Tragedia lirica in two acts (1830)
Music by Vincenzo Bellini
Libretto by Felice Romani
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Thursday, 30 March 2009 7:30 PM
Giulietta: Anna Netrebko
Romeo: Elina Garanca
Tebaldo: Dario Schmunck
Capelio: Eric Owens
Lorenzo: Giovanni Battista Parodi
Musical Director: Mark Elder
Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Rhodri attended this performance and kinly wrote the following report for the blog
I was feeling a bit apprehensive as to whether Anna would sing with the date coming after four performances of Lucia, so I was relieved to learn that she was indeed singing. Although Elina was recovering from a cold the only sign of this was in the care she took when reaching her high notes, and I had the feeling she didn't hit her highest notes on the night, but even so she was once again a singer worth listening to all night long. The highlight? Again the duet between Giulietta and Romeo was magical, a "pin drop" moment. But I would also say that the death sequence too was performed very movingly and I can't wait to see it from a distance not quite as far as I was last night in the upper reaches of the amphitheatre so I can experience the acting which would just top off the singing for me.
The male leads were once again left in the wake of Anna & Elina, although I have to say that Dario Schmunk (Tebaldo) had done some obvious work since I'd seen the dress rehearsal and it was good to see that he has been trying to improve his performance instead of merely just turning up and getting paid. The only problem was that the tempi he'd decided on for his solos were quite slow and did hinder the early rhythm of the performance – but these are small quibbles. Overall it was another great performance, but I think, after seeing it twice now, that the production would benefit from a stronger hand in the direction department, especially where the chorus are concerned – they just seem very static to me and move like a herd, which I assume is what the director was looking for in order to highlight the difference between the personal struggle of Romeo and Giulietta against their public / family ties. But even so, just a little bit of movement would help to combat the sense of feeling that they are marking time until Anna and Elina take to the stage.
But as Intermezzo said in her blog, it was a very enjoyable night with Anna and Elina bringing the house down – now if only Anna would do a signing session then it would make the whole run quite complete!