Orquesta Ciudad de Granada.
Coro de la A.A.del Teatro de la Maetranza.
Conductor: Mauricio Benini.
Teatro de la Maestranza de Sevilla. 17. 2.2009 (JMI)
Co - production: Seville’s Maestranza, Madrid’s Teatro Real,
Barcelona’s Liceu and Torino’s Teatro Regio.
Director: Yannis Kokkos.
Sets and Costumes: Yannis Kokkos.
Lighting: Guido Levi.
Tancredi: Daniela Barcellona.
Amenaide: Mariella Devia.
Argirio: Gregory Kunde.
Orbazzano: Wojtel Gierlach.
Isaura: Ana Tobella.
Roggiero: Alexandra Rivas.
This production was first reviewed on December 2007 at Teatro Real, when both the Venice and the Ferrara versions were presented. Seville has decided to use the original version from Venice, best known for its “lieto finale”.
If in Madrid we enjoyed an outstanding musical reading from Riccardo Frizza, in Seville the music did not reach quite the same level. Maurizio Benini is a very reliable conductor, very efficient, but not always very inspiring. What it is always guaranteed with him is that there will not be any accidents and that the music will flow however and this is all-important. His reading was in general good, better in the second part than in first with the Orchestra Ciudad de Granada replacing Seville’s usual orchestra, which is on a successful tour through Central Europe. I was disappointed with the Chorus, which was clearly below its normal level.
Daniela Barcellona again played Tancredi and she was totally convincing, just as she was in Madrid. She was excellent in the second half of the opera, but “Di tanti Palpiti” fell somehow below expectations. Despite that, she remains one the best Tancredis currently singing the role.
Mariella Devia was the surprising substitution for Alexandrina Pendatchanska. Cancellations are always a big problem for any opera house and also for the fans, but in this case we were more than fortunate to have the Italian diva singing Amenaide. When Mariella Devia is in her natural fach, as in this case, she is second to none in belcanto. At 60 she still has a very fresh voice, an immaculate technique and a way of singing that hardly exist anymore. During the last 30 years there have been only three extraordinary sopranos for pure belcanto in my opinion : Gruberova, Anderson and Devia and when any of them have been singing their true repertoire, the opera has become an authentic feast. This is what with Devia’s Amenaide where her two arias in the second act were genuine lessons in singing.
When writing about the Teatro Real’s Tancredi and referring to Argirio, I said that the aria in the second part which is normally cut could only be justified if the cast included an exceptional tenor. We had one here in Seville with Gregory Kunde giving one of his best performances, second only to his Otello in Pesaro two years ago.
Wojtek Gierlach was a reliable Orbazzano, better than in his last outing in Seville as Masetto. Ana Tobella was a discrete Isaura, while Alexandra Rivas was a very good Roggiero.
There was a full house with warm applause during the performance, particularly for Devia’s arias. At the end, there were complete triumphs for Devia, Barcellona and Kunde.
José M Irurzun