Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Aleko" and "Iolanta", Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Baden-Baden 27. July 2009

The fourth performance of Rachmaninov's first opera "Aleko", with John Relyea in the title role, and Tchaikovsky's last opera "Iolanta", with Anna Netrebko in the title role and Piotr Beczala as Graf Vaudemont, took place on Monday 27. July 2009 at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden. Valery Gergiev conducted the Chorus and Orchestra of the Mariinsky Orchestra of St. Petersburg. The stage director, in a co-production by the Mariinsky Theater of St. Petersburg, was Mariusz Treliński.

one act opera
Music by Sergei Rakhmaninov
Libretto by Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenkoafter the poem by Alexander Pushkin

Aleko: John Relyea
Young Gypsy: Sergei Skorokhodov
Zemfira: Irina Mataeva
Old Gypsy: Sergei Aleksashkin
Old Gypsy Woman: Elena Vitman

one act opera
Music by Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Libretto by Modest Tchaikovsky after the play "Kong Renés Datter" by Henrik Hertz

Iolanta: Anna Netrebko
Graf Tristan Vaudémont: Piotr Beczala
René, König der Provence: Mikhail Kit
Robert: Alexei Markov
Ebn-Hakia: Alexander Gergalov
Alméric: Andrei Zorin
Bertrand: Fyodor Kuznetsov
Martha: Natalia Evstafieva
Brigitte: Eleonora Vindau
Laura: Ekaterina Sergeeva

Musical Director: Valery Gergiev
Stage Director: Mariusz Trelinski
Set Designer: Boris Kudlička
Costume Designer: Magdalena Musial
Lighting Designer: Marc Heinz
Cinematographer: Wojciech Puś
Choreographer: Tomasz Wygoda
Animators: Michał Jankowski and Tomasz Popakul
Literary Consultant: Piotr Gruszczynski
Musical Preparation: Marina Mishuk
Principal Chorus Master: Andrei Petrenko
Co-production of the Mariinsky Theater of St. Petersburg

Musical Director: Valery Gergiev
Orchestra and Chorus of the Mariinsky Theater, St. Petersburg

Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Baden-Baden
Monday 27. July 2009

About the Operas
Premiere of "Aleko" and "Iolanta" at the Mariinsky Theater, St. Petersburg 17. Apr 2009
Variations in "Iolanta" Libretto
Iolanta's Russian/Spanish Libretto
Iolanta's English Libretto

Our friends Anne-Laure and Roxanne, who had previously attended the premiere and the performance on 21. July, have attended also this fourth performance. Anne-Laure has kindly written the following report for the blog:

I think that it was the best performance of the four. Anna was as usual really convincing, touching (and gorgeous)as Iolanta and vocally even more secure (better projection for example) than at the premiere. This music (a trully wonderful music. Thank you Tchaikovsky!) suits her very well and she is really inspired by it even if the role is sometimes maybe a little low for her. Her singing is like velvet for the ears.

Beczala was also very good and their duet was fabulous. Markov was good too. Gergiev and the Mariinsky orchestra and chorus were really excellent. We can feel that they understand that music very well. The colors of the orchestra were magnificent.

But I think that on this night, Anna owned the stage and as a consequence she had the more cheerful applauses. The team was granted a real standing ovation and bravi (not a "false" as during the premiere, where they upped the curtain while people were standing to leave). When they brought flowers for the singers, Gergiev as usual gave his bouquet to Anna, who finally threw them to the musiciens in the pitch. Unfortunately, I think that one of them didn't see the bouquet coming, because Anna started to smile and laugh quite embarassed and shameful and made a sign of apologize before returning to her place. That was really funny.

After the performance she signed autographs, posed for pictures with fans and chatted a little bit with some of them before going to the party organized for the cast.

A shame that there will not be a dvd of this production!!!
Reports, written in Japanish, and some nice photos of the performances of "Aleko" and "Iolanta" at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden on 27. July 2009 can be found at the Japanish blog

Anna Netrebko and Piotr Beczala at the curtain calls of "Iolanta" on 27. Jul 2009. Photos [1-3] by Anne-Laure

Anna Netrebko, Piotr Beczala and Valery Gergiev at the curtain calls of "Iolanta" on 27. Jul 2009. Photos [1-2] by Britta

Anna at the stage door of the Festspielhaus after the performance. Photo by Roxanne.

Radio Broadcasts
One of the last two performances of "Aleko" and "Iolanta" will be broadcast on SWR2 Kultur, on Sunday 7. February 2010 at 20:03

Related posts
Anna Netrebko at the Baden-Baden Festspielhaus 2008-2009 Season
Planned DVDs releases with Anna Netrebko
Breaking News - Piotr Beczala replaces Rolando Villazón in Iolanta, Baden-Baden
Press Conference of Anna Netrebko in Baden-Baden
"Aleko" and "Iolanta", Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Baden-Baden 18. July 2009
"Aleko" and "Iolanta", Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Baden-Baden 21. July 2009
"Aleko" and "Iolanta", Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Baden-Baden 24. July 2009

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  1. A big thank you to AL, Herbert (and of course) Carlos for all your reports!

    It's a shame that no DVD has been recorded as we don't get the chance to see / hear Anna in full length Russian works, especially the lesser known ones, and as much as I love Italian opera I would love to see Anna in works other than the surefire hits.

    Any idea if the radio broadcast will be going ahead?

  2. I can't believe it! We have to wait till end of January for a broadcast of Aleko and Iolanta!!!

  3. It was a big success...
    Audiences and critics agreed on that !
    I still can't believe it either.
    Much too long... and worse : no video captation !!!
    What are they thinking of ???

    The Festpielhaus only posted that short video.



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