This year's festival opened with Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg - there was a great deal of anticipation and I think everyone's expectation was surpassed. The LPO under Jurowski produced a clearly layered sound through out. I was hearing passages and phrases that was buried in other performances. The clarity from the pit enabled all the singers to shine through on stage. Gerald Finley's Hans Sachs was a pensive yet emotional one. He also sang it with such ease making it hard to believe it's his role debut. Anna Gabler as Eva was wonderful with her playful role. Marco Jentzsch was Walter - not sure whether his 6'5" frame enabled him to deliver such a resonant and tenorial voice. Topi Lehtipuu as David probably didn't warm up sufficiently at the beginning as he fluffed a few top notes but was much improved in the subsequent acts.
David McVicar excelled in this production. Unlike his opera directions for Covent Garden that tended to be dark (Aida) and licentious (Rigoletto), this time there was light and comedy. There were a lot of detailed touches that really brought production to life. Such as the Lena / Eva fussing on the church pew in Act I, or the fight scene in Act II that went with the music. With Gerald Finley being a relatively young Hans Sachs, his interplay with Eva was much more potent and believable. I can easily sit through the performance again.
Wednesday, 11 May 2011
Rolando Villazón was Werther in this revival of Massenet's Werther. His voice was lyrical and there was care in the phrasing and delivery of the lines. Very well sung. His opposite number was Sophie Koch who sang Charlotte - with a full range of colours in her voice. Together they made a pretty credible pair on stage. Pappano, as usual, got the best out of the orchestra. A nice revival indeed.