Saturday, July 10, 2010

Bondi's Tosca from Bayrische Opernfestspiele on Arte & Happy Birthday (41) to Jonas Kaufmann

Tosca from the Munich Opera Festival will be presented tonight at 9 pm (Paris time) on Arte. It's the same Luc Bondi production which opened the 2009-2010 season at The Met, but the cast tonight will be different: Karita Mattila (Tosca), Jonas Kaufmann (Cavaradossi), Juha Uusitalo (Scarpia)... and maestro Fabio Luisi will conduct the excellent Bayerisches Staatsorchester.

Here is a trailer:

As you might have noticed Puccini is not my cup of tea, and recently I realized that even Tosca became tedium rich opera for my system... BUT it's Kaufmann and I'm gonna see it. Hopefully Karita will sound better than on the recent recordings.  
Adrianne Pieczonka sounded gloriously last month in Berlin!
OK, I saw the show and even for Bondy the show was very light. Please, can anyone explain WHY it generated such a hassle at The Met? (other than oldies being stuck to Zeff's kitsch) Thanks!


  1. I attended the July 10th performance and had seen the Met Live HD screening earlier this year, and noticed a significant difference in the ending.

    At the Met, Tosca (Karita Mattila) makes a leap off the tower and the lights go out at that instant.

    In Munich, however, Tosca just disappears in the tower and never makes the jump. Was this a technical mistake? Seems like there was a pause for something to happen (i.e., the jump) and it never occurred....

  2. Wow! Lucky you ;) Since I saw the Carmelites and was a live broadcast planed on Arte, I thought I'd go to Munich only to see the other new production "The Silent Woman".

    I read there was a technical problem and Karita entered the tower she was supposed to "jump" from and the last scene was simply left out.

    In any case, even if she leaped (or pretended to), I don't think I would have been more impressed than I actually was. Maybe in the opera house it all looked better than on TV?

    Do drop a line or two to tell us how it was to be there on that night. ;)


  3. I got last minute tickets, and I was fortunate to sit in the king's box :)

    Jonas Kaufmann was fabulous! Karita Mattila struggled with some of the high notes but her intense acting made up for it. There were some inexplicable boos for Uusitalo (Scarpia) but I took it that they were directed at the role itself. There were more boos at what I think were for the production.

    During my trip to Aix and Munich, I managed to attend Don Giovanni (both cities), Alceste, Le Rossignol, and Carmelites.


  4. Thanks Eric! King's box seats are good. I saw Palestrina last year from those seats :)

    Tosca from Munich honestly looked boring on TV. That's why I asked you whether something spectacular was sparkling in auditorium. There were some nice moments -- like the episode after Tosca killed Scarpia. But other than that I wasn't impressed. Of course Kaufmann was very good and the show was sold out long in advance.

    Did you like Carmelites? (If you saw that opera in other productions before, it is very disturbing -- but after having it processed in your head, you gotta love the genius of Tcherniakov).

    What about Alceste?

  5. I did enjoy Carmelites in Munich -- at least up to the ending. The acting was excellent and I liked the claustrophobic house. The singing was, of course, wonderful.

    I think Tcherniakov misses the plot by altering the ending (i.e., Blanche rescuing the sisters), but first time goers might not have noticed the difference.

    I've seen Carmelites before in a production that more closely reflects the text.

    Oh, about Alceste... I'm not a fan of Christof Loy, but I mostly enjoyed the production of what was a pretty static and long opera. The star of the show was, without doubt, Veronique Gens -- just fabulous.

    Some zealot in the audience was yelling during the sequence where the priest was beating children (the populace) with the Bible -- I think this was reported in another review.


  6. Thanks Eric. I appreciate it! Loy can be good but in long operas his shows have heavy moments too. Last year's Theodora in Salzburg was heavy, although the finale was brilliant...

    As for the Carmelites, to me the idea to completely invert the ending seemed courageous [and also was a sign that Tcherniakov is a good man] ;) He didn't want to pass the atrocious message of nobility to die for an idea, religion or whatever ideology. HOWEVER, it is very disturbing if you know well the plot of the Carmelites, and if you saw the opera in some other --standard-- production.