Sunday, November 30, 2008

Day 1: Tamerlano


The news I had received in Athens some days before my trip to Munich were not good.

"David Daniels sick, has been replaced by Mac Cencic. Cencic will sing the role offstage, assistant director will act the role onstage"

hat's what actually happened on the first performance of the run, on Saturday, 22 November. And I was told that even a bit awkward, it went quite well.

After having repeatedly danced my famous
tribal dance, on my balcony while holding a rooster I had just sacrificed to the Goddess of counter-tenors, it was just a matter of time before D.D. got better.

And indeed, on Tuesday morning the (extremely kind and informed) girls at the Staatsoper Box-office confirmed that D.D. would sing. Not that Max Cencic is a bad singer, au contraire...

I was going to the National Theatre very well prepared. Having already read reviews @ the press but also my m8's Intermezzo excellent post and having listened to last year's broadcast about a thousand times. So, I pretty much knew what to expect. Not that I'm Händel´s biggest fan, but boy I needed a night of mere, pure, good singing.

And that's exactly what I got.

Even without taking under consideration that David Daniels was recovering from a cold, his singing was divine, characterized by a perfect combination of strength and gentleness, with flawless mind-blowing coloratura that seemed to give him a hard time only at the "A dispetto" aria.

David Daniels, A dispetto, 26 November 2008

John Mark Ainsley's Bajajet was deeply moving, and had excellent moments but in "Empio per farti guerra" he seemed to be losing la guerra...

Soprano Sarah Fox displays a voice of rare beauty but tends to lose control at the high register where her sound turns acidic at times.

Mary-Ellen Nesi gave a perfectly balanced performance and seemed to be at ease with Andronico. Her velvety, round, voice was ideal for the part even if a bit low for her. The aria "Benché mi sprezzi" was sung with stellar beauty and it was a pity that some of the most wonderful pages of Andronico were cut off...

Mary-Ellen Nesi, Benché mi sprezzi, 26 Nov 2008

Maite Beaumont was a splendid Irene whose "Par che mi nasca in seno" sent us to the foyers for the intermission in a state of nirvana.

Maite Beaumont, "Par che mi nasca in seno", 26 Nov 2008 (part)

Vito Priante's voice sounded a lot more secure and sonorous than the last time I had heard him sing Leone's wonderful aria "Nel mondo e nell'abisso". His sound was fuller and he had no problem cutting through the orchestra's loud playing even at the lowest register of his voice, but some coloratura and high notes gave him trouble.

Ecco le prove:
Vito Priante, Nel mondo e nell'abisso (part)

Overall impressions: Some exquisite singing, an excellent orchestra, even if I didn't particularly enjoyed Ivor Bolton's tempi, a boring production that could as well have been a concert performance, minus the costumes, but that didn't really bother me as, being a hard-core voice lover, that was of totally minor importance to me (MostlyOpera will shoot me).

What DID bother me was the audience: Noisy, noisy, noisy. Talking, coughing, even using cellphones, but when it came to the curtain calls they were all bravo-ing like crazy. Weirdos...

Tip: DON'T ever ever ever buy tickets at the Parkett (the orchestra). That was definitely the place with the worst sound. And with the most expensive ticket. (Just compare the today soundclips with the ones that will follow)

Next: Stefano Secco triumphs in Luisa Miller, but the ship is drowned anyway...


Willym said...

That old dance with the rooster always seems to work but myself I think its the castenets you click as you're doing it that did the trick.

Using cellphones during the performance!!!!! They sound worse than Italian audiences.

Parsifal said...

Well as a matter of fact, the lady who did it was italian! Sitting next to me, sleeping, waking up, moving on the creaky seats like there was an ant-colony under her butt, playing with her (cheap) handbad, zipping, unzipping...and the best part is that, she is a well known agent of one of the singers.... What a shame!

maria teresa said...

Por favor, quiero ver la danza tribal!!!!! :-)) Nunca se sabe cuando nos puede hacer falta, ja,ja!!

Parsifal said...

Pues, no. Es una danza reservada solo a mis vecinos ya q se debe bailar solamente desnudo, y con luna llena.

maria teresa said...

JA,JA,JA!!! Ojo con la luna llena!, a ver si te confundes de ritual y te conviertes en hombre-lobo!

Hariclea said...

ohh you were very lucky in the end and don't talk to me about the audience there and the old seats!! agrr i had to kids next to me who for 3 hours non stop kicked the wall of the balcony with their feet... torture!! but otherwise it is a beatiful theater :-) I was just sayimg tha i should see a Handel opera in full just to see if it works theatrically for me as well as musically :-)