Sunday, November 7, 2010

Bad boys getting tired

Les grandes voix: Bryn Terfel, Salle Pleyel - Paris, November 5 2010

Bryn Terfel - recital "Bad Boys"
Münchner Rundfunkorchester
Canzonetta Chamber Choir
Gareth Jones ..... conductor

I very much like Bryn Terfel, I was told his new CD was good, and so I logically expected to to see/hear a good concert. Knowing that he must still feel tired of his Wotan run in The Met's Rheingold, I didn't expect too much in terms of his energy and will to deliver his best on stage, but I still expected the concert to be good.  Hélas-Hélas!

Second problem is maybe my own fatigue and my incapacity to fully appreciate evenings filled with assorted arias and with the orchestral gravy that are meant to keep the attention of occasional operagoers alive while the singer is regrouping backstage. If that gravy was chosen beter I would have probably enjoyed the whole thing better. Here is the program:
La Forza del destino - overture
Udite, udite, o rustici [L'Elisir d'amore]
Son lo spirito che nega [Mefistofele]
Schweig, Schweig [Der Freischütz]
Orphée aux Enfers
Te Deum [Tosca]
Credo [Otello]
Danse macabre
Choeur des Soldats [Faust]
The Ballad of Sweeney Todd [Sweeney Todd]
Mack the knife [The Threepenny Opera]
When the night wind howls [Ruddigore]
Don Giovanni - overture
It ain’t necessarily so [Porgy and Bess]

But even if you factor that cheesy element of the program out, there is still Bryn's singing to enjoy. Last Friday night at Pleyel Bryn was nowhere near him usual self. His voice lacked in volume most of the time (except for Te Deum and Mack the Knife) and was lost in orchestra, occasionally emerging from it. And this was not because maestro Jones conducted the orchestra to play too loud. It's simply Bryn being too tired but too proud to cancel the concert [I've heard him many times and I know what I'm comparing him to!]

Altogether and uninspiring evening, in spite of expensive tickets and Bryn's slooowly spoken intros to each of his arias [which were audible instead]...

 Get rest and take care Bryn!


  1. how exactly is the cd bad boys:-)?do you recommend it? or what would you recommend ?

  2. I'm not too much into CD's. I prefer live performances to all that edited stuff.

    You may listen to "Bad Boys" on
    and decide if you like it to buy it or not...


  3. Hi, I have been to that concert myself. I can only confirm your impression of a somewhat "cheesy" choice of arias and elevator music by the orchestra. Can Can - my God, how more tacky can it get. What will they perform in London, pOmps and Circumstances? And America the Beautiful in NY?

    Having said that I quite liked the Otello aria.

    One other question: what was the piece he sang as an encore? Sounded like an anthem or a hymn.

    Great blog by the way

    Chris in Paris