Tosca in Berlin - 20.06.2009

......It's hard to express an opinion. Usually this happens when I buy the tickets to see somebody and end up with somebody else. No need to say that whoever that somebody is, she can't replace Angela successfuly. Because yes, Angela cancelled again. But I couldn't cancel my trip so I went. It was Tosca, by Giacomo Puccini

The Cast
Tosca Maria Guleghina
Cavaradossi Neil Shicoff
Scarpia Franz Grundheber
Angelotti Krzysztof Szumanski
sacristan Bernd Zettisch
Spoletta Jörg Schörner
Sciarrone Hyung-Wook Lee
turnkey Tomislav Lucic

Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin
Conductor Emmanuel Villaume
Chor der Deutschen Oper Berlin

......Below (please use Google Translate) you can read what I wrote on the night I got back to the hostel. In a few words, it was ok, Mrs Guleghina was the star of the evening. But just that. Now I'm happy that Angela was not there. The rest of the cast was not really that good. Just analize the pictures. The faces tell the story. Could that be THE Cavaradosi Tosca falls in love with?? Oh, no. And please note these are personal opinions, with all due respect to the artists.

......Maria Guleghina a fost in mare forma. O voce puternica fara sa deranjeze. Cat sa reuseasca sa acopere orchestra. Pe alocuri nu am inteles nimic din ce spune. dar a cantat curat. si Vissi d’arte a fost foarte, foarte bine. Si dansa a ales sa cante de jos. Prima jumatate canta pe burta, apoi se ridica in genunchi. Optiunea regizorului.. si traditia. Nu am ce sa comentez. Chiar mi-a placut.
......Neil Shicoff s-a incalzit mai greu. In primele 2 acte s-a chinuit. Sau asa mi s-a parut mie. Nu se auzea cum trebuie. La duete doar il vedeam ca deschide gura fara sa si aud ce canta. si am stat in fata. Dar in actul 3 si-a revenit. Luccevan en le stelle a impresionat audienta. avantaj el.. orchestra era intr-un mare piano. asa ca nu l-a impiedicat nimeni. am avut permanent senzatia ca o sa-i pice vocea. Sau ca daca i-as lua capul de pe umeri capul ar continua sa cante… din gat, din cap, din ce doriti, dar nu rasuna deloc. Fata de ea.. sau fata de Scarpia, Franz Grundheber. Voce frumoasa dar mai slabut cu partea actoriceasca. Mai ca nu s-a atins de Tosca. Mai sfios.
......Mi-a placut. Mai mult decat Traviata de data trecuta. Doar ca nu prea o vedeam pe Angela aici. Nici unul din cei care au fost pe scena nu i-ar fi facut fata vocii. Ar fi cantat practic singura. Pe de o parte imi pare rau ca nu a fost. Pe de alta ar fi picat intr-o situatie poate nu la intaltimea care trebuia. Shicoff are undeva peste 55 de ani, poate mai mult. Si nici o apropiere de cum ar fi trebuit sa arate un Mario. Nu mi-a inspirat nimic. Plus ca e scund. A fost cel mai scund de pe scena. Drept pentru care doamna Guleghina in loc sa asorteze frumoasele rochii cu pantofi, a purtat balerini tot spectacolul. si asa era un pic mai inalta. Nu prea da bine asta.
......Ma bucur ca am vazut-o pe Guleghina. Astept sa o vad la toamna la proiectiile de la Met. Cred ca in Turandot? Oricum cred ca a fost aleasa pentru rol pentru ca oricum era aici. Urmeaza sa cante in turandot peste cateva zile.
......Cam atat. S-a aplaudat mult. mai mult ca data trecuta. Ma intreb cum ar fi fost daca… neee, mai bine nu ma mai intreb si nu ma mai gandesc cum ar fi putut sa fie. a fost ok asa cum a fost. am fost suparata. Dar o sa-mi treaca daca doamna Gheorghiu vine la Bucuresti. Si daca o sa cante la Munchen, asa cum a promis pe site.

Opera - on the outside

And inside
After the first act

During the intermission. They have the good habit of drinking champagne.

After the second act
Don't forget to watch the faces! Could that be Mario?

Mario! Mario! Maaaaaario!

Really.. come on! At least one decent face! And I haven't taken these photos on purpose. So blame my camera, please.

Before the third act. As the hall was empty, I went to the stage to watch the scores and instruments.
All the scores are prepared for the third act

This is the conductor's score. If you haven't seen before a score of an opera, this is it. First there are all the voices/characters/chorus and then all the instruments.

The score, the stick and all the buttons

And the glorious end

Kisses back! You were the best!

I got very close to the stage for the last round of applauses. So I took these last pictures.

It was nice, but it could have been better. For sure. From all points of view.

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  1. Very interesting! I saw Guleghina do Tosca several years ago in NY. Ok, but not memorable. Salvatore Licitra was Cavaradossi but he wasn't much either.
    From the pictures here, one can see why Angela might have cancelled.

  2. Ok, I was a little bit mean. But I was upset. And what I saw on stage was not exactely what I expected. I'm sure they're very good.
    As for the last part of your comment, this might have been the reson.

  3. That's how I felt watching La Rondine last February at the Met with a replacement soprano who sang very well but wasn't what I was anxiously waiting to see for weeks beforehand. After I saw the announcement of the cancellation in the lobby I had to go across the street and have a strong drink:)!

  4. Quite Interesting. After reading do much reviews i am curious to visit berlin. Let me check on ECT. I hope i will get my ticket in budget.