Since 2013 will be the year of the celebrations for Verdi and Wagner’s bicentenary of birth the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome thought appropriate to celebrate the two composers…
For Verdi they decided to perform “Un Ballo in Maschera” in concert form, with a cast conducted by the Accademia’s orchestra principal conductor Sir Antonio Pappano and with a great cast of Verdian singers, included Dmitri…
Finally I am able to sit down and gather thoughts on La Traviata!
It was a really striking performance which gave me to think…
First of all because of the production by Willy Decker is so straightforward that it is almost cruel but gives a timeless set to the doomed love of Violetta and Alfredo. It was utterly moving to see the little Natalie Dessay crunching on the clock to “stop time”… We could claim ( as I did myself when I watched only exctracts) that it is an ugly production, a violent production… In my opinion it goes to the real chore of the characters, it makes them human!
The most difficult part for me to appreciate was the party in Flora’s House in Act 3 … The party goers moke Violetta and Alfredo, a member of the chorus puts a red dress on… It was awful to think that in reality society could have made this to them! It is difficult to accept that human beings are cruel towards eachother…maybe that is why I heard and read many negative comments on this production…but in fact it was the most attended of the Live in HD series this year! ( Well, maybe because it hasn’t been broadcasted L’Elisir d’Amore with Diana Damrau,Juan Diego Flòrez,Marius Kwieczen and Alessandro Corbelli!) And one of the most participated too I believe (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505245_162-57414551/met-live-in-hd-landmark-10-million-tickets-sold/ ) … while for the other broadcasts people went away straight after the end this time I saw MUCH more people, first, and second they applauded at the end, in the cinema ( well, only at Dmitri I must confess!!!)
The singing… I almost do not want to tell anything about the singing…The acting by all of the three protagonists was so moving that singing wasn’t almost noticeable! I really could empathize with them! Especially with Dmitri of course, it was for me a surprise when I found myself crying on “No, non udrai rimproveri” , but also with the protagonist,Natalie Dessay! We all know that the poor dear has undergone surgery and that her voice is not as fresh as it was, we all could notice that her voice broke in several points, well the truth is that this didn’t ruin at all a moving performance!!! “Addio del Passato” was… heartbreaking!
Polenzani has the look of a cute teddy bear, this didn’t help thinking of him as Violetta’s lover… he looked and acted like her best friend, but he was so cute, even if the crying on the floor after his father’s slap was a teenager’s reaction! Alfredo is 18 cca, and int he 19th century 18 years old meant an adult! His voice has beautiful timbre, near and there some pushing, and he pronounces the vowel “e” in a horrible way, but he somehow fit Willy Decker’s production! oh and BTW… Matthew, did you want to meet your “father” with your trouser’s zip down ( )
Dmitri… well he was simply stunning! He sang with strength and as always he portrayed the character with emotional power! His performance would have been perfect it it wasn’t for a little trembling of the voice on the first “Dio m’esaudì” in “Di Provenza”, but as I told, the acting of all the three singers involved you so much that it was bearely noticeable!
bye followers! And come back to read if you liked this article…
“He [ Alfredo/polenzani] throws himself into a rage that is only somewhat quelled by one over-the-top slap from baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky as his father, Germont.
The result is one of the most beautifully acted moments at the Met this season, with Polenzani knocked to the ground and scrambling to get away from his father, while Hvorostovsky reels from his own outburst. These are two men who are as equally bound by social mores as the women in their lives, grappling with that stagnancy and making their own sacrifices. Hvorostovsky supplies his own rage in Act III at this setback, cloaked under a layer of cool disdain that supplies a persuasive “Di Provenza.” While Hvorostovsky lacks fatherly warmth, he makes up for that with a gravitas that can’t help but stop you cold.”
“The most powerful performance came from baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky as Alfredo’s father, Giorgio Germont. From the moment he entered in Act 2, he took possession of the stage with his sneering contempt for the immoral lifestyle into which he believes Violetta has lured his son. While he worked on her emotions to make her give up her lover, Hvorostovsky showed his character gradually softening as he gained sympathy and even respect for his opponent.
His trademark burnished sound and ability to spin long phrases without taking a breath have rarely been heard to better effect. He deservedly won a huge ovation for “Di provenza il mar,” the familiar aria in which he begs his son to return home.”
One of the most compelling moments came during his hotheaded tussle with Giorgio Germont, his father, a role performed with aristocratic flair by Dmitri Hvorostovsky .
“Mr. Hvorostovsky wielded his smooth, velvety baritone to gorgeous effect in “Di Provenza il mar,” spinning out long lines with emotive conviction; the aria earned the most enthusiastic applause of the night.”
“It [ The X Factor] ’s a requisite for this diva role, as was demonstrated when superstar baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky entered in the second act and Hong seemed to fade into the background.
As Germont, the reproachful father of Violetta’s lover, he poured out lush mahogany tone in his two arias. In between, he furiously slapped his son, played by tenor Matthew Polenzani, in a scene of violence staged so realistically the audience gasped.”
“As father Germont, Dmitri Hvorostovsky was smug, hectoring, and platitudinous—that is, more or less ideal in the role. Early on, he tended to put too much pressure on his tone, as he is wont to do in Verdi but he spun prodigiously long lines, his baritone glorious from its velvety black depths to the insolent ease of its upper extension. His Di Provenzaelicited uproarious, nearly startled acclaim from the audience, its every phrase both satiny and cannily chiseled. And while there is no reason to hear both verses of Germont’s cabaletta when the second is not embellished, it was a welcome chance to revel for a few more moments in the intoxicating beauty of Hvorostovsky’s voice. Dramatically he made Germont’s big moments tell, standing cold and unmoved when Violetta asked him for an embrace but clasping Alfredo in a stranglehold before Flora’s revelers erupted.”
Reviews seem enthusiastic oh, I listened to the season premiere on Sirius Xm and it was great indeed, but I will review only the Live in HD since HKH replaced an ill natalie Dessay who is returnign this evening!!!
Whishing this fabulous artist much luck I leave you with some pics from the production
Hope you will enjoy tonight’s performance, as Dmitri was brilliant 4 days ago!
Here is a playlist with the Salzburg Traviata by Willy Decker starring Netrebko and Villàzon… Let me know if you liked this production!!!
Dmitri Hvorostovsky in der Titelpartie vor allem, der vielleicht – wie die meisten Wiener Interpreten des Dogen nach Eberhard Waechters explosiver Darstellung – in der Gerichtsszene nicht den erwarteten Impetus mitbringt, um der überwältigenden Unisono-Entladung des gesamten Orchesters wirklich Paroli bieten zu können.
Dmitri Hvorostovsky ist ein Simon Boccanegra auf Augenhöhe mit seinen grossen Rollenvorgängern. Seine absolut stärksten Momente sind die gefühlvollen Passagen – das Werben um Liebe und Frieden geht unter die Haut. Dass in der Sterbeszene (beim letzen Wort) die Stimme bricht ist aber auch für einen technisch so hervorragenden Sänger nicht planbar sondern – nach unserer Meinung – ein dramaturgischer Zufall (Glücksfall). Ob wir recht haben, werden die Folgeaufführungen zeigen.
Dmitri Hvorostovsky atmete nicht so oft und laut hörbar ein wie befürchtet, was einen wichtigen „Qualitätsgewinn“ bedeutete. Nur in manchen Passagen, die offenbar dem Sänger eine besondere Anstrengung verursachten, stellte sich dieses überdeutliche Atemholen ein. Hvorostovsky ist eine markante, fast pathetische Bühnenerscheinung, und es fiel ihm nicht schwer, als Boccanegra Fiesco „auf gleicher Augenhöhe“ zu begegnen. Damit war unabhängig von stimmlichen Tagesverfassungen für ein spannendes „Psychospiel“ zwischen den beiden Männern gesorgt. Von Hvorostovskys eher „heroischen“ Rollenanlage aus betrachtet ist sein Bariton fast noch eine Spur zu lyrisch „gestimmt“.
Ok, now my experience ))
The performance did deceive me! I thought that in the Wiener Staatsoper, an internationally known theater they had a good orchestra and they would have chosen a good stage director, but it seems I was wrong…
This is the cast:
Dmitri Hvorostovsky | Simon Boccanegra
Ferruccio Furlanetto | Fiesco
Francesco Meli | Gabriele Adorno
Marina Poplavskaya | Amelia
Marco Caria | Paolo
Dan Paul Dumitrescu | Pietro
Paolo Carignani | Conductor
Peter Stein | Director
Stefan Mayer | Scenes
Moidele Bickel | Costumes
This was the set for council scene of Act 1 … It cannot be seen in this pic, but costumes seemed amateur actors ones! The Doge had an horrible plastic golden tiara and was wearing a tablecloth… COME ON! Simon Boccanegra is set in the 13th century!!!!!! But this was not the worst! In third act the Doge’s apartment was a circular room divided in eight doors symbolized by vains created with white curtains and each time someone entered the vain was elightened… maybe Stein thought it was nice to have Simone drinking his venom in a disco…!!!!
Is it possible to compare with this costume and set?
In the same Viennese production starred Domingo… see the costume!!!!
Horrible isn’t it?
About the singing …
Dmitri in the title role started a little cautios, but after opened to his best sounds! As always live performance cannot be compared to recorded or broadcasted one! Emotions flow… and Dmitri is a master in conveying emotions! The council scene especially the “E vo gridando pace” and the ” E tu ripeti il giuro” were striking! I am sorry to say there was no chemistry between Dmitri and Marina Poplovskaya… she was frigid… isn’t father/daughter also love? SO why not trying to act? The most striking moment of the opera was the finale, and the duet between Fiesco and Simone … I was almost in tears!
As for singing Marina Poplovskaya has a strange voice, not really appealing and I felt like she did “the homework” and Amelia/Maria is maybe not fit to her voice, and it was also her role debut… maybe she will be better later! ( In this pic she is with Placido Domingo as Boccanegra in Domingo’s celebrations of 40 years of debuting at ROH last October)
Ferruccio Furlanetto can always count on his acting skill while his vocal ones are fading, but i found him better than in the recent Ernani at the Met
Francesco Meli was Gabriele Adorno, the young tenor has a really beautiful voice which filled the theater and gave the public what it wanted in his little aria! He did good!!! Squillo, temperamento… he was a convicing Adorno! He and Dmitri saved the show in my opinion…
I was lucky enough to get Dmitri’s signature after the show! I was really happy about meeting him…
Thank you for reading my blog, comment, and come back please!