segunda-feira, 19 de janeiro de 2015

DIE ZAUBERFLOTE / A FLAUTA MÁGICA METropolitan Opera, Outubro de 2014 / October 2014



(review in english below)

A Flauta Mágica de W A Mozart esteve em cena no início da presente temporada na METropolitan Opera de Nova Iorque.

A encenação de Julie Taymor é de grande impacto visual. Está recheada de símbolos maçónicos e não inclui elementos egípcios, como muitas vezes se vê. Mas há uma enorme diversidade de criaturas fantásticas ao longo do espectáculo. As três Damas ao serviço da Rainha da Noite aparecem cada uma com uma grande máscara na mão, o que permite um efeito espectacular sempre que estão em cena. O Papageno (e a Papagena) surge vestido convencionalmente, como apanhador de pássaros. O Tamino e a Pamina também aparecem em trajos vistosos mas os mais espectaculares são o Sarastro, a Rainha da Noite e o Monostatos, como poderão ver nas fotografias. Os cenários mudam frequentemente, são eficazes e o ambiente místico mantém-se em toda a ópera.





Dirigiu a excelente Orquestra do Met o maestro húngaro Adam Fischer. O Coro foi também impressionante.

Toby Spence, tenor inglês, foi um Tamino de grande qualidade vocal, sempre bem audível e afinado. A personagem estava excessivamente estilizada, o que não beneficiou a actuação cénica.


Também óptimo vocalmente e muito bem em cena esteve o Papageno do barítono austríaco Markus Werba. A voz não é muito grande mas fez-se sempre ouvir e foi muito expressivo na interpretação.


O baixo René Pape impôs-se como Sarastro, a melhor interpretação masculina. Voz grande, grave, afinada e intensa, melhor será difícil.


Nas solistas a Pamina do soprano Sul Africano Pretty Yende foi excelente. Tem uma voz lindíssima, muito melodiosa, clara e com um timbre muito agradável. E teve uma excelente presença em palco.


Já o soprano macedónio Ana Durlovski não foi uma Rainha da Noite marcante. A coloratura não foi perfeita e a intensidade vocal foi inconstante. Mas, no geral, cumpriu, sem deslumbrar.


Dos restantes cantores merecem destaque, pelas óptimas interpretações, a Papagena de Ashley Emerson, as três Damas, Amy Shoremount-Obra, Renée Tatum e Margaret Lattimore e, sobretudo, a espectacular interpretação, vocal e cénica, de Mark Schowalter como Monostatos.








*****


Die Zauberflöte / The Magic Flute Metropolitan Opera, October 2014


The Magic Flute by WA Mozart was onstage at the beginning of this season at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

The staging by Julie Taymor is fantastic and of great visual impact. It is full of masonic symbols and does not include egyptian elements, as is often seen. But there is a huge range of fantastic creatures throughout the opera. The three ladies in the service of the Queen of the Night appear each with a large mask in hand, which allows for a spectacular effect whenever they are on the stage. Papageno (and Papagena) dress conventionally as bird catchers. Tamino and Pamina also appear in showy costumes but the most spectacular are Sarastro, the Queen of the Night and Monostados, as you can see in the photographs. The scenarios change frequently, are effective, and the mystical ambience is kept throughout the opera.

Directed the great Met Orchestra Hungarian conductor Adam Fischer. The Choir was also impressive.

Toby Spence, English tenor, was a Tamino with great vocal quality, always audible and well tuned. The character was overly stylized, which did not benefit the stage action.

Also great vocally and very well onstage was Papageno by Austrian baritone Markus Werba. The voice is not very big but could always be heard and he had a very expressive interpretation.

Bass René Pape as Sarastro imposed as the best male performance. Fabulous low register always in tune, great voice. Better would be difficult.

South African soprano Pretty Yende was an excellent Pamina. She has a very melodious, clear voice, with a very nice beautiful timbre. And had a great stage presence.

Macedonian soprano Ana Durlovski was not a remarkable Queen of Night. The coloratura was not perfect and vocal intensity was not constant. But, in general, she was ok.

Of the remaining singers are noteworthy, the very good performances of Ashley Emerson as Papagena, the three ladies, Amy Shoremount Manpower, Renée Tatum and Margaret Lattimore, and above all, the spectacular interpretation, vocal and on stage of Mark Schowalter as Monostatos.


*****

sábado, 10 de janeiro de 2015

Magdalena Anna Hofmann – soprano



 O excelente soprano Magdalena Anna Hofmann vai cantar em Portugal, no próximo dia 17 de Janeiro, na Casa da Música, Porto, as cenas finais de duas operas do Anel de Wagner, Siegfried e Götterdämmerung. A não perder!

Também a não perder a entrevista exclusiva que a artista deu ao blogue “Fanáticos da Ópera / Opera Fanatics”.

Obrigado Magdalena Hofmann!

The great soprano Magdalena Anna Hofmann will sing in Portugal, on the 17th January at Casa da Música, Porto, the final scenes of two operas of Wagner's Ring, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung. Not to be missed!

Also do not miss the exclusive interview that the artist gave to the blog "Fanaticos da Ópera / Opera Fanatics".

Thank you Magdalena Hofmann!




- On 17th of January you will be singing the final scenes of Siegfried and Götterdämmerung in a concert in Casa da Música in Porto. Will this be your debut in Portugal? Do you have any further plans to sing in this country?

Well I sang in Porto already last year under the baton of Baldur Brönnimann and enjoyed this fabulous orchestra and Casa da Musica very much. That`s why I`m truly happy to be able to come back, this time with a different program and the Remix Ensemble! I am also quite exited about another concert I will sing in Casa da Musica next season, again with Maestro Brönnimann. It is a huge honour to be invited several times and I`m really looking forward to it!





- Is the closeness to the public different during a concert performance and an opera? Which is the most challenging?

It is indeed different! In a way it seems much easier to perform an opera, as within 3 or 4 hours you have a whole character to develop, supported by the costume, the set design, etc. This really helps you to step away from your own self and embody a specific role. It`s very hard sometimes but also great fun! Whereas a concert is always a more personal matter. You appear on stage and you instantly have to get into the right mood for a piece. In this situation it is always me, Magdalena, telling a story whereas in an opera it is told by the character I portray… Then again, in a concert there is that constant contact with the audience, so one can sense the atmosphere and react to it. Actually it took me some time to get used to concerts and enjoy the spirit of the moment.


 (Le Nozze di Figaro)

- You have already sung, with great success, several other Wagnerian heroines (including Kundry, Elisabeth, Venus, Sieglinde and Senta). Which opera character do you most admire in Wagner’s operas and which would you still like to sing?

That`s a tricky question as we know how complex Wagnerian heroines are! It`s always a challenge to find all those different layers in the characters like strength, vulnerability, sacrifice, determination. Perhaps I`d say that Kundry would be my favorite role so far and before I even start thinking of singing Isolde I`d rather do some more productions with roles I have already sung, to develop them and find new twists.


 (Mathis der Mahler)

- How did Wagner enter your life?

Hahaha, when I was 22 years old my voice teacher suggested that I should study Fricka in Walküre. Of course it was way too early for this kind of repertoire but without really being aware of what I was doing I enjoyed it a lot and immediately found my own interpretation. Which may have been a good sign I guess...



 (Der Fliegende Holländer)

- Who are the people that have had the most influence in your singing career?

I am lucky to have several important people in my life whom I trust and who guide me and are honest enough to tell me when something isn’t the way it should be. It`s always important to hear different opinions and get new input, but also trust someone who knows you for many years, like my wonderful voice teacher Carol Blaickner-Mayo in Vienna!


  (Der Fliegende Holländer) 

- What are your professional plans for the future?

 My goal is to keep a good balance between more lyrical repertoire and the dramatic roles, and of course contemporary music to keep my voice and mind flexible. Currently I`m preparing for Opéra de Lyon Carlotta in DIE GEZEICHNETEN, a brilliant opera by Franz Schreker, rarely done but such wonderful music! Further plans bring with Schönberg`s Erwartung one of my all time favourite roles, the Foreign Princess in Rusalka and two different productions of The Flying Dutchman.


  (Der Fliegende Holländer) 

- Do you have a particular message for the readers of the blog “Fanáticos da Ópera / Opera Fanatics”?


Well, nowadays people are used to recordings, perfectly done through endless repetitions and therefore flawless. As a result singers often are being judged too hard and people neglect the sensation of that person being live on stage, singing for them, authentically. Don’t stop attending concerts and live performances because in those very moments the singers try to give their best, and give it from their hearts!

quinta-feira, 1 de janeiro de 2015

Top 10 do Fanáticos da Ópera / Top 10 of the Opera Fanatics

O blogue Fanáticos da Ópera completou, em 19 de Novembro passado, 5 anos de existência. Pela primeira vez referimos as 10 mensagens mais vistas, todas com mais de 1500 visualizações.
Seguramente que o interesse de cada uma delas influenciou a escolha, embora a antiguidade das mensagens também terá sido importante (penso eu).
Um excelente ano de 2015 para todos, com boas operas e bons concertos!

Aqui segue a lista / Here is the list:


domingo, 28 de dezembro de 2014

ROMEU E JULIETA / ROMEU UND JULIA, Wiener Staatsoper, Novembro de 2014 /November 2014

(text in english below)

Durante uma curta estadia em Viena não desperdicei a oportunidade de ver o bailado Romeu e Julieta (Romeu und Julia como se diz por aqui) de Prokofiev que estava em cena na Ópera Estatal de Viena.




Foi um excelente espectáculo. Os bailarinos de qualidade superior, a forte música de Prokofiev, bem interpretada pela Orquestra da Ópera de Viena, e uma coreografia muito bonita contribuíram para uma noite bem passada.


O bailado não é uma actividade habitualmente comentada neste espaço. Contudo, aqui fica este registo.





ROMEO AND JULIET / ROMEO UND JULIA, Wiener Staatsoper, November 2014

During a short stay in Vienna I did not waste the opportunity to see the ballet Romeo and Juliet (Romeo und Julia as they say here) by Prokofiev that was on stage at the Wiener Staatsoper.

It was an excellent performance. The dancers of superior quality, the strong music by Prokofiev, well played by the Vienna State Opera Orchestra, and a beautiful choreography contributed to a very pleasant night.


Ballet is not an activity usually commented in this space. However, here is this record.