Monday, May 26, 2008

I Capuleti e I Montecchi, Paris 24. May 2008

Stunning premiere performance of I Capuleti e I Montecchi at the Opera Bastille in Paris this Saturday 24. May 2008 with a cast leaded by Joyce DiDonato as Romeo and Anna Netrebko as Giulietta, and Matthew Polenzani as Tebaldo, Giovanni Battista Parodi as Capellio and Mikhail Petrenko as Lorenzo. The conductor was Evelino Pidó. It was a debut's night. For Anna Netrebko it was her debut at the Opera National de Paris and for Joyce DiDonato and Matthew Polenzani it was their role debut. Anna Netrebko made an outstanding performance, both vocally and dramatically. Anna's powerful high notes and breathtaking pianissimi were terrific. Joyce DiDonato made a superb role debut. It was hard to realize that it was just the first time she was singing this role.

The other members of the cast were also pretty good, in particular Matthew Polenzani as Tebaldo. Maestro Evelino Pidó was conducting very well. The production directed by Robert Carsen was a classic one. The red colours on the walls and clothes of the Capuleti were dominant, while Giulieta was in white and the Montecchi in black.

Standing ovation at the curtain call, filled with "Bravi!" mainly addressed to Anna Netrebko and Joyce DiDonato.

Jeffrey Vanderveen attended the performance. Joan Matabosch, artistic director of the Liceo of Barcelona, was also there. Both of them were siting on the same row, just a few rows in front of me, and they were exchanging some words. I asked Matabosch if we will be able to see Anna at the Liceo of Barcelona, but he was not able to confirm or just announce anything for the moment.

At the end of the performance some of us met Anna at the stage door. It was a dinner at the house, so we needed to wait for quite a while, but it was worthing. She came looking really great, very happy and relaxed, with a wide smile and a nice bouquet of flowers.

"And of course, Anna Netrebko was making her Paris Opéra debut in this role, and she was a dream to share the stage with - from her beautiful singing, to her completely involved performance, to the hidden squeeze of my hand as I sang my final aria to her. She is a most generous colleague who enters onto the stage to tell the story holding nothing back, and I do believe it is one of the reasons she is an anointed star in this opera world - I think the audience feels and responds to her generosity and knowing that she is enjoying every note she sings."
Joyce DiDonato

Des roses qui virevoltent, des flashs qui crépitent au milieu des "bravo", des rangs entiers debout -et pour une fois pas dans l'espoir de s'éclipser de la salle avant tout le monde-... La première d'Anna Netrebko à l'Opéra Bastille dans "I Capuleti e I Montecchi" de Vincenzo Bellini n'est pas passée inaperçue.
Netrebko-DiDonato : Un duo de charme à l'opéra Bastille, Caroline Mazodier, 30. May 2008

Updated on 30. May 2008 21:26


  1. If anyone of the people who was at the stage door after the premiere performance is a visitor of the blog, please send me a message to the contact address. I was also there!

  2. Thanks for the recap.

    "I asked Matabosch if we will be able to see Anna at the Liceo of Barcelona, but he could not confirm or just announce anything for the moment."

    That sounds like something is in the works to me. I hope you get something in Barcelona.

  3. Estimado Carlos:

    A veces pasan cosas: diez días antes del estreno, llamé por teléfono a La Bastille y ¡había entradas! conseguí cuatro para el sábado pasado, así me fui a París, invité a un matrimonio amigo y asistimos a uno de los espectáculos más intensos que he visto nunca.


  4. Estimado Passy,

    Me alegro mucho que tuvieras la suerte de encontrar estas entradas, 4 nada menos!, de última hora y pudieras asistir a la premiere. Creo que fue una función excepcional, marcada por 3 debuts, con Anna y Joyce fantásticas, arriesgando y triunfando. ¡Una noche inolvidable!

    Un saludo y gracias, por tu visita al blog y por compartir tus impresiones

  5. I knew about the forums for forumpro and ODB but the giocoso forum I hadn't seen so thank you for letting me know. It has been great reading about people seeing Anna for the first time and even those that were skeptical be turned around by hearing her live. I loved reading those.

    I've been reading Joyce's blog for almost a year. I think it's great how she shares her experiences. She has a nice official site too.

  6. Will you forgive my english ? ... I'm french.

    And I'm afraid I was so moved that my comment may be quite long.

    I attended the premiere and I came back to Bastille yesterday because I was so amazed by what I've seen that I had to live this one more time.
    That was fantastic !!!! Two of the most exciting evenings of my life.

    The premiere :
    It was a real choc for me. It was the first time I saw Joyce or Anna on stage.
    I had big expectations concerning Anna and I was not disappointed. What a voice ! What a charisma ! Her voice is powerful, but she can sing very softly and still be heard... with magnificent piani. The color of her voice is incredibly pure and beautiful.
    For her debuts at the ONP, the audience loved her !
    Her scene with her father during the second act was heart-breaking and vocally amazing : perfect high-notes, trills (Yes she can do it : she even did in the duet with Romeo during the first act).
    She was awarded by a huge ovation at the end of that scene.

    Joyce was a wonderful surprise : she was amazing. It's hardly believable that it was her first Romeo. She made a youthful and then very moving Romeo (I adored it even if I can understand those who prefer a more virile Romeo ; but for me she was incredible in this role). Her singing was very impressive and her stage presence fantastic. She held the confrontation with the Capuleti with autority.
    I loved her at the end of the night (well, since her first scene actually).

    Anna and Joyce made together a terrific pair : the duets were deeply moving and really beautiful. Her voices mixing were so great. They seemed to really have a chemistry and they made their characters completely believable.
    We had two young lovers, deeply in love and desperate by their misfortune. We really could think that they would die one for the other.
    It was a great performance for both Anna and Joyce to give this feeling !!!
    The face of DiDonato when Romeo thought that Giulietta was dead, seeing the funeral procession, was really moving.

    I really liked the staging. A lot of dark red... and a feeling of oppression on the two lovers. For exemple when Giulietta is waiting in her room, we can see soldiers in the corridor, meaning that she is almost like a prisonner.

    The death of the lovers was heart-breaking.

    Standing ovation at the end... (not so often at the ONP) shared equally by Joyce end Anna. They really deserved it.
    They seemed very happy, congratulated one another, and applauded their colleagues and the orchestra. It seems that they enjoyed working together and they appeared very nice !!!

    Yesterday :
    WHAOUW !!!!!!
    Netrebko's power !!!!
    That really was Anna's night !!!!
    Joyce was still really great but she didn't impressed me as much as for the premiere. She was fabulous but I think the reason why I was not so focused on Romeo is because that evening, Anna eclipsed all the others by her performance.
    She was incredible.
    She was really good during the premiere, but yesterday she was divine !!!
    She irradiated the stage and the theater with her stunning voice and presence. The stress of the premiere gone, she delivered a huge performance, vocally and emotionnally.
    The high-notes, the trills were perfect and her voice quite louder.
    Yesterday, her voice was really more powerful than Joyce's one, but she managed to not cover her during the duets and I appreciated it : they didn't fight for being the diva. They sang together... not one against the other.

    The duets were here again better than saturday. Really a big chemistry in their singing and acting. They really appeared like two young and desperate lovers.
    Their death was even sadder !! As Romeo was dying, Anna kneeled before Joyce, who was on the floor and took her in her arms, holding and physically sustaining her... it was so beautiful and so moving... I feel like crying just remembering it !

    Again standing ovation, which could have been longer if the lights hadn't been switched on so quickly.
    Another fantastic evening.
    Moreover, yesterday was a evening of gala with a quite "blasé" and difficult public. The success was even greatest.

    By the way... That fantastic scene during the second act, where Giulietta is begging her father for forgiveness was really a triumph for Anna.
    I'm repeating myself, but she sang it even better than for the premiere. Emotionnally this was very very moving. She is kneeling and crying before her father.
    Such a choc !!!
    The ovation after that scene was very much longer and louder than Saturday and totally deserved !!!!
    I was on the second row and I can say that Anna was all happiness during the prolonged applauses and "bravo" she received. She was turning her back to the audience at this moment (due to the staging) but she turned her head several times to the wings and there was clearly a huge smile on her face !!! I even think that she started to laugh of pleasure because of the way she was shaking her body. Finally, she softly inclined her head three times for showing her emotion and that she was greatful to the audience.

    At the end of the performance, she had the biggest ovation this time. (But Joyce was also acclaimed, of course).
    Huge smiles again.

    Thank you Anna - Thank you Joyce !!!!!
    Brave !!!!

  7. Thank yoo so much for such a detailed, fresh and moving review of the 2 performances! I have been enjoying so much reading all the comments and regretting that I was not there on the second night, "Anna's night".

    I have been particularly delighted with your last comments about Anna's happiness after the repeated "brava" from the audience. Moving. Congratulations Anna!!!



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