Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Young and the Rossinians

This year's annual production of the Athens Chamber Opera featured a weird double-bill: Poulenc's rarely performed cantata "Le bal masqué" and Rossini's one-act farsa
"L 'inganno felice".

I'm not really sure about the reasons that led to the staging of Poulenc's cantata and the truth is that I wouldn't mind skipping it. And this is exactly what I did in the second performance I attended.

I found the staging of L'inganno Felice by stage-director Niketi Kontouri, given the low budget of the Athens Chamber Opera production, quite succesful.
Kontouri chose to set the action in a bar, used video projections of legendary movies (Gilda, Casablanca etc.) and created a noir atmosphere where Isabella was our Gilda -though our Bertrando was no Rick Blaine.

In the performance of 19/12, Marianna Mansola, a student of the late Kostas Paskalis, was a treat for the eyes and the ears, an Isabella that displayed clear coloratura, good high notes, sense of the rossinian style, looked the part and sang an almost flawless "Al piú dolce a caro oggetto" dancing sensually on the bar, looking more of a Pfeiffer in The Fabulous Baker Boys than of a Hayworth.

Christina Poulitsi, dazzled the audience with her Isabella on December the 23rd, mainly by betting on vocal fireworks, and she did great. At times she would lose focus or would be off-pitch or flat, but here's a talent to keep an eye on. Her "Al piú dolce..." brought down the house and won the longest ovation of the evening.

Antonis Koroneos,(19/12) a "veteran" of the Greek National Opera in comparison to the rest of the cast, doing a come-back to the repertoire he ought to be singing, was a fine Bertrando, however with hints of weariness most probably due to an overloaded schedule.

Lionghua Hong (23/12), with a somewhat white and small voice was a correct yet unexciting Bertrando.

"The boyz", managed to be the vocal core of this production: Dionisos Tsantinis, a singer who 's already taken quite a few steps abroad (ex-student of Gabriele Schnaut at the University of Arts of Berlin, winner of the Schloss Rheinsberg 2008, and with appearances at the Staatsoper of Berlin most recently on his CV), displayed a healthy, beautiful voice, Dionisios Sourbis, a very promising singer was an enjoyable Batone, yet with some fuzzy coloratura and George Matheakakis (a singer with some very good reviews for his appearances abroad, "a real find", see here or here and here) did an excellent job as Ormondo, both vocally and dramatically.

Listen to:

Mansola in
"Al piú dolce ..." (the juicy part)

Poulitsi in
"Al piú dolce..." (the juicy part)


Rowlf said...

αν θέλεις διορθώνεις το cadatta που σου ξέφυγε σε cantata.

Parsifal said...

yeaaah, whatever...
ti kanete agaphte Rowlf?

Rowlf said...

Δεν τους πέτυχε καθόλου ο Πουλένκ ε;

fairy anonumous said...

Καθόλου μα καθόλου φίλε Rowlf!!!!!!!!#

Το Inganno όμως πολύ καλό, θαυμάσια προσπάθεια, και η Πουλίτση πολύ καλή