiegand's show: there were good (Act-1), bad (Act-2) moments, and a bit of both in Act-3 (I liked his loopy Faust in Berlin with Poplavskaya, Castronovo and Pape, and I loved his Stuarda - which I thought was a lesson of audacity! Tristan is maybe just too big?)

Will post more about the last night's premiere tomorrow... Now I have a train to catch.


  1. Well, it's obviously easier to sing Tristan in such a small (?) house, but that's precisely why we love small houses.
    Speaking of Tristans in small houses, there will be an interesting Tristan in Augsburg in the spring, with your dear Christiane Libor as Isolde alternating with the local star Sally Du Randt (a very interesting singer in general, but Isolde? Good luck to her anyway!). The conductor will be Dirk Kaftan, GMD of the house and former deputy GMD in Graz when the GMD was Philippe Jordan : Kaftan is just as young as Le petit Suisse, but far more lively and interesting (maybe not another Afkham, but worth a try). Director will be Rosamund Gilmore, and Brangäne will be Kerstin Descher from the company, very good singer too. I'm there on April 22nd...

  2. Aah thanks for that. Libor as Isolde should be a blast!

    Weimar is not that small a theater. Its capacity is close to that of the Prinzregententheater in Munich, with a difference that there're two galleries in Weimar (very steep, like at Bastille)

    Farina would have probably struggled in a larger auditorium but that wasn't a case in Weimar. He was really unbelievable so that the traditionally reserved German crowd went nuts during teh curtain calls.