Jan 11, 2009

Rondine from the Met

La Rondine 
Giacomo Puccini
Opera in 3 acts
Libretto Giuseppe Adami
Premiere Théâtre de Monte Carlo, March 27 1917

Magda: Angela Gheorghiu
Lisette: Lisette Oropesa
Ruggero: Roberto Alagna
Prunier: Marius Brenciu
Rambaldo: James Courtney

Conductor: Marco Armiliato
Production: Nicolas Joël
Set Designer: Ezio Frigerio
Costume Designer: Franca Squarciapino
Lighting Designer: Duane Schuler

Premiere in Toulouse in March 2005, performed in San Francisco in Nov. 2008
Jan.10 Arte broadcast live from the Met

Synopsis here and there, libretto (Italian only) here

Act 1, Terrence McCarthy
Act 2, Terrence McCarthy

Not much to say about this production of Nicolas Joël, except for the obvious word that comes to mind: boring. The set, the costumes, the lights, the actors' direction, everything is very very forgettable.

His dollhouse version of La Rondine lacks any kind of statement, exploration of characters, work on the relationships between the characters, any kind of analysis really. As for the muscial performance, Marco Armiliato's reading of the score is also especially boring, as it lacks passion, emotions and life (so basically, he missed the whole point of the score there).

The cast was also pretty forgettable; Gheorghiu was out of breath from the start, displayed no real emotion and struggled with her voice all evening; Marius Brenciu' singing was inexpressive as well and his high notes were not particularly successful; James Courtney's use of vibrato was excessive; Lisette Oropesa's Lisette was energetic and full of life, but her diction was well, lost from the beginning.

The only one that stood out for me was Roberto Alagna. His diction is so refined he's the only one I know who can sing perfectly such lines as "Cosi timida e sola assomigliate alle ragazze di Montauban" (Act 2) with the perfect pronunciation, both in Italian and in French on "Montauban". His expressivity could have been better, but it was so much better than the rest of the cast, it felt like he was the only one really trying to portray his character. A rather disappointing evening.

1 comment:

Mocho said...

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