Friday, December 10, 2010

Latvian National Opera, Riga 8. Dec 2010

Anna Netrebko and Erwin Schrott made their debut in Riga with a concert held at the Latvian National Opera on 8. December 2010. Maestro Claudio Vandelli conducted the Latvian National Opera Orchestra and Chorus.

The concert in Riga was organized as part of a Concert Tour given by Anna Netrebko, Erwin Schrott and Claudio Vandelli including concerts at the Odessa National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet, Odessa 1. Dec 2010, Palace Ukraine, Kiev 5. Dec 2010, Latvian National Opera, Riga 8. Dec 2010, Rimsky-Korsakov St. Petersburg State Conservatory, St. Petersburg 11. Dec 2010 and Kremlin, Moscow 13. Dec 2010.

The day before the concert, Anna Netrebko, Erwin Schrrott and Claudio Vandelli gave a press conference held at the Latvian National Opera.

Latvian National Opera, Riga, Latvia
Wednesday 8. Dec 2010

Anna Netrebko, soprano
Erwin Schrott, bass-baritone
Latvian National Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Claudio Vandelli, conductor

1. Part
Glinka | "Ruslan and Ludmila" | Ochestral overture
Glinka | "Ruslan and Lyudmila" | Cavatina (1. Act) | Anna Netrebko and Chorus
Mozart | "Don Giovanni" | "Madamina, il catalogo è questo" | Erwin Schrott
Gounod | "Faust" | "Ah! je ris de me voir si belle en ce miroir" | Anna Netrebko
Gounod | "Faust" | "Le veau d'or" | Erwin Schrott and Chorus
Rossini | "La gazza ladra" | Ochestral overture
Donizetti | "L'elisir d'amore" | "Udite, udite, o rustici" | Erwin Schrott
Donizetti | "L'elisir d'amore" | Duetto: "Quanto amore! Ed io, spietata" (2. Act) | Anna Netrebko, Erwin Schrott

2. Part
Arditi | Il bacio | Anna Netrebko
Lehar | "Die lustige Witwe" | "Lippen Schweigen" | Anna Netrebko, Erwin Schrott
Verdi | "I Vespri Siciliani" | Overture
Dvorak | "Rusalka" | Song to the moon | Anna Netrebko
Sorozábal | "La Tabernera del Puerto" | "Despierta, negro, que viene el blanco... La luna es blanca muy blanca" | Erwin Schrott
Puccini | "Gianni Schicchi" | "O mio babbino caro" | Anna Netrebko
Gershwin | "Porgy and Bess" | "Bess, you is my woman now" | Anna Netrebko, Erwin Schrott

Lehar | "Giuditta" | "Meine Lippen sie küssen so heiss" | Anna Netrebko
Piazzolla | Tangos | Erwin Schrott

Press Reviews
Концерт Анны Нетребко в Латвийской опере: как это было | LifeNews 9. Dec 2010

Anne-Laure has has attended the concert of Anna Netrebko and Erwin Schrott in Riga and she has kindly written the following detailed review for the Blog.
Concert of Anna Netrebko and Erwin Schrott at the Latvian National Opera, Riga 8. Dec 2010
By Anne-Laure
This concert was a mega event in Latvia and the very beautiful hall was packed.
After the overture of "Ruslan and Ludmila", Anna arrived on stage to sing Ludmila’s cavatine. In a white and silver dress, with her long hair on her shoulders and somehow still a girlish face, she was utterly gorgeous. In fact, with this dress, she could have been escaped from a fairy tell where she would have been a snow princess. But of course, the most important thing was the singing… and it was equally gorgeous. Her beautiful voice easily filled the hall, with power and control. She managed to convey both the little Slavic melancholy of the beginning of the aria and the girlish irony of the second part very well, both in her facial acting and her singing. She added subtle colors, nuances and the slow parts where the voice could deploy itself were fantastic, as the faster parts. That was the first time I heard her perform this live and I if I already loved the piece, I was really amazed by how splendid it is live. I really hope she’ll come in France with this kind of repertoire (well, in fact I thought the same thing during the performance when she sang Marguerite – isn’t the Opéra de Paris able to make her come to sing in Faust ????? -, Rusalka, Operetta and Italian repertoire for those too…).
The audience (who was already hers from her entrance) greeted with bravos and applauses.
Then Erwin (very elegant) came to show us why he is the best Leporello today. Playing with the audience, he displayed all his cards in this, vocally and with his scenic charisma. His voice too filled the hall and his tone is definitely beautiful.
Anna came back to give the jewel song and I must say that the color of her voice in this aria is absolutely great ! She managed to produce (or smartly fake ;-)) the trills and roulades needed and she seemed to have a real good time… which was equally true for the audience. The only thing I could regret was the little breathing before the last high note, in the middle of the word “passage”, who was not really appropriate. But it’s better than a crack I guess.
Still from Faust, Erwin sang the rondo of the Veau d’or. I thought that it was really convincing, even if some French “S” consonants became “Ch” (for quite a strange effect for a French) and if some sounds were not covered as the others. But this aria is a killer and he impressed me (I would add that he also scared me, because there was a devilish look in his eyes).
The orchestra then gave the Gazza Ladra’s overture with some cracks in the winds section and Erwin came back with a bottle of vodka to sell Dulcamara’s potion.
He really played with the audience and managed to get a bill from a man of the first row. Vocally his Dulcamara was secure and fun. Great time.
Short after he went backstage and while the audience was still applauding, Anna/Adina came on stage to lament over Nemorino’s departure. She was quickly rejoined by Erwin/Dulcamara who tried to consulate her with his “elisir” (vodka again, of course). The both played at the same time their characters and themselves. Anna is definitely one of the greatest Adinas ever and here her match with “her” Dulcamara was fantastic.
Maybe they played too much with the audience, because the crowd couldn’t help laughing and applauding even while they were singing (which was a shame because we couldn’t hear those beautiful notes as I would have liked), especially when Erwin tried to sell his potion to the Letton President. At this time, the audience laughed VERY loud while Anna was singing, to the point she took Erwin by the shoulders and get him back with a smile and a “OK darling, that’s great, but I’m singing” look on her face.
Of course, she “provoked” such reactions in the audience herself, especially when she made her face and signature crying realizing that Nemorino was gone by her fault. The audience bursted into laughters.
To finish the duet, Erwin, whose Dulcamara couldn’t give the potion to Adina, managed to sell it again to a man in the audience. Then he (as Erwin and no more Dulcamara) turned to Anna (who was no longer Adina) with the bill in the hand and a proud face like “look Honey, I’m getting money back home”. She put on an ironic or amused smile, took the bill from his hands, laid glamorously on the front of the stage and hided it in the flowers just before the man, giving him a wink and sending him a kiss too, as for apologizing on her man’s behavior (just when singing that “her elisir” was her face).
Then she stood up and while she was looking in another direction, Erwin, who had taken a annoyed face took the bill back and put it in his pocket.
They finished the duet with Anna grabbing Erwin and kissing him, then rejecting him and leaving the stage, letting him amazed for 3 seconds before he finally ran after her.
All that was of course totally prepared I guess, but they managed to make it so well and natural that it was perfect. Most of all, they did it while singing as good as we know they can do, so the musical part was not let beyond. Then it was a huge pleasure and the audience rewarded them with a huge and deserved ovation.
The second part began with Anna, coming this time with a beautiful blue dress and her hair put up. That made her a more woman face than the previous girlish style, and maybe more glamorous, but equally GORGEOUS !
She sang Il bacio with joy in her voice and even if she eluded the final high-D, it was a beautiful moment.
Then followed the Merry widow duet. If (to me) Erwin’s German sounded even stranger than Anna’s one, it was beautifully and tastefully sang. They made it quite in a romantic mood, danced a bit to seal the lovers (Hannah and Danilo) reconciliation and finally kissed. That was cute.
After the Vêpres’ overture, Anna sang Rusalka’s aria. What can I say ? I love it and I love her singing that piece. Feelings, emotion, beautiful tone. She had to come back to bow as the audience didn’t want her to go and was still applauding.
Erwin (wisely I think, and I’ll add that I’m really tired of the Toreador song) came to sing a zarzuela (I guess). The piece even if not really brilliant was pleasant and was perfectly fitted to let Erwin’s voice show all his male beauty. Here again the audience asked for a come-back on stage.
When I saw on the program that Anna had planned to sing Lauretta’s aria “O mio babbino caro”, I’m sorry to write that I was like “Oh no, please !!!!!”. Because I must say that I’m quite fed up with it, having heard it by many many sopranos, as if they all had to sing it during their concerts, especially as an encore. This aria I have heard too many times and I was hoping to hear something new.
Well, it was before having heard it live by Anna. OK, there were some odds vowels at the beginning, making a slight sensation of discomfort… but then the voice became huge with powerful notes then she gave piani that stayed in suspension in the hall… the audience stopped breathing and finally at the end erupted in wild bravos and huge ovation. She had to get back on stage as the audience called her. Amazing.
The program ended with the duet of Porgy and Bess. I’m not sure that their singing really matched the style of the piece, maybe because they didn’t sound particularly at ease with singing in English (especially Anna). Anyway, that was still beautiful and it is always pleasant and interesting to hear a singer in a new piece for him. 
The audience, who was already hot went mad… Standing ovation. Screams…
As an encore Anna gave her signature aria. Meine Lippen sie küssen so heiss.
From the moment the audience heard the first notes and recognized it, they probably guessed what would happen and they immediately began to scream of approval.
Well, indeed Anna threw roses (even to the presidential loge, making the president nearly fall over it to catch them), kicked off her shoes, danced wildly across the stage and played with her curves at a point that made the men totally mad (one could hear some of them nearly die, I’m not kidding).
And what can I say about the singing ? Powerful, seductive, magnificent. The whole package.
Then the audience went again wild greeting her with another standing ovation. They could not stop applauding, which gave time to some people to install a mike.
Erwin came for his encore with Anna. He explained that he would like to give something from his country. (Anna was there to translate his speech in Russian). He said that in the opera, the soprano comes often half-sick from the beginning, that she makes the bariton jealous with the tenor, that both of them finally die to let the bariton cry all by himself. He added, while everybody was laughing, that they had the same thing in South America and that it was called Tango. He then proposed to sing a little selection.
I wouldn’t say that I’m basically a tango fan, but the 3 pieces he sang were quite pleasant and his voice fitted them perfectly. He put quite feeling in it too. As a result I really took pleasure discovering them. The crowd rewarded him with bravos and he finally was rejoined by Anna for the final bows, who lasted and lasted, with standing ovation, as the audience didn’t want to let them go. They had to come back on stage many times.
It was a beautiful gala. The program, if not really original, was cool and had mainly one purpose : made people happy and it was a huge success. Everybody had a huge smile on the face, was in a good mood when going out the theater. Thanks to those beautiful artists.

Erwin Schrott and Anna Netrebko, Latvian National Opera, Riga 8. Dec 2010. Photo: Anne-Laure

Claudio Vandelli, Anna Netrebko and Erwin Schrott, Latvian National Opera, Riga 8. Dec 2010. Photo: Anne-Laure

Claudio Vandelli, Anna Netrebko and Erwin Schrott, Latvian National Opera, Riga 8. Dec 2010. Photo: Anne-Laure

Erwin Schrott, Anna Netrebko and Claudio Vandelli, Latvian National Opera, Riga 8. Dec 2010. Photo: Anne-Laure

Erwin Schrott, Anna Netrebko and Claudio Vandelli, Latvian National Opera, Riga 8. Dec 2010. Photo: Anne-Laure

Erwin Schrott and Anna Netrebko, Latvian National Opera, Riga 8. Dec 2010. Photo: Anne-Laure

Anna Netrebko, Latvian National Opera, Riga 8. Dec 2010. Photo: Anne-Laure

PBK News: Anna Netrebko and Erwin Schrott arrive to Riga

Latvian TV coverage of the Anna Netrebko and Ewin Schott concert to be held in Riga on 8. Dec 2010


  1. Judging from Anne-Laure's photos - merci!! - Riga must have been a big success. Thank you for covering this concert tour.

  2. Thanks so much Anne-Laure(and partners as they say in busines;))), Fantastic blue dress!!!



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