Fidelio (in concert), Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris, February 21 2011
Kurt Masur ..... conductor
Melanie Diener ..... Leonore
Burkhard Fritz ..... Florestan
Matthias Goerne ..... Pizzaro
Kurt Rydl ..... Rocco
Sophie Karthäuser ..... Marzelline
Werner Güra ..... Jaquino
Bálint Szabó ..... Fernando
Orchestre National de France and Choeur de Radio France
It's been crazy/busy these days on this end -- thus less frequent blog posts.
I was able to see the content of the 2011-2012 season at the Paris Opera which instantly cut my appetite for opera - so I wasn't in too good opera-mood, to say the least. Happily there are still a few good promising shows to see at Bastille this season and then as far as opera is concerned I will look elsewhere more often than it was the case until now.
I'll try and update the list of new productions to be presented in 2011-2012 across Europe, so check out the list on the right side of this modest [yet marvelous ;)] blog.
I should also post a review on a sensationally successful production of Hérodiade at the Flanders Opera that I cleverly picked to go and see [Sunday, 9 days ago.]
This entry instead is a quick report on the concert I was able to attend last night at Théâtre des Champs Elysées (TCE). I feel I should say a word about this concert because it will be repeated tomorrow night and I hope I could urge some of you who could make it to TCE and listen to this concert live, because of the very good cast, and especially sensationally string Leonora/Fidelio by Melanie Diener. She has a perfect voice for the role, with perfectly solid gravi and impressively sound high register, delightfully powerful and clean (no problem with intonation as we often see the high-volume singers struggling to do correctly)
The rest of the cast is very good too. Burkhard Fritz maybe cannot match the way Jonas Kaufmann sculpts Florestan, but he makes a strong impression, with a good command and apparent ease in his singing [I was not impressed by his Lohengrin in Berlin a couple of years ago, but this Florestan is perfectly within his grip.] I guess Matthias Goerne and Kurt Rydl could have exchanged the roles. Matthias' velvety warm timbre would have sat better with Rocco, and Kurt Rydl's vocal darkness would suit better Pizzaro. Always pleasant to listen to, Bálint Szabó and Werner Güra completed the cast of male singers, while Sophie Karthäuser made a promising debut role as Marzelline. They were all very good but the homogeneity of the cast was positively disturbed by a dazzling performance by Melanie Diener. It's just astonishing how rock-solid, sane and safe her singing is.
The orchestra was OK. I've heard them performing better but --all things considered-- this was a fine performance too. In fact it all started clumsily as the brass section was systematically too loud, and the famously good strings could not cut through to reestablish the balance in the orchestral texture. 10-15 mins later the things started to click right and the rest of the performance was good. At the same time, first 20 mins were too loud for the singers too. Since this was the first time I could hear Sophie Karthäuser and Werner Güra singing in this opera, I couldn't know if they were too weak or it was rather Kurt Masur who was not careful, but later on it became clear that the conductor was not particularly attentive. Kurt Masur opted for fast tempi and I was impressed with the singers who adapted to this fast paced Fidelio quite well. Kurt Masur is a legend and he of course received long series of cheers by enthusiastic crowd. To me, on the other hand, this evening will be remembered as the one when Melanie Diener has set a bar very high for singing this role.
The singers were in the middle of the orchestra and since I was sitting very close to the stage I could not see them properly and so I took only a few pics.
|The only pic with Melanie Diener I could take [none with Szabó, Güra or Goerne...]|
The concert will be radio broadcast on France Musique on March 19 2011, at 7 pm (CET)