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Thread: Poppea e Nerone / Teatro Real

          
   
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  1. #1
    Schigolch
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    Poppea e Nerone / Teatro Real

    MONTEVERDI/BOESMANS: Poppea e Nerone. Nadja Michael, Charles Castronovo, Maria Riccarda Wesseling, Willard White, William Towers, Ekaterina Siurina.

    Klangforum, Viena. Conductor.: Sylvain Cambreling.
    Stage Direction: Krzysztof Warlikowski


    L'Incoronazione is a splendid drama, that can be staged in many ways, but it's relatively easy to get some pretty convincing theater for the audience. The only issue: it's a little bit too long.

    However, this was not the opinion of Mr. Warlikowski, that decided to add a spoken prologue of his own. Then again, he was not interested in performing Monteverdi's opera, but a rather confusing version of "To Sir, with Love", with the students not really surrending to the charms of Sidney Poitier.... sorry, I meant Willard White.

    Given this sad state of things, I just resolved to close my eyes, and listen to the music. Of course, I missed the rest of the production, but according to my wife it was not a great loss... though I strongly suspect she also missed at least part of the action, taking some nap during the performance.

    Unfortunately, Mr. Cambreling also take the opportunity to use some of his slowest repertoire of tempi, and sometimes I had to fight the urge to descend into the pit, take the baton from him and transmit some energy to the orchestra... And it was a really good orchestra!. The Klangforum Wien are a delight, and Boesman's orchestration works really well, it was a surprise and the best thing of the evening for me.

    The singers.... Ms. Michael is a good actress, and she is always open to cooperate with the stage director about anything. I wonder if she could also sing... Mr. Towers was sick, and was replaced by another singer performing from the pit. The first Ottone's aria, so melancholic, was sung with gusto, the rest of the performance was donwhill from there... We have heard last year Mr. Jaroussky singing Nerone, having to listen now to Mr. Castronovo instead... Maria-Ricarda Wesseling is a good singer, but more akin to Boesmans, than to Monteverdi....The veteran Willard White was more convincing speaking in the prologue, than singing in the opera.

    Well,... nobody's perfect. It was a nice evening anyhow, and during the intermission we took some good Cava (the Spanish version of Champagne) with tasty appetizers.

    Here you can hear Ms. Michael singing Poppea:


  2. #2
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    I'm sorry this performance turned out to be such a disappointment -- though I do like the idea of a tenor Nerone. (I wish the Zürich production with Kasarova and Kaufmann had been filmed and released on video . . . )

  3. #3
    Schigolch
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    It was not a disappointment, the music was great, and Boesman's orchestration was definitely enjoyable. Not to speak of the Cava and appetizers...

    In this case, however, I prefer a countertenor Nerone.

  4. #4
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schigolch View Post
    It was not a disappointment, the music was great, and Boesman's orchestration was definitely enjoyable. Not to speak of the Cava and appetizers...

    In this case, however, I prefer a countertenor Nerone.
    Simply can't imagine a tenor Nerone. The only thing that would be going for Castronovo in the role is that he's so pretty.
    Natalie

  5. #5
    Senior Member Veteran Member Aksel's Avatar
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    Thank you for an utterly delightful review, Schigloch. Tha concept definitely sounds... interesting, if nothing else. How on earth did they manage it, especially seeing that, you know, Seneca kills himself half-way through.
    How had Boesman orchestrated it? Had the orchestra grown from the usual strings and two cornetts?

    And I too prefer a soprano Nerone. Pur ti miro is just wrong with a tenor the octave below. Come to think of it, a lot of things are wrong with the tenor an octave below.

  6. #6
    Schigolch
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    About the concept, I can't really elaborate. I just closed my eyes and forget about it, not yet thirty minutes into the performance.

    Boesmans has orchestrated the opera with a mix of period and modern instruments, even a synthethiser, but recreating Baroque sound with a contemporary flavour, due mainly to the attractive and colorful percussion.

    On Nerone's vocality, I tend to agree with you. Anyhow, L'Incoronazione is a Venetian opera, that means, voices are paramount. The first Nerone was a castrato soprano (perhaps Stefano Costa). But since L'Incoronazione is fully back into the mainstream operatic repertoire, it had being sung by mezzos, tenors, baritones, countertenors,... Don't get the actual numbers here, but I think the most frequent option is the mezzo.

    Personally, I prefer the countertenor.

    Three versions of "Pur ti miro, pur ti godo":






  7. #7
    Senior Member Veteran Member Aksel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schigolch View Post
    On Nerone's vocality, I tend to agree with you. Anyhow, L'Incoronazione is a Venetian opera, that means, voices are paramount. The first Nerone was a castrato soprano (perhaps Stefano Costa). But since L'Incoronazione is fully back into the mainstream operatic repertoire, it had being sung by mezzos, tenors, baritones, countertenors,... Don't get the actual numbers here, but I think the most frequent option is the mezzo.

    Personally, I prefer the countertenor.
    I do too. I think I might have been somewhat unclear. What I meant was that I prefer Nerone as a high voice, as in soprano, mezzo, countertenors of different flavours, etc.

  8. #8
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schigolch View Post
    Three versions of "Pur ti miro, pur ti godo":

    I think you meant to post this:



    My favourite version, even without a countertenor in the Nerone role.
    Natalie

  9. #9
    Schigolch
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    Yes, I clicked the wrong youtube.

  10. #10
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schigolch View Post
    Yes, I clicked the wrong youtube.
    I'm glad you did because I enjoyed the clip you posted too!
    Natalie

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