Oct 5, 2007

An evening at home with Riccardo Muti

I got caught in it, once again. What started as a "let's watch opera for a few minutes, for a change", turned out to be a time-consumming, images-free activity. I chose the 1986 Bologna production of Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana, conducted by Riccardo Muti. As usual, I shifted the images to other, more interesting things after a few minutes; reading blogs about opera (this new one is just a pleasure to read), reading my mails, searching the web for pictures... I have real difficulties watching an opera on DVD, I don't know how people do it. Bores the hell out of me. Even Cavalleria Rusticana, an opera very dear to my heart. Plus, let's face it; I love the way Italians are playing the music and singing, but there's something about their stagings that is so desperatelly old-fashioned, static and unimaginative. This Bologna production is no different. I've never been that much interesting in the staging of operas anyway. That's why I prefer concert versions (so not in the mood of the time, I know). But, if I switched off the images, I just couldn't stop the sound. That's the Riccardo Muti effect. Always has been. Hopefully, always will be. I've already mentionned how I adore the maestro, and the choices he makes conducting are always hitting home for me. Lattest example, he's the reason why I just can't get enough of Gluck's Orfeo e Eurydice; I came across his performance at Il Maggio Musicale Fiorentino last May (by the way, the program for next year is online). Though I was not a big fan of Gluck, now I am. So I will not rest until I get why he seems to like Mozart that much. There's gotta be something, in that music I don't get. Once again, as in the Italian stagings, I can't get through the boring part.
My favorite part of Cavalleria Rusticana: "Voi dovrete fare"; MP3 here.
1986 Bologna production quick review:
  • Conductor: Riccardo Muti - amazing interpretation of Mascagni's score
  • Turiddu: Jose Cura - pretty good performance (not great though)
  • Santuzza: Waltraud Meier - below average, quite a disappointment indeed
  • Alfio: Paolo Gavanelli - ugly performance, unbearable vibrato
  • Lucia: Tiziana Tramonti - average

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