Saturday, June 4, 2011

5 great opera-concerts at TCE: (3) Pelléas et Mélisande

Pelléas et Mélisande (in concert), Théâtre des Champs Elysées, April 17 2011

Simon Keenlyside, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Natalie Dessay, Louis Langrée, and Laurent Naouri

Louis Langrée ..... Conductor 

Natalie Dessay ...... Mélisande
Simon Keenlyside .....  Pelléas
Marie-Nicole Lemieux ..... Geneviève
Laurent Naouri ..... Golaud
Alain Vernhes ..... Arkel
Khatouna Gadelia ..... Yniold
Nahuel di Pierro .....  Le Médecin

Chœur de l'Orchestre de Paris
Orchestre de Paris

I love this opera because it so wonderfully reflects the impressionism in paintings and the musical miniatures this opera is built from are like those water-lilies floating on the water that reflects the clouds in the sky. Nothing is as it seems to be... the human soul is infinite and beyond the apparent truths there are so many hidden little things that escape our ratios.

In this concert Natalie Dessay,  Laurent Naouri, and  Marie-Nicole Lemieux sang the same roles they did in the Theater an der Wien's production, recently released on DVD (a production that unfortunately completely ignored the impressionist character of the opera, but the singing was very good). This time in the role of Pelléas was Simon Keenlyside. I like Natalie and I think this role suits her very well, but I believe this was one of those situation when she had to let her husband take the limelight: Laurent Naouri's Golaud was perfectly tones, nothing too little, nothing too much -- impeccably pronounced, and the fact that he got the biggest round of applause felt right and Natalie looked particularly proud of him. 

Simon Keenlyside sang with his arm strapped (broken elbow?) but sang the role of Pelléas admirably. I don't believe this is a role for him, but his intelligence showed once again -- I believe he thoroughly studies the role before trying to sing it, and being aware of his good and a little less good sides, he  tries to tame the role and make the best of his abilities.  [Phillip Addis remains my most preferred Pelléas so far -- saw him last year in Paris, at Opéra Comique]

Finally, the Orchestre de Paris was good. There are evidently some special vibes between them and Louis Langrée -- they seem to play much better with him, and this concert wasn't exception to that rule. The only trouble was that Langrée didn't gauge properly the auditorium and the orchestra was too loud most of the time.

Khatouna Gadelia, Simon Keenlyside, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, and Natalie Dessay

Maestro Louis Langrée

If you would like to listen to this concert, here is the link to Radio France Musique [just click on (ré)écouter on the top of the right column and enjoy]

1 comment:

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