Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A long weekend in Frankfurt, day 2: La Clemenza di Tito

Friday afternoon and I still hadn't made my mind about whether I would or would not watch the performance of La Clemenza di Tito that was on Cartellone for the 4th of December. A part of me suggested that I should pass the night doing some frankfurter bar-hopping and another part was yelling that I would be insane to miss the chance of watching a rather rare opera (***weird as it may seem this was actually my second live Clemenza***). Then again, the name of Christof Loy doing the Regie was repelling and attracting me at the same time, and the photos of the production on the Oper Frankfurt were not that attractive either.

But my friends that insisted that I should go hear Elza van den Heever as Vitellia and the will of the hardcore opera-lover prevailed and
finally gave up my Frankfurt-by-Night plans. And not for a minute did I regret.

The stage direction by Christof Loy (if you think that you don't know him try this and this and this and this and that - more about him @ his excellent website), supposedly for most of us the typical german regie, was a revelation that kept me hooked throughout the whole performance. Imaginative, violent, iconoclastic, never stopped surprising me. And of course it was -slightly- booed at the curtain calls. There's no way I can describe some or any aspects of Loy's creation but it sure made La Clemenza di Tito interesting to watch (and we all know that it's no CSI).

Maestro's Score

My friends were right, Elza van den Heever, even if recovering from a severe cold that kept her away from stage for a few weeks, was a spectacular Vitellia and her "Non piú di fiori" was breathtaking -the extremely low notes of the aria sounded weird though-, as a matter of fact I have only praise for the whole cast: Jenny Carlstedt (loved her!) was a fabulous Sesto, Daniel Behle as Tito made me wonder "why the hack don't I know this guy?", Brenda Rae a fantastic Servilia, Paula Murrihy impressed me as Annio, Florian Plock was a fine Publio too.

Jenny Carlstedt!

Plock / Murrihy / Carlstedt

Hartmut Keil

Won't say anything about the Orchestra. The Frankfurter Opern-und Museumsorchester, under Hartmut Keil this time, rocked my world again, and would rock me even more the following night.


Next: Die Tote Stadt, a night of pure operatic bliss


Production Photos (C) Oper Frankfurt - Wolfgang Runkel

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