For today there is Un Ballo in Maschera in the morning and the second Tosca in the evening.
......First, Un Ballo. I only knew one aria and the end of act one. Ramon Vargas was the best. it's the first time I see him live on stage. He makes a very good impression. Can't say the same about the other two. Even if Dalibor Janis is a strong presence on stage, he got into the part only towards the end. Again, this is my opinion, as everything else on this blog.
Samuel: Giovanni Battista Parodi
Tom: Vuyani Mlinde
Oscar: Anna Christy
Riccardo: Ramón Vargas
Renato: Dalibor Jenis
Judge: Martyn Hill
Ulrica: Elena Manistina
Silvano: Changhan Lim
Amelia: Angela Marambio
Amelia's servant: Neil Gillespie
The Royal Opera. Conductor: Maurizio Benini.
Pictures taken from the lower slips right.
......This was a very pleasat afternoon. I'll see Ramon Vargas again very soon. Luisa Miller, in Munich.
......And now we get to the last evening of my trip to London. Tosca, on July 11th. The cast was the same as on July 9th with the exception of the soprano. This evening everybody was waiting to see Nelly Miricioiu. Rumours said that hers should be a different approach on Tosca. And it was. I don't want to make any comparisons as the other one involved Angela. I took it as it was. For this evening I had a different seat. Amphiteatre A28 (thanks Rhodri). It's one of the best cheap seats there. Because you're the first one in the row and can lean as much as you like without disturbing anybody. Perfect view of the stage, as you'll see in the pictures.
......Bryn Terfel and Marcello Giordani were very, very good. Bryn was the true vilain. Va Tosca was perfect. That mixture of madness, sorrow, love for God and Tosca, everything was there in those 4 minutes. There was electricity. I was almost afraid of him. I wanted to tell him that. But by the time we got backstage he had already left. Again he proved to be in best shape during the second act. No orchestra in the world could have covered that voice.
......Marcello Giordani has a powerful voice. I read on several blogs that he brought here his Met voice. Might be true. Think that Met can host about 4000 people. This can be overwhelming for some artists. Recondita Armonia and Luccevan were great. And there was also the moment when Napoleon's victory is announced, during the third act. And he says "victoria". Twice. Got goose bumps. I saw him before, he was Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly last season at Met. But never live (it was Met's broadcast in Spring). He made a good impression.
......Some words about Nelly Miricioiu. With all due respect, it was not exactly what it should have been. Some parts made me feel something but during some important moments the voice couldn't cover the music. Only the high notes could been heard. Analizing the opera as whole I noticed more concert about dress/movement on stage than comunication with the characters. But Bryn and Marcello knew what they have to do and this helped a lot. I was waiting for Vissi D'arte. It started well but ended... somehow ambigous. And the audience found the better way to say that they don't agree with it. Silance. Complete silance for a few seconds. Normally people burst into applauses before the aria ends. Darkness and silance are the worst things for artists. Eventually somebody started applauding and the others followed him/her. During the third act some lines were spoken. I don't remember hearing that in Tosca. Everybody sings. But maybe it was just an impression....
......But then again, opera is subjective. Better said, the perception of opera is subjective. I love listening/seeing somebody in particular (I guess it's obvious who that person is). Somebody else likes a different artist. it's not about how he/she sings. it's more about what we feel when listening.
Covent Garden Market by night, seen from the terrase of ROH
......With this Tosca my trip to London ended :(. I'm so sorry. But I'll get back. It was beautiful and intense. Thanks to G for everything. It's so nice to have somebody to talk to after such shows!