Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mimi Harteros and Rodolfo Grigolo in TCE

I don't like Puccini. I actually hate "La Bohème"! So -you may ask- why the heck I would go to Le théâtre des Champs-Élysées (TCE) and listen to this horrid opera?! The answer is Anja Harteros. I was completely flabbergasted by her Elsa in "Lohengrin" which I saw last summer in Munich: the production was all about Jonas Kaufmann and he was very good, but Anja completely stole the show.
Her voice is big enough, her harmonics are beautifully composed and very different in live from what you get from her recordings, her vocal dexterity is impressive, and she sings all the high notes with an astonishing ease. Combined with Vittorio Grigolo -an excellent young tenor- I had my guarantee for a good evening.

And good it was! Anja was head and shoulders above the rest, Vittorio sang beautifully too,  The Bayrische Staatsoper orchestra was magnificent as usual, the other singers were good too, and so I survived "La Bohème" ;)

Hope Anja will be back here and sing something else [anything but Mimi ;) ]

Asher Fisch, direction
Anja Harteros, Mimi
Vittorio Grigolo, Rodolfo
Elena Tsallagova, Musetta
Levente Molnar, Marcello
Christian Rieger, Schaunard
Christian van Horn, Colline
Alfred Kuhn, Benoît
Rüdiger Trebes, Alcindoro
John Chest, un douanier
ll Hong, un sergent des douanes
Nam Won Huh, Parpignol
Orchestre de la Bayerische Staatsoper
Choeur de la Bayerische Staatsoper, direction Andrés Máspero
Maîtrise de Radio France, direction Sofi Jeannin

Watch out for Elena Tsallagova - very good Musetta last night.

Vittorio Grigolo is pushing his voice far too much and may become a new short-lived wonder: he now DOES sound wonderful but while hitting the high notes you can see his face becoming red. But I mean VERY red!

It was unfortunately a rare occasion to listen to Anja Harteros singing in Paris. Her voice is not as huge as Anna Netrebko's but it is far more agile. Here is her take on Elettra (Idomeneo) which must be one of the all time bests.

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