Having dancers in the Venusberg scene of Tannhäuser is quite normal, but dance company director Sasha Waltz, who created this opera production, took their use too far. It is fine up to a point to include dancers among the wonderful chorus of pilgrims, but by the second half of Act II they were getting in …
Tag Archives: Berlin
The lights went down and all was silence. In the partially covered pit the conductor was invisible but slowly a quiet E flat emerged. Daniel Barenboim’s restrained conducting allowed huge clarity for the singers and plenty of scope for the brass at big moments. It was a coolly intriguing prelude to The Ring. The stage …
Five Wagner operas in six days … was quite a marathon, but well worth it, particularly for three of the productions.
Rossini’s comment that, “Wagner has lovely moments but awful quarters of an hour” was spoken before Die Meistersinger was created, and this opera has, for me, not a dull moment — it’s one glorious thing after another. Of course a determined director can spoil it, as happened at Bayreuth this past summer in Katharina Wagner’s diabolical production, …
… what really made the evening was Stephen Gould’s Tannhäuser. He was forceful and articulate with a superb tone and strong stage presence. This is the sort of singer one wants as Tristan or Siegfried — Covent Garden please note.
I’m afraid Tatjana Gürbaca was not up to the job. She was probably more concerned with her own strange concept, in which the men were shown as financial traders, and the women as performers and party girls.
In the second part … it all came together. The amateurish rise to power of the clown-like Rienzi is over. Here he is shown in his bunker on the ground level of the stage, with the people on the street level above.
Friedrich’s excellent staging is well supported by the performers, particularly Waltraud Meier, who plays the evil Ortrud with subtle malice, and Eike Wilm Schulte, who portrays a fiercely tendentious Telramund with a commanding voice — this nasty pair both exhibit great stage presence.
I shall be in Berlin for a week of Wagner operas at the Deutsche Oper: Lohengrin, Rienzi, Der fliegende Holländer, Tannhäuser, and Meistersinger.
Daniela Sindram was the best Octavian I’ve ever seen, singing and acting the part of a young man to perfection. … Kurt Rydl’s portrayal of Baron Ochs was superbly natural, without over-acting or stepping over the line into farce, as sometimes happens with this part, and his singing was thoroughly engaging.
This little-performed opera by Richard Strauss received a wonderful staging by Marco Arturo Marelli and his team.
Cassandra, by the Italian composer Gnecchi, was written four years before Stauss’s Elektra. It tells of Agamemnon’s return to his wife Klytemnestra, who intends to kill him as revenge for his sacrifice of their daughter Iphigenia …
This imaginative and coherent production by Robert Carson sets the opera in modern times, complete with a mobile phone at one point, and it’s the only time I’ve seen the richest man in Vienna actually appear on stage.
I felt sorry for Manuela Uhl as Salome, because she didn’t come over well until the final scene, and was given no dance.