Anna Netrebko and Ludovic Tézier stand out within the Neapolitan revival of 'La Gioconda' | Culture | EUROtoday

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The Gioconda enjoys an attention-grabbing renaissance. This title by Amilcare Ponchielli, launched in 1876 and revised for 3 years till its ultimate model, is usually remembered as we speak for its widespread Dance of the hours, from the third act. An beautiful ballet quantity that Walt Disney popularized in his movie Fancy, with unforgettable hippos wearing tutus. But we’re speaking about the principle post-Verdi title of Aida and previous to the verismo of Mascagni or the emergence of Puccini. An Italian model of the grand opera French, within the Scribe mannequin, with that infallible mixture of huge choral scenes, a spectacular historic setting, abundance of contrasts and a central ballet.

In lower than three weeks, two new productions of The Gioconda, each on the Salzburg Easter Festival and on the Teatro San Carlo in Naples. In the primary case, the opera debuted in Mozart's metropolis on March 23. At the Parthenopeia, the principle musical occasion of the 12 months passed off on April 10, with the return of this title 47 years later. Both productions will proceed in future seasons, respectively, at Covent Garden in London and on the Liceu in Barcelona, ​​the place curiously this opera was carried out precisely 5 years in the past.

Finale of the ballet 'Dance of the Hours', in the third act of 'La Gioconda', last Wednesday at the San Carlo Theater in Naples.
Finale of the ballet 'Dance of the Hours', within the third act of 'La Gioconda', final Wednesday on the San Carlo Theater in Naples.© ph.Luciano Romano / Theater of (© ph.Luciano Romano / Theater of)

But the revival of this Ponchielli title can be associated to the provision of nice voices. This is demonstrated by the presence, in each productions, of an vital forged led by the star couple of Anna Netrebko and Jonas Kaufmann, who have been debuting of their respective roles of La Gioconda and Enzo Grimaldi. In truth, the Neapolitan theater turned the overall rehearsal, on the seventh, right into a particular efficiency devoted to the thirtieth anniversary of the Russian diva in opera, since she made her debut in Saint Petersburg, in April 1994, as Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro. The singer from Krasnodar has broadened and darkened her lyrical soprano voice to embody increasingly more repertoire of pushed.

It was clear, on the premiere on April 10, with an incredible efficiency that stood out particularly within the fourth act. Netrebko confronted with nice willpower this advanced and dramatic character developed by Arrigo Boito in his script primarily based on the drama Angelo, tyrant of Padua, by Victor Hugo. A avenue singer who sees her blind mom publicly slandered her, she faces the betrayal of her lover, she tries to homicide her rival to assist him save her life and she or he finally ends up committing suicide to keep away from be subjugated by an evil particular person.

The soprano Anna Netrebko during the first act of 'La Gioconda', on April 10, in Naples.
The soprano Anna Netrebko throughout the first act of 'La Gioconda', on April 10, in Naples.© ph.Luciano Romano / Theater of (© ph.Luciano Romano / Theater of)

The Russian took the well-known aria to her residence area Suicide!, with its troublesome adjustments of register and phrasing. He turned some slight preliminary inconsistencies into a part of the character's desperation. And it culminated with such energy, within the bass and treble, that he garnered the most important ovation of the evening. Thereafter, he led the lyrical climax of the night, with the trio This final kiss, the place he says goodbye to Enzo and Laura, his lover and rival, whom he had helped flee, earlier than going through loss of life. And she topped her efficiency with an admirable ultimate duet with the evil Barnaba, with that hypocritical seduction in flowery music earlier than stabbing himself with a dagger.

The different large winner of the evening was, exactly, the sensational Barnaba by baritone Ludovic Tézier. The Frenchman, who sang an incredible Rigoletto this season on the Teatro Real, constructed the cynical confidant of the Inquisition with Verdian baritone mortar. A personality nearer to Iago, Othellothat of Scarpia, of Tosca. For this motive, Tézier elevated the nihilistic monologue with a burnished tone The monument! which is so harking back to the perverse character that Verdi would create from one other Boito libretto.

Loose Kaufmann

On the opposite, Jonas Kaufmann was much less convincing than Enzo Grimaldi. The German tenor nobly confronted essentially the most demanding passages in fortissimo within the excessive register, however his voice quickly started to sound drained and brittle. However, his musicality was a relentless in singing. legato the place he exhibited admirable dealing with of half voices. His well-known romance of the second act culminated, Sky and sea, with an exquisite pianissimo regulator on the excessive G. For her beloved, Laura Adorno, there was Eve-Maud Hubeaux, who changed Anita Rachvelishvili and had simply sung the aforementioned Salzburg manufacturing.

This mezzo Swiss lady with a homogeneous tone dealt with Laura's immense vary with solvency. But her building of her character didn’t persuade her and she or he barely emerged some depth within the third act scene when her husband Alvise Badoèro orders her to kill herself with poison. That sadistic head of the Venetian Inquisition was the Romanian bass Alexander Köpeczi, a singer as strong as he was impersonal. And the sixth primary character of this advanced opera, La Cieca, was the mezzo Ukraine Kseniia Nikolaieva, extra constant giving life to the poor blind mom of La Gioconda.

Soprano Anna Netrebko singing her aria 'Suicide!'  in the fourth act of 'La Gioconda', last Wednesday at the San Carlo in Naples.
Soprano Anna Netrebko singing her aria 'Suicide!' within the fourth act of 'La Gioconda', final Wednesday on the San Carlo in Naples.© ph.Luciano Romano / Theater of (© ph.Luciano Romano / Theater of)

The third winner of the evening was musical director Pinchas Steinberg, who defended the progressive particulars of Ponchielli's rating from the pit. Apart from precisely accompanying the voices and ensembles, the Israeli maestro knew the way to create beautiful atmospheres on the head of the Neapolitan theater orchestra. He stood out within the final two acts and, particularly, in a wonderful Dance of the hourswhich he directed, marking all the small print and culminated with a gallop hectic The primary choir of the Neapolitan theater, even with its youngsters's part, was one other power from its first intervention Parties! Bread!within the spectacular opening scene set on the Venetian carnival.

Romain Gilbert's stage course is predicated on the success of sustaining the Venetian location and its historic setting, two basic features of this opera. But the younger man supervisor French, who made his debut within the San Carlo, didn’t wish to exploit the favored picture of town of canals both. A extra terrifying semblance nearer to the time of the Inquisition, which portrays the easy, neutral-toned surroundings signed by Etienne Pluss. A monotony that doesn’t surrender evoking the totally different eventualities of the motion by including particulars as colourful as hearth.

AFire on Enzo Grimaldi's boat at the end of the second act of 'La Gioconda', last Wednesday in Naples.
AFire on Enzo Grimaldi's boat on the finish of the second act of 'La Gioconda', final Wednesday in Naples.© ph.Luciano Romano / Theater of (© ph.Luciano Romano / Theater of)

The contact of shade is supplied by Christian Lacroix's refined costumes, particularly within the feminine protagonists. Valerio Tiberi's lighting additionally provides selection to the scene and Vincent Chaillet's choreography is a nod to commedia del arte. Not by likelihood, the Dance of the hours It stars Columbina, Harlequín and Pantalón flanked by six {couples} of dancers. There is an obsession with fixed motion, with extras that work together with the protagonists, though Gilbert is aware of the way to cease the motion to reinforce the concerted finish of the third act.

Among the personal concepts, aside from turning the scribe Isèpo right into a harlequin or reinventing the ballet's plot, the ending is stunning. I imply the spectacular flip of occasions which entails the looks of the ghost of La Cieca, as soon as Barnaba shouts on the corpse of La Gioconda that he has killed her. A supernatural ingredient far faraway from the spirit of this opera.

'The Gioconda'

Music de Amilcare Ponchielli. Libretto by Tobia Gorrio (pseudonym of Arrigo Boito).

Anna Netrebko, soprano (La Gioconda), Jonas Kaufmann, tenor (Enzo Grimaldi), Ludovic Tézier, baritone (Barnaba), Eve-Maud Hubeaux, mezzosoprano (Laura Adorno), Alexander Köpeczi, bass (Alvise Badoèro), Kseniia Nikolaieva, mezzosoprano (La Cieca), Lorenzo Mazzucchelli, bass (Zuàne), Roberto Covatta, tenor (Ispe).

Choir and Orchestra of the Teatro di San Carlo. Musical course: Pinchas Steinberg. Stage course: Romain Gilbert. San Carlo Theater in Naples, April 10. Until April 17.

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