Saturday, January 30, 2010

Rienzi in Berlin: hot impressions

Just a "quick" post about the second show of Rienzi , finished an hour ago at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. This was my first Rienzi ever and I loved it.

Torsten Kerl proves once again that he is truly excellent a singers/actor - and trust me, Rienzi is a very devillish role to sing (I bet Ben Heppner --who screwed up Lohengrin last night-- would not be able to sing a third of it). BRAVO!

Camilla Nylund was on one of her good nights although the volume is not her forte  (which we already noticed in Paris when she was miscast as Salome). Since tonight`s was a high profile show she was only mildly booed, but the bravos were much-much louder. ;)

Kate Aldrich literally stole the show. That girl had to really dig deep to deliver such a level of intensity in an otherwise unsingable role of Adriano. Impressive effort from this "small" lady and well deserved standing O for her at the end of the show.

Someone should say to Sebastian Lang-Lessing that this production is not about him, nor about the orchestra only; and that he could show some more respect for singers (instead of covering them!). Other than that - a magnificent orchestra lead by an energetic young maestro.

Philipp Stölzl, as expected, soaked a load of boos which I of course disagreed with. I thought the show was brilliant and the director`s interpretation was...err..., say, gutsy. I could understand the boos though: Philipp didn`t leave any space to ambiguities --> his Rienzi is a nasty SOB, a dictator who deserved to end the way he did...Personally, I take my hat off to him for that ;)

As for the best choir in Germany, tonight they were the best choir in the world - and I am not exaggerating ;)


  1. Sorry to read this about Heppner, I was hoping his bad Tristan at ROH, whatever the reason, it wold be circumstantial, and he will be recovered for this Lohengrin...

    I will attend the next sunday (it seems we're crossing paths), I'm crossing my fingers for a good Lohengrin...

  2. Hey Mei,

    Hope you'll see Rienzi/Sunday?! It really is special: it's not usual Wagner, yet you can recognize that brilliance. Plus the recordings are very scarce --> we have basically no knowledge of this opera so you go with no (or just a few) prejudices... BUT what am I saying -- I bet you're going to see Agrippina at UDL? :-)

    As for Heppner, I just posted my take on what I saw the other night. MAYBE he'll sing on Saturday but no way he could survive them all Feb 6, 9 and 12. With that being said, I hope he surprises us all and you had a wonderful evening at DOB ;)

  3. I loved it too!
    Wonderful Wagner music which at times sound a bit italian with a provocative stage direction.
    The choir plays a very important part almost as big as Rienzi-Torsten Kerl.
    Best achievement according me:Torsten Kerl,Kate Aldrich, the choir and the conductor.
    Camilla Nylund (never seen her before) looked as Julia Timoshenko, was she supposed to be Eva Braun or Evita Peron?

  4. LOL @ Timoshenko :) It took me a while to realize who JT is.

    That's a typical "Helga"-hairstyle from the 30's-40's which was very popular among women in Germany.

    That's what's so amazing about this production: in many aspects Stolzl makes it look like it was Germany of the 1930's-40's, but then again Rienzi is a copy of Mussolini. He essentially points at the common denominator to all the dictators: the populism, propaganda, and ultimately a cruelty and crimes, added to a sickening dose of narcissism. I don't believe Irene was supposed to resemble anyone. She was his sister, not his wife (although Stolzl made a few incestuous innuendos).

    I agree with you re Kate and Torsten. I thought Camilla was good too, while the Choir is just setting the whole new standard of performance that no other choir would be able to match (not only in Rienzi, but also in Tannhauser and also in Lohengrin!)