Friday, May 29, 2009

La Bohème, Bayerische Staatsoper, München 28. Mai 2009


La Bohème
Giacomo Puccini
Giuseppe Giacosa und Luigi Illica

Nationaltheater, München
Donnerstag, 28. Mai 2009



Besetzung
Musikalische Leitung Daniele Callegari
Inszenierung Otto Schenk
Bühne und Kostüme Rudolf Heinrich
Chöre Andrés Máspero

Mimi Anna Netrebko
Musetta Jessica Muirhead
Rodolfo Joseph Calleja
Marcello Nikolay Borchev
Schaunard Christian Rieger
Colline John Relyea
Parpignol Ho-Chul Lee
Benoît Alfred Kuhn
Alcindoro Rüdiger Trebes
Ein Zöllner Christopher Magiera
Sergeant der Zollwache Igor Bakan

Bayerisches Staatsorchester
Chor der Bayerischen Staatsoper

La Bohème - Synopsis

Reviews
Herbert, who was at the premiere of La Bohème on 24. May, did also attend the second performance of the run and wrotes the following report for the blog.
The second performance of La Bohème was a FANTASTIC night again!

I think there must have been a rehearsal since Sunday because the performance was a little bit more fluent than last time. But the difference was not too big. Anna Netrebko and Joseph Calleja were in top form again, both vocally and as actors. There were many curtain calls (for about 15 minutes) and the audience was enthusiastic.

I think there must have been a party or a reception of the sponsors after the show, because a) I saw the BIG BOSS of LINDE, the main sponsor of the Munich opera, and b) both Anna and Calleja came to the stage door and signed lots of autographs, but then they did not go out into the street, but returned to the opera house, where the director was already waiting for them. And Anna wore a beautiful blue, short dress as if she went to a party. It was raining outside, so this would have been the wrong dress for going home...

Anna was in a very good mood at the stage door, better than last time where the crowd of people seemed to be too much for her. Today she was smiling all the time and spoke to the people. I told her that I had got a SMS message that at the same evening Erwin Schrott had a big success as Don Giovanni in Wiesbaden, and when she said that her colleagues were fantastic I asked her what she thought about the audience. She smiled and said: "The Munich audience is very cold....." - of course this was a joke.
The second review comes from Attila who, after being at one of the performances of La Traviata in Wien, he did attend this performance of La Bohème in München.
This was an amazing performance. These are great days when we finally have a singer whose Mimi can bring to mind great sopranos such as Tebaldi and Caballe. I say to people see Anna now, don't leave it until tomorrow.

This Munich Boheme was a totally different experience from Anna's Traviata in Vienna. Instead of an intelligently thought out performance full of ideas and deliberate use of different vocal colours and styles, we had here in La Boheme an intuitive artist simply living the character without any apparent 'art'. From her first aria the voice was perfectly placed, the phrasing ecstatic. She left no room for thoughts of how she could do it better.

This Mimi was a total innocent rather that a calculating flirt, ill from the very beginning rather than a wilting flower in slow decline. She was lucky (or unlucky) enough to fall into the spider's web of Calleja's Rodolfo who showed himself to be a congenial sexual predator doing all he could to enmesh his new neighbour.

The most miraculous singing from Anna was in the third act, the voice soaring with no effort, plenty of subtle phrasing and beauty of tone. Plenty of genuine emotion, never overblown of histrionic. It's hard to believe that the Met Lucias were only a few months ago - I feel sorry for anyone whose vocal image of Anna was formed by her singing at that time.

I thought at some points in the evening that Calleja would not find the incredible range of emotion which he had shown in his Alfredo in the Vienna Traviata, but I think he was deliberately saving it for the end of the opera. The moment when he understands Mimi has died was devasting, suddenly he was overcome by a violent grief that went from a total refusal to accept her death to the sudden realisation of the extent of his loss - all in a matter of seconds. The voice is amazing; it's strange these days to listen to a tenor who does not force. I must admit that I wasn't impressed when I had listened to recordings even of his live performances. But when you see him live you are completely transported by his lack of tension, both vocally and in his stage presence. He makes the audience feel relaxed. But at the same time he has a warm and deeply sensual side which he uses very subtley to make scenes progress emotionally. I am beginning to think - having only seen him sing with Anna twice - that it's this relaxed warm emotional quality which is bringing out the best singing we have ever heard from Anna.

At the curtain calls Calleja was still in tears from Mimi's death, but he cheered up when he appeared to sign autographs at the stage door. Anna finally appeared in her blue dress, and literally looked like she was still in a trance. After her Vienna performance she had been tired but charming. This time she appeared to have come from another world; she looked at people quizzically like a new born fawn assessing a totally unfamiliar world. I walked up and told her that tonight she had been even better than in Vienna - she momentarily woke from her trance, her eyes lit up and she seemed to connect with me, "Really? You think so?" I told her I thought Tebaldi and Caballe could not have sung Mimi better. She smiled broadly, almost embarassed and seemed reassured. I think she agreed it had been a fantastic performance.

The rest of the cast were a bit weak. Anna and Calleja were like giants in a land of small people - with the notable exception of John Relyea who was a youthful, charismatic and very well sung Colline. The weakness of the other cast members meant the group ensembles didn't work for me, and the production of Act 2 was disappointing with Musetta going off with street boys instead of focusing her alternate passion on her old rich admirer. After Vienna, the Munich orchestra is a disappointment and the acoustic here is very dry.

Press Reviews

On-line Press Reviews
Munich Boheme Netrebko/Calleja by Roger Peralta, Opera-L Archives, 28. May 2009 [English]
Nicht nur ein eiskaltes Händchen, Klassik.com, 30. Mai 2009 [German]
Puccini-Glück, KlassikInfo.de, 3. Jun 2009 [German]


Photo Album
Curtain calls photos [1-3] by Herbert

Stage door photos [1-6] by Herbert
Signed program photo by Herbert

Related posts
La Bohème, Bayerische Staatsoper, München 24. Mai 2009

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8 comments:

  1. Loved Netrebko! She must be even more beautiful in person...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Una excelente crónica. Gracias.

    Anna está guapísima.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks Herbert for your report and photos!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Attilalondon@msn.comMay 29, 2009 at 2:15 PM

    This was an amazing performance. These are great days when we finally have a singer whose Mimi can bring to mind great sopranos such as Tebaldi and Caballe. I say to people see Anna now, don't leave it until tomorrow.

    This Munich Boheme was a totally different experience from Anna's Traviata in Vienna. Instead of an intelligently thought out performance full of ideas and deliberate use of different vocal colours and styles, we had here in La Boheme an intuitive artist simply living the character without any apparent 'art'. From her first aria the voice was perfectly placed, the phrasing ecstatic. She left no room for thoughts of how she could do it better.

    This Mimi was a total innocent rather that a calculating flirt, ill from the very beginning rather than a wilting flower in slow decline. She was lucky (or unlucky) enought to fall into the spider's web of Calleja's Rodolfo who showed himself to be a congenial sexual predator doing all he could to enmesh his new neighbour.

    The most miraculous singing from Anna was in the third act, the voice soaring with no effort, plenty of subtle phrasing and beauty of tone. Plenty of genuine emotion, never overblown of histrionic. It's hard to believe that the Met Lucias were only a few months ago - I feel sorry for anyone whose vocal image of Anna was formed by her singing at that time.

    I thought at some points in the evening that Calleja would not find the incredible range of emotion which he had shown in his Alfredo in the Vienna Traviata, but I think he was deliberately saving it for the end of the opera. The moment when he understands Mimi has died was devasting, suddenly he was overcome by a violent grief that went from a total refusal to accept her death to the sudden realisation of the extent of his loss - all in a matter of seconds. The voice is amazing; it's strange these days to listen to a tenor who does not force. I must admit that I wasn't impressed when I had listened to recordings even of his live performances. But when you see him live you are completely transported by his lack of tension, both vocally and in his stage presence. He makes the audience feel relaxed. But at the same time he has a warm and deeply sensual side which he uses very subtley to make scenes progress emotionally. I am beginning to think - having only seen him sing with Anna twice - that it's this relaxed warm emotional quality which is bringing out the best singing we have ever heard from Anna.

    At the curtain calls Calleja was still in tears from Mimi's death, but he cheered up when he appeared to sign autographs at the stage door. Anna finally appeared in her blue dress, and literally looked like she was still in a trance. After her Vienna performance she had been tired but charming. This time she appeared to have come from another world; she looked at people quizzically like a new born fawn assessing a totally unfamiliar world. I walked up and told her that tonight she had been even better than in Vienna - she momentarily woke from her trance, her eyes lit up and she seemed to connect with me, "Really? You think so?" I told her I thought Tebaldi and Caballe could not have sung Mimi better. She smiled broadly, almost embarassed and seemed reassured. I think she agreed it had been a fantastic performance.

    The rest of the cast were a bit weak. Anna and Calleja were like giants in a land of small people - with the notable exception of John Relyea who was a youthful, charismatic and very well sung Colline. The weakness of the other cast members meant the group ensembles didn't work for me, and the production of Act 2 was disappointing with Musetta going off with street boys instead of focusing her alternate passion on her old rich admirer. After Vienna, the Munich orchestra is a disappointment and the acoustic here is very dry - like most of the audience. I have never seen such a well dressed miserable bunch of people!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Attila, of course, I have posted your fantastic review on the main page. Thanks a lot!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you Herbert for this foto... Anna is Fantastic in that pictures... !!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Attila - what a great review! Couldn't agree with you more on so many points, especially those people whose first experience of Anna was during the Lucia's at the start of the year and also about Calleja's singing.

    ReplyDelete
  8. vous ne trouvez pas que anna retrouve sa ligne d'avant la naisance de son garçon,moi, je la trouve terriblement belle ,merveilleuse anna, domage, je n'aurais jamais le plaisir de la voir et l'entendre en reel,enfin, tand qu'il y a vie il y a espoire:=)))

    ReplyDelete

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