No dia 12 de Novembro de 2010, a Ópera de Hamburgo recebeu uma das maiores cantoras líricas de todos os tempos - Edita Gruberova - que interpretou, alegadamente pela última vez em versão encenada, o papel de Violetta Valéry em La Traviata, de Giuseppe Verdi.
Como sempre, a presença da Primadonna Assoluta levou a que a casa estivesse esgotada, com inúmeras pessoas no exterior a desesperar por um bilhete. O ambiente era de grande expectativa. E, uma vez mais, a expectativa foi coroada de êxito e o milagre voltou a acontecer: Edita Gruberova revelou ser uma das maiores intérpretes de sempre deste papel, deslumbrando o público que enchia por completo a Hamburgische Staatsoper.
Os cenários eram clássicos e grandiosos. No primeiro acto, Edita surgiu com um vestido de noite branco, na sala de baile. Deslizava com graciosidade sobre o palco, enchendo de champagne os copos dos seus convivas. Enquanto o fazia, sorria e fazia soar as primeiras notas que, com a maior elegância, brotavam da sua voz cristalina.
E foi, precisamente, logo neste primeiro acto, que a Gruberova triunfou ao cantar com um vigor impressionante È strano! ... Ah, fors'è lui. Follie! Follie! ... Sempre libera. O público foi levado ao delírio, perante o desempenho não só vocal, mas também interpretativo, que foi verdadeiramente impressionante.
No segundo acto, Edita transmitiu duma forma absolutamente tocante a dor de Violetta ao aceitar a separação de Alfredo, a pedido de seu pai. As lágrimas brotavam verdadeiramente dos seus olhos enquanto cantava, num pianissimo arrepiante, Ah! Ditte alla giovane.
No terceiro acto, a Gruberova também arrepiou o público enquanto cantava, tombada no solo após a humilhação a que Violeta tinha sido submetida por Alfredo na casa de Flora, Alfredo, Alfredo, di questo core.
Mas o clímax do dramatismo interpretativo, surgiu no quarto e último acto. No final da leitura da carta, a Gruberova exclamou com uma profundidade e uma dor arrepiantes "È tardi", transmitindo um desespero imenso. Seguidamente, Edita Gruberova emitiu os mais supreendentes agudos em pianissimo, na ária Addio del passato. No final desta dificílima ária, houve uma ovação em cena impressionante, de vários minutos, em que o público não cessava de gritar "Brava! Brava!". Edita, reconhecida, inclinou-se em sinal de agradecimento.
Mas a ópera ainda não havia terminado. Seguiram-se duos formidáveis com José Bros (Alfredo). No final, Edita conseguiu comunicar ao público a sensação de que a sua alma principava a elevar-se, antes de tombar inanimada no solo, no momento em que a ópera termina. Notem que, apesar dos seus 64 anos, Edita Gruberova mantém uma capacidade física notável, não se coibindo de toda a gestualidade e actividade física cénica, tal como cantar em posições difíceis, inclinada ou deitada, bem como tombar no solo. Impressionante!
Após uma interminável sucessão de aplausos no final da ópera, em que Edita foi premiada com numerosos ramos de flores que lhe foram atirados pelo público, seguiu-se, no palco, uma homenagem prestada pela Hamburgische Staatsoper. Nesse dia (12 de Novembro), comemoravam-se exactamente 40 anos desde a primeira vez que Edita Gruberova actuou naquele palco. No palco foi colocada uma mesa e um pequeno canapé, no qual Edita se sentou. Atrás de si, estavam de pé todos os cantores. Ao lado de Edita e em pé, estava a maestrina titular da Orquestra Filarmónica de Hamburgo - Simone Young - que proferiu palavras de profundo agradecimento a Edita Gruberova por todos os magníficos momentos que tinha oferecido ao público, naquele palco, ao longo dos últimos quarenta anos. Enumerou os diversos papéis que Edita interpretou naquela casa. Por fim, ofereceu a Edita uma fotografia sua no papel de Zerbinetta (na ópera Ariadne auf Naxos de Richard Strauss), no início dos anos setenta, naquele palco. O público aplaudia de pé, vigorosamente.
Por fim, Edita Gruberova tomou a palavra para agradecer a homenagem e, entre outras palavras simpáticas, para dizer ao público "vamo-nos vendo por aí nos próximos... 40 anos?!". Com um enorme sentido de humor e, ao mesmo tempo, revelando uma energia fantástica, Edita disse assim ao público que pode continuar a contar com a sua presença. O público aplaudiu intensamente e Edita teve ainda de regressar inúmeras vezes ao palco, perante o público que gritava incessantemente pelo seu nome: "Edita!!!"
Ao lado de Edita, estiveram José Bros (Alfredo), Dalibor Jenis (Giorgio Germont) e Renate Spingler (Flora).
Que mantenha esse insólito vigor por mais uns bons anos. Impressionante. Obrigado pelo relato.ResponderEliminar
Sorry, I have to try once again.ResponderEliminar
Edita is such a great soprano. We call her the queen of Belcanto.
However, Violetta with 64?
Don't get me wrong. I just want to be honest. I find an old lady as Violetta ridiculous. Opera is consist of singing and acting. The visual effect is quite important. How can a grandmother plays the role which is written for the granddaughter?
I bet, if Verdi would hear that, he would turn in his grave!
I hope Edita doesn't sing Juliette next time.
Please note that opera is the art of exageration. Edita Gruberova is one of the best lyrical sopranos of the last and of the present century. I agree that opera is to be heard and to be seen, but if we would be too strict with the age of the singers, most of the best ones could not have a role in most operas, as many of the lyrical soprano roles are of young girls. And we would not be able to listen to their voices and their art. And the same can be said about tenors. And we have the example of Placido Domingo who is over 70, and still sings as the very best ones. I am mentioning these two singers because they are very much appreciated by me and by the two friends that write with me in this blog – wagner_fanatic and FanaticoDois.
Uma segunda Nellie Melba! Que frescura de voz ainda aos 60s! E que ousadia, como diz aqui o comedor-de-lotus! Não deixa de deixar interrogações acerca de se é o mais adequado à sua idade... mas há que contar com o que lhe responde o FanaticoUm e com o factor bilheteira: não deve ter sobrado um lugar.ResponderEliminar
(Se bem que o mais jovem Kaufmann tenha feito no outro dia a proeza de deixar uma RUA inteira cheia de gente a tentar obter bilhetes de último minuto.)
You're right. We shouldn't be too strict with the age of the singers. However, there's a certain limit. I don't mind if Gheorgu, who is over 40, sing as Violetta, but Gruberova is too old.ResponderEliminar
There're discussions about Gruberova's Violetta on other blog in Germany. One of the comments:"The grandma would be pregnant!"
The majority of the opera audience are quite old. Sometimes I think, when they die, the opera houses would be empty. We need young audience for the future of the opera.
Do you think the young audience will want to see Gruberova as Violetta? They're going to laugh about it!
When was the last time Domingo sung as Alfredo?
Not with 64. Domingo is no longer tenor, but baritone. If he were not so famous, no one would want to hear his baritone. There're so many excellent baritones in the opera world.
I'm sure, Verdi would go mad, if he'd find out, a grandma sing his Violetta.
Do we have to make opera even older? Then the opera houses would rather be called "old people's home".
You are very right, lotus-eater!ResponderEliminar
Domingo has learnt to choose his roles very well at this last stage of his career and he tries also to promote young singers. And let us face this: if we dye his hair and if we get a ticket in the audience not so close, he can still look young because his soul is young.
As I mentioned several times in this blog, for me opera is a show to be heard and seen. I know this opinion is against the more orthodox opera buffs, but this is my opinion.
I agree with you that opera needs young audiences to attend it, but I disagree totally with your opinion on what young audiences will think about seeing an extraordinary singer such as 64 years old Gruberova singing Violeta. They have to be deeply touched by the quality of her singing, that is unique. By listening to such a great performer, they will understand better what the essence of opera is, and they know what they have to expect in the future, vocally speaking. (If they will have the chance of getting it, it is a matter of debate now), Concerning Domingo, if he is very famous, it is because he has been a exceptional singer. And, although he is singing baritone roles with some quality (I have seen a couple of them), even in these we can hear his tenor voice! And he still interpres tenor roles.
Dear lotus.eater, I insist that opera is the art of exaggeration and we have to face it like that in all its amplitude, Of course, as you know, this is a position of an opera fanatic,
I was in Hamburg to listen to her Violetta. Not at this evenig, but a few days before .... :)ResponderEliminar
Inveja pura de não ter podido assistir! Vi uma La Traviata na temporada passada da Ópera de Gales, mas nada que se assemelhe a ver a Gruberova. Se bem que a protagonista, a grega Myrto Papatanasiou, não esteve nada mal.ResponderEliminar
I'm not twenty, but I still belong to the young generation. One of my male friend who is 29 and loves opera, told me that he didn't want to see grandma Violetta. He's not the only one.ResponderEliminar
Concerning the voice of Edita. I heard her Norma about 10 and 3 years ago. In 7 years her voice got older.
There're wemen who look 10 years younger for their age. Not Edita! She looks exactly as the woman of 64.
Can she make the audience believe that the young Alfredo is fallen in love with her at first sight? Yes, if she sings behind the curtain.
Talking about Domingo's baritone is just waste of time! There're so many excellent baritones. Doming's baritone can't compete with them.
I'm definitley the last one that wants to hear his baritone.
You are touching a very sensitive issue for the people that write in this blog. As I mentioned before, we are big admirers of both Edita Gruberova and Placido Domingo. We do not wish that everybody has to agree with us. Discordances, if kept polite (politeness is crucial for us!), are welcome and help the debate about the art of opera. Our main issue concerning these two artists is their ability to sing and to act, despite age. And they are both excellent and very few are as good as them. Edita in the belcanto repertoire is unique and the same applies to Domingo as a tenor. This is our opinion (I am sure mine is shared by wagner_fanatic and by FanaticoDois). Furthermore, we are not at all convinced that these excellent artists should not sing just because they are older than the characters they play. And nobody has to see the artists that they do not like.
lotus-eater, you are mistaken, you could not have heard Gruberova as Norma 10 years ago. The very first time she sang the role was in 2003, and that was in Tokyo. First time in Europe in 2004.ResponderEliminar
To me, Gruberova's Violetta in Hamburg looked like an attractive woman who is, though not 20 any more, is not yet old. And she moved on stage like a young woman. There were no physical compromises.
Otherwise, I know quite a number of Gruberova fans who are in their 20's and love to go to her performances. If you don't like her, don't go, don't take away the tickets from those who'd love to hear and see her.
I share lotus-eater's thoughts about Gruberova as the '64 grandma'. She wouldn't fool anyone, I guess. In my opinion, Mrs Gruberova isn't doing anything wrong by singing a Traviata that should have at least less 45 years than herself. When singers become myths (just like Placidone - still a tenor, imo), there is always someone who will love to listen to her so he can say 'I've seen Gruberova playing Traviata'. (Of course that also largely increases Assolutissima's income...) These are two interesting dilemas. On the one hand, there is Katia Ricciarelli's opinion. On the other hand, I guess there are many 'fanatics' who would love to listen to a Diva -- even if she couldn't sing at all.ResponderEliminar
Dear Placido Zacarias,ResponderEliminar
A Diva that can't sing at all does not apply to Edita Gruberova!! She sings like very few others can and many more would like to...
if you ever have seen Gruberova in a more private situation, you would never say that she looks like 64. She is tired after a performance, especially when it isn't one of "her" performances. If she is happy, she looks much younger than she is.
The only one that is rational on this site isResponderEliminar
The rest seems like they've never heard of the freedom of opinion. I present my opinion. That's it.
If someone has diffirent opinion from you guys, do you feel insulted? Then you have to go to the psychologist.
Such kind of comment: "If you don't like her or him, don't go!" How childish! What I was arguing was not the question of "liking" or "disliking".
Any kinds of fanatism is dangerous. You know that.
I don't want to play on this level and will never come here again. Be happy!
I believe you are all forgetting some points:ResponderEliminar
On behalf of the ones who defend Gruberova I ask the others:
"Has anybody asked this Alfredo if he prefers older women?"
On behalf of the ones who go against Gruberova I ask the others:
"Can we now see Alfredo as a true gigolo?"
Please, no hard feelings in this blog!
We respect the opinion of everybody, if it is expressed in a polite way, as you always did.
We do not feel ofended by opinions that are not in agreement with ours. Please do not feel ofended with divergent opinions from your own. It is by expressing our particular (frequently different) opinions that we gain more in the understanding of opera. I think everybody that expressed their feelings in these comments did it in a correct and polite way, and that was why we posted all comments, despite divergent. And most of them are from unknown people to us, as you can imagine.
We have a big respect from both artists and contributers to the blog and, if politeness is maitained (as it has been the rule so far), all comments are welcome.
As I mentioned in the beginning, no "hard feelings"!
Wonderful blog! I am now following. Thank you.ResponderEliminar
As for Gruberova, I heard her live unfortunately only once, here in Lisbon, singing a great "I Puritani". And I would love to hear her again and again, as long as she still can sing properly (it seems she does). Of course, some people prefer just a good looking Violetta and a handsome Alfredo, no matter if the singers can actually sing or not and if the production makes some sense, as long as it is gorgeously modern. It's up to them. On the other hand, that's one of the reasons why we don't have many great singers these days. They don´t have the time to mature their technique studying as Gruberova and many singers of the past did. They are pushed to the stage because they look good and a few years later they're finished.ResponderEliminar
"A Valquíria" do Scala vai ser transmitida pelo Mezzo. O Pape desistiu (também não me tinha convencido no "Ouro") mas há a Stemme, a Meier e o O'Neill e o novo Wotan pode ser uma boa surpresa. Ou não.
'A Diva that can't sing at all does not apply to Edita Gruberova!! She sings like very few others can and many more would like to...' - Of course. I was thinking about Magda Olivero.
Take it easy! Noone here means to deny the Freedom of expression. Face this as a debate. This is a most controverse topic related to opera.
Eu vi o Ouro da Luva e gostei. Bem me pareceu no videoclip que era a Stemme. Não tinha visto ainda a lista. Viu os preços para a estreia?
Thank you for the kind words!
Actually we're doing "Much ado about nothing".
It remindes me of what Händel said:
"Jetzt beruhigen Sie sich, is ja nix passiert, es is ja bloß a Oper"
In English: "Now calm down, nothing's happened, it is only an opera"
Please reconsider and keep visiting us.
We like your comments very much and it is always a pleasure to talk with you.
O facto da Gruberova ser uma grande cantora, na minha opinião das melhores da actualidade, leva a que haja grandes discussões acerca da sua voz e das suas interpretações. Isso ficou aqui demonstrado.ResponderEliminar
Nesta altura da sua carreira, penso que a senhora pode cantar "aquilo que lhe apetecer" e merece o respeito de todos os apreciadores de ópera.
Quanto ao publico jovem não ficar bem impressionado quando vê uma Traviata com a Gruberova, acho isso completamente errado (até porque eu ainda me considero jovem). Uma boa voz e uma boa interpretação têm muito mais valor que o aspecto físico de um cantor. Aliás, já assisti a várias récitas com a Gruberova e, especialmente em Barcelona, há muitos jovens a gritar "Edita" no final.
Obrigado FanaticoDois pelas fotografias e pelo comentário.
The fact that Gruberova is a great singer, in my opinion one of the best, means that there are great discussions about her voice and her interpretations. This was demonstrated here.
At this point in his career, I think she can sing "what she wants" and she deserves the respect of all opera lovers.
About the subject of young audiences not to be impressed when they see a Traviata with Gruberova, I find it completely wrong (I still consider myself young). A good voice and good interpretation are much more important than the physical aspect of a singer. I saw Gruberova in to several performances and especially in Barcelona, there are many young people shouting "Edita" at the end.
Thanks FanaticoDois for the photographs and the coments.
(Translation made with google tradutor)
Dear Alberto Velez Grilo,ResponderEliminar
I play the piano since my childhood. I never play Mozart, because I don't like his works that much. You might like playing Mozart, then you would say to me "I am wrong"?
Jonas Kaufmann is very popular, but he is not everybody's darling. Recently a German Newspaper "Die Zeit" criticized his CD "verismo" negative: "If the other tenor who is not as famous as Kaufmann would release such CD, it would be thrown in the wastebin."
In this case you would say "the critic is "wrong"? Only because he has a different opinion from other's or yours?
What I was arguing here is not the matter of wrong" or "right".
I find this old lady as Violetta too old. That's my opinion. How dare you said that my opinion is wrong?
Such kind of mentality as "you are wrong" and "I'm right" causes the conflict. We have already experienced it in the history: Religious wars, inquisition, middle east conflict....
You can present your opinion, but please don't condemned someone who has got a diffrent opinion from yours as "wrong".
The young audience who was in the theater in order to see Edita doesn't mind if she would perform as Juliett or Gretel(in Hänsel and Gretel).
You haven't checked the young audience who didn't go to the theater in order not to see a grandma as Violetta.
Tonight I watched La Boheme on TV. It was staged in the appartment area outside of Bern. The reaction of TV audience was great. Even the people who never been in opera watched it and were impressed. And even a groupe of the teenager found it interesting.
All the singers in this La Boheme were about in the age of their roles. If instead of young Saimir Pirgu an old tenor sung Rodolfo, what would the TV audience, especially young generation react? Have they been impressed by the love story between Mimi and Rodolfo? They would say that Rodolfo looks like the grand father of Mimi and opera is an odd thing.
Violetta who is mid-60 and Alfredo, who is about mid-20. Isn't it odd?
Domingo as Alfredo would have been better .
But he is too smart to make a fool of himself.
I don't want to see only young and beautiful singers on the stage. Don't forget that I've got well trained ears through playing the piano. I know what quality means!
Opera is a singing theater. The plausibility of the scene is as important as singing.
Think about it: Why Kaufmann is so popular? Only because of his dark timbre? He is very photogenic and looks great on the stage(Even if I find his real look not so interesting).
Caro FanaticoUm and wagner_fanatic,ResponderEliminar
How can I resist the kindness of you guys?
I was just expressing my opinion, about Gruberova, her voice and young audiences at opera houses. The sentence "I find it completely wrong" in my comment should be replaced by "In my opinion is not correct".
So, we have different opinions about Gruberova and perhaps other singers and subjects related to opera. But thats what makes it so great!
The post from my friend FanaticoDois generated an interesting debate in this blog about one of the “classical” controversial issues concerning opera – the age of the singers versus the age of the characters they play. I think there will never be a consensus, as we can read here. For many it is essential that the singers look like the characters they play, while for others the singing is what matters, irrelevant of other aspects. If kept polite, as it was always the case here, it is very interesting to discuss these issues, because they show how different are the interests of the audiences in this supreme form of art. And we should not condemn the position with which we do not agree! Diversity enriches all debates!
In your last post you mentioned that the success of Kaufmann is not due only to his dark timbre, but also to his figure. I think you are right, although this is very unfair to Kaufmann because he is an exceptional singer, perhaps the best tenor of our times (my opinion, not shared by some people that write in this blog, I know). But in the journal of the Royal Opera House that is sent to the “Friends” (that pay for it!) of last August, Kaufmann occupies all front page and several photos inside and, in his presentation we can read “…and, for a bonus, smouldering good looks”.
About looks, another controversial classical issue is the weight of the singers. Coming back to tenors (for respect, let’s leave the ladies outside, at least for the moment), some will argue that the passionate handsome young man should not be played by a singer with over 90-100 Kilos! But Pavarotti was like that even at the top of his career and who did not like to see and hear him? And there are several other examples, but I think I have chosen a good one. Again, I think, big diversity in opinions!
Não sei ainda como chamá-lo.
Não importa .
Temos muita coisa em comum - depois da pintura o que eu mais gosto é de música. vou ao teatro de vez em quando. Gosto de Wagner,Berlioz,Mahler...
Muito obrigado pelo seu comentário.
Nos falaremos pelo blog.
Um excerto da "Traviata" de Hamburgo.ResponderEliminar
Muito obrigado Paulo por mais este contributo que tanto enriquece este "post". Para quem não esteve em Hamburgo (o que penso será o caso de todos excepto do FanaticoDois) fica a saber um pouco do que perdeu.ResponderEliminar