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Thread: Il Viaggio a Reims at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin, Germany

          
   
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    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Il Viaggio a Reims at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin, Germany

    Il Viaggio a Reims at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin, Germany.

    This review is for the performance of 22 June, 2018, and was the second performance of a new production.

    Il Viaggio a Reims By Gioacchino Rossini with libretto by by Giuseppe Luigi Balocchi. Premiered in 1825 at the Theatre-Italien in Paris.

    Conductor: Giacomo Sagripanti
    Director: Jan Bosse

    Cast

    Corinna: Elena Tsallagova
    Marchesa Melibea: Vasillisa Berzhanskaya
    Contessa di Folleville: Siobhan Stagg
    Madama Cortese: Hulkar Sabirova
    Cavaliere Belfiore: Gideon Poppe
    Il Conte di Libenskof: David Portillo
    Lord Sidney: Mikheil Kiria
    Don Profundo: Davide Luciano
    Barone di Trombonok: Phillip Jekal
    Don Alvaro: Dong-Hwan Lee
    Don Prudenzio: Sam Roberts-Smith
    Zefirino: Juan de Dios Mateos
    Maddalena: Alexandra Ionis
    Delia: Davia Bouley
    Antonio: Byung Gil Kim

    I am a little out of practice in writing reviews, and this one is a particularly difficult one to report on. I have seen Il Viaggio a Reims a couple of times, in fact the most recent production prior to this was when I first met Luiz. The opera is difficult to review for two reasons: first, because as you can see from the cast list, it has 16 major characters/solo singers and, second, Jan Bosse‘s production was exceptionally confusing.

    This is an instance where the combination of updating the opera/Regie and the Director‘s apparent lack of understanding prove disastrous to appreciating the dramatic thrust of the opera or, indeed, what is going on at all. I am guessing, but believe that to make these things work, the Dramaturg (Lars Gebhardt) came up with his own translation - which fogged the action even more. In the Wolf Trap production of several years ago which, by comparison was a by-the-book traditional production, everything that happened was clear and easy to follow. Maybe I‘m just getting old.

    The action, which Rossini set in a hotel, with the characters about to journey to the coronation/installation of French King Charles X, instead has been placed in a large hospital ward with all of our characters lying in beds lined up against the walls on either side of the stage when the curtain goes up. We know it‘s a hospital since the beds are white metal (like the ones in all kinds of movies) and one of the beds has an intravenous bag on a stand next to it. Singing commenced with nurses (in most instances we aren‘t really privy to which character is which, except for occasional singing references to the „Contessa“ and Corinna) and, as additional characters’ turns to sing come up, various shenanigans ensued. Whoever they were. Because there are so many principals and the action so confusing, I can‘t say anything about individual performances, save the ever-reliable and enjoyable David Portillo, whom I‘ve seen sing several times. He seemed game for the shenanigans and his tenor voice lies in an ideal range for bel canto.

    The large cast comprises a large number of young singers - apparently in their 20s and 30s, all of whom certainly seemed to be the caliber of singer one expects to hear at the Deutsche Oper. They were confident, well-rehearsed, and seemed to be enjoying themselves. If I have one overall criticism, it would be the conductor‘s tempo which seemed a bit ponderous and didn‘t seem to me to be sprightly enough to support the comedic tone the production was attempting to set.

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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Yikes, it seems like they got a bit too crazy with the Regie... I mean, Il Viaggio a Reims doesn't really have much of a plot, it's more like a recital with each singer getting his/her piece one after the other... more like a display of a number of arias. Rossini never really intended it as a real opera.

    So, it's not very open to Regie concepts, and I can understand why trying to do it this way was misguided. Thanks for the review! I'll add it to the Coverage Portal for our Central European trip in the Summer of 2018, if you haven't done it yet.

    Will you review Mahler's 6th, which I believe you saw two days ago, James?
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Thanks, Luiz. It turns out we don‘t have tickets for the Mahler. The Philharmonic apparently sold out as soon as tickets went on sale.

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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Ah, OK. Too bad. I deleted the link to the prospective Mahler review from the portal.

    4 days to go until I travel to Vienna, and beyond... I can't wait.

    16 nights, 16 operas! What a marathon!
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    16 nights and 16 operas?

    I hope you have been working out to do the marathon! At least you won‘t be indulging in a lot of calories at restaurants across the continent!

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    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    But he'll need the calories to maintain his energy level for all that opera-going!

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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    16 nights and 16 operas?

    I hope you have been working out to do the marathon! At least you won‘t be indulging in a lot of calories at restaurants across the continent!
    I have already booked two restaurants in Vienna, one in Munich, and one in Zurich, all very fancy places (well, not one of the two in Vienna, which is more like a pub, but with very good reputation for the food, too) and I'll also eat in a restaurant in Nuremberg that doesn't require reservations (it's a fast-paced place famous for its bratwurst and beer). One of the two in Vienna, Steirereck, is among the best restaurants in the world (has been ranked as high as 10th best in the world; currently 14th best; very fancy - and, gulp, expensive).

    But true, I am not planning to go to too many other restaurants (I didn't book any in Berlin), given that I'll spend all evenings at the opera. I am however taking with me a wine vacuum stopper, corkscrew, a bread knife, and other accessories like these, because I can buy a bottle of wine, some cheese and bread and pastry, and eat in my hotel rooms after the performances. I love European wine and bread/cheese and pastries, maybe more than most restaurant meals, so I will be looking for good bakeries and good maître fromager stores. I won't be in France but I'm confident that with the European Union common market I'll find plenty of French and Italian cheeses around, plus some local specialties. The problem is, I will be saving time and money but not calories, because cheese and bread are quite rich in calories. I expect to gain weight during the trip, unfortunately.

    Another reason why I'm not planning too many restaurants, is that the FIFA World Cup will be going on simultaneously with my operas, so I don't want spoilers because being out there among the crowds and in public spaces, I'll end up seeing the result of the day's games or get glimpses of them on TV screens. So I'm planning to go directly from the opera houses to the hotels (all within a few blocks of each opera house) where I'll have bought my wine/cheese/bread already, and will consume them while watching the replay of the games on the online platforms (Fox Sports Mobile) without knowing the results so that I watch the games "as if live." I take the FIFA World Cup very seriously and I'm a bit dismayed that when I planned this trip, I completely forgot that it would happen exactly during the most decisive phases of the World Cup.
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); June 24th, 2018 at 04:38 PM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) View Post
    Ah, OK. Too bad. I deleted the link to the prospective Mahler review from the portal.

    4 days to go until I travel to Vienna, and beyond... I can't wait.

    16 nights, 16 operas! What a marathon!
    This sounds so exciting! Will keep my fingers crossed that all your connections work out OK. Where are you staying in Vienna?
    "Every theatre is an insane asylum, but an opera theatre is the ward for the incurables."

    FRANZ SCHALK, attributed, Losing the Plot in Opera: Myths and Secrets of the World's Great Operas

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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ann Lander (sospiro) View Post
    This sounds so exciting! Will keep my fingers crossed that all your connections work out OK. Where are you staying in Vienna?
    Thanks! The portal to the coverage, which I parked up center on the Home page, contains a list of all the hotels. Here is what they are:

    Vienna: Derag Livinghotel an der Opera
    Bratislava: day trip only, no hotel
    Salzburg: day trip only, no hotel
    Munich: Apartments & Hotel Maximilian
    Nuremberg: Maritim Hotel Nürnberg
    Zurich: Hotel Opera Zürich
    Berlin: the first night, close to the Deutsche, the next 6 nights, close to the Komische and the Staatsoper: Ibis Style Berlin Mitte (first night), then Clipper City Home Berlin
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    These interviews are confirmed, more to come:

    Interview with Salvatore Sciarrino, composer of Ti vedo, ti sendo, mi perdo - [here] (ready)
    Slavomír Jakubek - Director of the Slovak National Theater Opera
    Andreas Homoki, Intendant, Opernhaus Zürich
    Dominique Meyer, Intendant, Wiener Staatsoper
    Singer Daniela Barcellona (Deutsche Oper Berlin)
    Singer Julie Fuchs (Opernhaus Zurich)
    Singers Ales Jenis and Peter Kellner (Slovak National Theater)
    Conductor Dusan Stefanek (Slovak National Theater)
    Singer Ambrosio Maestri (Wiener Staatsoper)
    Singer Christopher Maltman (Wiener Staatsoper)
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) View Post
    These interviews are confirmed, more to come:

    Interview with Salvatore Sciarrino, composer of Ti vedo, ti sendo, mi perdo - [here] (ready)
    Slavomír Jakubek - Director of the Slovak National Theater Opera
    Andreas Homoki, Intendant, Opernhaus Zürich
    Dominique Meyer, Intendant, Wiener Staatsoper
    Singer Daniela Barcellona (Deutsche Oper Berlin)
    Singer Julie Fuchs (Opernhaus Zurich)
    Singers Ales Jenis and Peter Kellner (Slovak National Theater)
    Conductor Dusan Stefanek (Slovak National Theater)
    Singer Ambrosio Maestri (Wiener Staatsoper)
    Singer Christopher Maltman (Wiener Staatsoper)
    I'm a big fan of Daniela, Ambrogio and Christopher.

    Don't forget Ambrogio is a famous risotto cook. Maybe he can invent a risotto all'opera lively.
    Natalie

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    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    Don't forget Ambrogio is a famous risotto cook. Maybe he can invent a risotto all'opera lively.


    Excellent idea!
    "Every theatre is an insane asylum, but an opera theatre is the ward for the incurables."

    FRANZ SCHALK, attributed, Losing the Plot in Opera: Myths and Secrets of the World's Great Operas

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