jueves, 8 de febrero de 2018

Norma at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genova

Foto: Teatro Carlo Felice, Genova

Suzanne Daumann

These days, stage directors and conductors are taking quite a few liberties with the works they interpret: a pity that nobody has yet found it necessary to rid Bellini’s Norma of a few of its many lengthy passages at least. It might be impossible anyway to reshape its dramaturgy to a more continuous kind of suspense. Howsoever that might be, tonight’s performance left us with rather mixed feelings. Luigi di Gangi and Ugo Giocomazzi’s staging simply situated the action in some kind of no man’s land between history and dream, underlined by Daniela Cernigliaro’s costumes. She put the Gauls into historical clothes, long robes for priestesses and priests, breeches and tunics for the warriors, whereas the Romans wore black modern uniforms. Federica Parolini’s scenography was interesting to look at: dead trees joined together by a thick red thread and strips of brown fabric hanging from wooden frames were the forest, a round frame with white strips of cloth was the moon. At least we could speculate about the meaning of all this symbolic stuff. Luigi Biondi’s lovely lighting gave colors to the backgrounds and lit these frames in various ways, highlighting the scenes’ contents; the lighting was one of the two real highlights of the evening. Mixed feelings prevailed as to our reaction to the singers: Desirée Rancatore’s Norma was lovely to hear, but she was lacking vocal stamina, strength, depths of emotion and conviction, and thus, was not very convincing. Even less convincing, Roberto Iuliano’s Pollione. The other highlight of the show was Valentina Boi as Adalgisa. She had it all, a lyrical voice, rounded and warm, juvenile candor, and quite easily stole the scene. The voices blended well in the ensembles and the choir was remarkable. Mixed feelings on the whole; the public, however, was delighted, cheers and applause were plentiful, and all is well that ends well

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