LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.0

Help for CLASSICAL Archives


CLASSICAL Archives

CLASSICAL Archives


CLASSICAL@COMMUNITY.LSOFT.COM


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

CLASSICAL Home

CLASSICAL Home

CLASSICAL  November 2007

CLASSICAL November 2007

Subject:

This "Swallow" Makes November Summery

From:

Janos Gereben <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Moderated Classical Music List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 8 Nov 2007 15:19:58 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (60 lines)

It's somewhat of a mystery why Puccini's 1917 "La Rondine" is such a
neglected, rarely-performed opera.  With simple, repetitious but ravishing
melodies, this updated story of "La Traviata" (good-hearted courtesan
finds and loses true - if impecunious - love) is almost as rare as hen's
teeth.

In fact, the San Francisco Opera production opening tonight is only the
second time it's seen in the War Memorial.  There was a single performance
in 1934 (and Spring Opera Theater productions elsewhere in the city).

David Gockley took a chance on this cotton-candy Italianate Viennese-Hungarian
operetta (the best Franz Lehar piece he never wrote) about love in Paris,
reviving it after a hiatus of seven decades.  The risk of filling the
house seven times is ameliorated by engaging Angela Gheorghiu to sing
the title role in her San Francisco Opera debut - and, equally important,
assembling a very good cast.

Gheorghiu - a soprano of beautiful, soaring voice - sang heck out of the
role, but the diva also fit into an excellent ensemble.  In the role of
Ruggero, the man who takes the "fallen woman" away from her comfortable
den of cheerful depravity, Misha Didyk had by far his best outing in the
War Memorial.  He has it all: a lyrical lilt, a strongly projected voice,
in a seemingly effortless performance.

Anna Christy is the lively Lisette, the maid; Gerald Powers is making
his local debut as world-weary, happily exploitative poet, Prunier.
Adler Fellows Rhoslyn Jones, Melody Moore, Katherine Tier, and Ji Young
Yang make fine contributions in this large production.  So strong is the
cast that the minor role of sugar daddy Rambaldo is assigned to Philip
Skinner, the mighty bass-baritone.

The Nicolas Joel production, coming from London and Toulouse, is quite
beautiful, with Ezio Frigerio's sets and Franca Squarciapino's costumes.
Stephen Barlow's direction is misguided, however, forcing artificial,
exaggerated movements on the principals, taking away whatever possible
realism there is in the work.  Gheorghiu and Christy especially overdid
the frisky ACTING at the beginning, Gheorghiu settling down in the second
act, and creating a dramatically more valid portrayal in the long duet
that makes up most of the final act.

Overdoing is also the hallmark of Ion Marin's conducting, those already
large, sweeping melodies made to thunder as if Walhalla went up in smoke
in a misplaced Twilight of the Cafe Society. In the few passages not
written fortissimo, Marin's hard-working orchestra stepped all over the
vocal lines.

And yet, the pleasantness of the score, the excellence of the principals'
performance, and the likelihood that "La Rondine" may not come around
again in this century add up to an easy recommendation to attend the
tale of the Swallow.

Janos Gereben
www.sfcv.org
[log in to unmask]

             ***********************************************
The CLASSICAL mailing list is powered by L-Soft's renowned LISTSERV(R)
list management software together with L-Soft's HDMail High Deliverability
Mailer for reliable, lightning fast mail delivery.  For more information,
go to:  http://www.lsoft.com/LISTSERV-powered.html

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
June 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
July 1997

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



COMMUNITY.LSOFT.COM

Secured by F-Secure Anti-Virus CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager