The sextet of soloists sing and act wonderfully
Music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Kurt Streit, Patricia Petibon, Silvia Tro and Inga Kalna, among ors. Choir and Orchestra Headlines at Theatre Royal.
musical Direction: Ivor Bolton. Stage direction: Claus Guth.
Theatre Royal, until 23 of September.
on The 18th of December, 1772, Leopold Mozart wrote to his wife from Milan, informing him that next day would begin rehearsals with orchestra of Lucio Silla, opera he was composing his son commissioned by Teatro Regio Ducal. The new tenor who would sing lead role (a mediocre and inexperienced last-minute replacement) had arrived previous day and “Wolfgang has composed two arias for him and has yet to write or two. [...] I am writing at eleven in night, and Wolfgang has just finished second aria for tenor”. Everything had to be done against clock, as “on Saturday, 26th, day on which you receive this letter, we will have premiere of opera”. Maybe nothing more to finish this aria, Wolfgang wrote on a third sheet a short and cariñosísima note for his adored Nannerl (up to eight times writes, almost as a mantra, “My dear sister”), is fired, calling her “my pulmoncito”, “my liver” and “my stomach”, at time that required him to turn paper a and again 180 degrees to be able to read your content, since this is exactly what he did on table by reversing orientation of writing in alternate lines. A joke, a boyishness that contrasts with a calligraphy unbecoming of a boy of 16 years that he was composing, in addition, you with raised genre, nothing less than a serious opera.
Perfectly well aware of its conventions, Mozart elaborates in long recitatives, and not less generous arias, many of a difficulty inclement, with a writing a solo is often of a more instrumental than vocal: a slit for peeps that logic bisoñez of composer. But Bolton from key and Guth from stage are responsible not only to conceal shortcomings, but to magnify virtues of material y have before m. The british, with an address careful, agile, attentive to articulation, balance between wind and string, to convert recitatives ‒which is usually very slow, and commanded by himself from key‒ in dialogue almost savored between characters or even, in a particular case of second act, in a monologue declaimed by Cecilio without instruments, entronizando importance of text. At or end, arias from Lucio Silla, where tenor shares stage with an orchestra even more hyperactive if it is, perhaps, to counteract paucity of his writing voice.
Guth, for his part, compensates for this disadvantage (Mozart wrote se arias in extremis for a singer three-quarter) filling content, his performance drawing a character that is insecure, capricious, irresolute, weak, a drinker, unreliable, unpredictable, that even awakens confidence or sympathies among his or among public at end of opera, when it's a gala for first time of his bounty. The lieto fine just not being such, in line with a set of dark and greyish as of catacombs, bunker, concrete, dungeon of bandits or a Hades populated by shadows projected on walls, straight lines and curves in a rotating platform that is to presage that, from a different budget, and maturity is still greater, it would n Guth in Parsifal and Rodelinda, both recent and justly applauded at Teatro Real. The German becomes a score youth in an opera adult, very adult, and makes a virtue of necessity by taking advantage of extreme length of arias for constructing atrical scenes almost autonomous, closed in on mselves, which y foreshadow, remind, or glosan or precedent or subsequent by presence of or characters.
The arias cut (Cecilio, Giunia and for Celia, in this order) are equitably distributed and, like recitatives severely pruned, do not affect in nothing to architecture dramaturgical devised by Guth, rich in details of genius atrical and musical sensitivity, as when hands of Giunia and Cecilio are joined at beginning of a recitative accompanied by second, “Ah is to die mi chiama”, imitating what y had done both in closing duet of first act: touching hands are a recurring element in production. Anor flash of genius comes when Giunia, in a passage improvised on a full cadence in his aria in second act, issued a sobreagudo that is almost a cry of horror at unexpected presence of Lucio Silla: music at service of scene, and vice versa.
The sextet of soloists ‒two sopranos, two mezzos and two tenors: a strange combination‒ y sing and act wonderfully, but highest level is marked by Patricia Petibon and Silvia Tro. The French mastered body language, her coloratura is a lot more than cascades of notes and builds up detail by detail, subtlety to subtlety, his character. The Spanish is a singer, brave, embattled, and his aria in second act is revealed to be an opera composer of huge category. Something below, but at a very high level, vocal performance and stage of María José Moreno and Inga Kalna. Kurt Streit is a splendid actor (an essential requirement in design of Guth) and a good singer, although as with voice, something worn. Surprisingly disappointing performance of choir, only flight back in his final speech from boxes of proscenium.
on The 26th of December, 1772, Leopold again wrote to his wife, “two or three hours” before alleged premiere of opera. However, on January 2, told him that his home ended up and stayed up to three hours on a whim of duke of Milan, so that opera “was not finished until two in morning”. He also criticizes tenor protagonist from laughter that provoked in public of ir exaggerations performing: Lucio Silla is not a work to laugh at. The only smile ‒sardonic, almost cruel grin frozen‒ arrives in adusta production of Guth in very last one compass, when dictator roman looks out of surprise as a brief and disturbing flash-back, recovered again robe that had just been disposed of, about two troubled couples of lovers. And is that an opera of Mozart, even written by a teenager bold, joker and uninhibited, it is always a very serious matter.