Production reviews (3)

9 Aug 2022 - 5 Jun 2015
La Cenerentola, Rossini,  
Opéra de Rennes7 Performances
07 June 2015unavocepocofa915.blogspot.comSuzanne DaumannGoofy and charming: Rossini’s Cenerentola at the Opéra de Rennes
It’s a tradition by now: every two years, the Opéra de Rennes shares its end-of-season production with a large public outside the opera house: telecasts to thirteen Breton towns, live stream on France Musique, and transmission to a big screen right on the square outside of the opera house – everyone is invited to celebrate opera this day. Rennes, by the way, is the only opera house in France to offer such a possibility. Rossini’s Cenerentola being a feast in its own right, it takes only an intelligent staging and cast for the celebration to be a success. This version of the Cinderella story, let’s remember, is slightly different from what Perrault or the brothers Grimm tell us: The prince and Cinderella meet for the first time in Cinderella’s house, before the ball, and fall in love at first sight. No fairy godmother,no enchanted hazel bush for Cinderella to help with preparations for the ball, but the prince’s tutor, Alidoro, a wise and gentle magician. And Cinderella doesn’t have a vicious stepmother, but a greedy and selfish stepfather. The Cinderella story, come to think of it, is more that just a silly fable to remind girls to be good at all times. The lateJérôme Savary’s staging respects its tender and deeper side. Resuscitated by Frédérique Lombard, charming and witty, it is situated in the 19th century. The colourful costumes contrast deliciously with the lovely trompe-l’oeuil backgrounds, all in subdued colours. From the overture, the Rossinian spirit is fully present. Darrell Ang conducts the Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne with precision and finesse in the complicated score with its many tempo and intensity changes. Once or twice, the orchestra covers the singers a bit, but on the whole, stage and pit are finely united. The woodwinds, especially, are much in demand and rise up to the challenge with brio, as always. The two sisters are making a remarkable entry. Anna Steiger, Tisbe, and Jeannette Fischer, Clorinda, are stealing the stage a bit, they are so funny and present, ridiculously capering and cooing, that one almost forgets their remarkable singing. Strawberry and apricot, they are the fruits of the party. Just like the spoilt children they are, they are commenting on every word, every dialogue of the adults, calling their presence to mind every moment. It would be too much, were it not so well done, for instance when Clorinda does the old Harpo Marx stunt and tries to get everyone she meets to hold up her knee. Very fortunately, the rest of the cast is perfectly up to the challenge. Angelina, la Cenerentola, is played by the wonderful mezzo-soprano José Maria Lo Monaco. With her light and ample voice and its soft and golden timbre, she is an ideal Cenerentola, modest and innocent, yet very much present. Pure caramel with salted butter! Well one understands the prince Ramiro who falls in love with her on first sight. Tenor Daniele Zanfardino gives him life and voice. Suave and energetic, an accomplished belcantist, he masters all the difficulties of the part. Mint and chocolate ice cream: who’d have thought that this would go so well with the caramel! The duos are simply delicious, their voices blending together so harmoniously. Another variation from the original story is the character of Dandini, the prince’s valet. He has to change clothes with his master, in order to find out the real character of the two engaging maidens. The excellent baritone Marc Scoffoni plays him with a kind of comic grace that would also suit an Offenbach opera. A real dandy, he swaggers and dances and prances like a circus horse, seemingly having royal fun all the while. Fine and crisp, here is an apple tart for you. Bruno Praticò, baritone, plays Don Magnifico, the greedy stepfather. An experienced Don Magnifico, he is goofy and yet touching. A glass of red wine, Montepulciano maybe, light and earthy. Luigi de Donato, bass, last but not least, interprets Alidoro. With his warm and soft voice, pure musical chocolate, he delivers his grand aria in Act II with energy and resounding low notes. Delightful, how he sketches a few dance steps with Angelina during the postlude. Delightful, the choreographies by Frédérique Lombart. The choir, conducted by Gildas Pungier, is magnificent, precise and musical, as usual. All in all, a lovely Rossini evening, that ends with largely deserved huge applause, and one regrets not to be able to attend the grand telecast night.
29 May 2015www.unidivers.frThierry MartinRennes Opera: La Cenerentola or a jubilant fairy tale à la Savary
Thursday, May 28, 2015, several music lovers had the chance to attend the premiere of La Cenerentola by Rossini at the Rennes Opera. Rejoice, Rennais: this jubilant fairy tale à la Jérome Savary is given again on Saturday May 30, Monday June 1, Wednesday 3 and Friday 5 at 8 p.m. with a simultaneous broadcast at Place de la Mairie (and in 14 other cities of Brittany). The indication chosen by Rossini for this major work of his repertoire has something contradictory about it, it is described as “Mélodrama giocoso”. Concept not easy to grasp, a melodrama having nothing that provides a particular enjoyment. Yet with this Italian Cinderella, the idea is gaining ground.opera reindeer cenerentolaBetween the somewhat tragic destiny of this poor young girl and the grotesque adventures that accompany the acts of her stepfather and her two half-sisters, the antithesis becomes more obvious. If you add to that the talent of director Jérôme Savary, you get a most entertaining evening that you can still enjoy. Our little theater in Rennes is buzzing with impatience as the musicians of the Orchester Symphonique de Bretagne tune in before welcoming the arrival of conductor Darrell Ang. Plus one free seat, which is quite normal on a premiere night. Instead of the usual curtain, a huge fresco or two castles face each other, perched on high wooded hills. The show begins with a long opening. It looks like a presentation of everything that will be developed next. From dark and slow notes, we pass to powerful and incantatory lyrical flights followed by melodiesopera reindeer cenerentolaare bouncing, punctuated by the calls of the oboe and the pizzicati of the violins. Make no mistake, it's Italian! It is with the two wicked sisters of Cinderella that we immediately meet. Anna Steiger, in the role of Tisbé, accompanied by Jeannette Fisher, who for her part interprets that of Clorinda. If the two were part of the initial distribution, during the lifetime of Jérôme Savary, it must be recognized that Jeannette Fisher knew how to preserve her energy capital in a truly breathtaking way. She plants us a splendid split, indulges in all sorts of pirouettes and antics, often throwing herself to the ground (a little too much), and getting up like a kid, she is amazing. Vocally, she has lost none of her qualities and imposes with incredible energy a burlesque character, thundering and seeming by her appearance straight out of a Walt Disney cartoon. CinderellaIt is the interpreter José Maria lo Monaco who will bring us the answer. This charming Sicilian singer, young and graceful enough to suggest a young girl in a credible way, plays her role pleasantly, her voice is commensurate with the dimensions of the Rennes opera, but she does not hesitate to demonstrate during certain passages that She is perfectly capable of giving power. She knows how to use the ornaments so specific to Italian music with moderation and thus avoids the painful rantings of certain "prima donnas" that are unpleasant to listen to. It is a similar remark that accompanies the interpretation of the Neapolitan tenor Daniel Zanfardino. He is perfectly in his place in this role and in this opera house. Holding beautiful treble with pride, he portrays a touching and sensitive character and his tenor voiceCinderella rennesRossinien is worthy of praise. His duets with José Maria do Monaco will be beautiful moments of emotion throughout the work. The character of Don Magnifico, interpreted by Bruno Pratico is a little more questionable. His voice is not always pleasant and seems pushed to its limits. But we must do him justice, from a strictly theatrical point of view, he wins the prize hands down, obviously experience speaks for itself. His Don magnifico is earthy, ridiculous, angry, pot-bellied at will, servile when necessary and his mere arrival on stage in a free-falling elevator makes him sympathetic to us. Theatrically, he is followed by a regular in the place in the person of Marc Scoffoni. opera reindeer cenerentolaThe devil of a man surprises us, it was not easy to consider him in this kind of role and yet he really comes out with the honors. Pushing the analysis a little further, it is fair to recognize that Marc Scoffoni has a real talent when it comes to making people laugh. It is perhaps in his Marseillaise roots that one should seek this aptitude for communicative good humor, but his success is not limited to his gifts for the theater, it is also linked to his performance as a singer which is everything quite commendable, it is fair to point this out. His "Dandini" very close to Scapin and Leporello is a key character in the drama and Marc Scoffoni embodies him with great authority. We have almost made the rounds of the actors of this entertaining farce, only we miss Alidoro, the philosopher, proudly camped by the Italian bass Luigi di Donato. Already widely acclaimed during his interpretation of Zoroastro from L'Orlando by Georg Friedrich Haëndel, he came back boldly to impose his imposing stature and his beautiful deep voice to the delight of the Rennes public happy to find a popular singer. cinderella operaSo many reasons to be satisfied, but since we are drunk… let's examine the bottle…. Sets and costumes by Ezio Toffoluti serve the play perfectly. From the dark interior where Cinderella withers to the pretty Roman gallery where the drama unravels, everything is balanced and sufficient. The costumes cleverly underline the personalities of the speakers, from redundant to grotesque, they know how to be wise and elegant to highlight particular psychological aspects. The message is not subliminal, but gives a readability that contributes to the fluidity of the show. The staging by Jérome Savary, taken over by Frédérique Lombart is in correspondence with the character and in perfect harmony with what is his true artistic testament. A total, jubilant theater open to all. There would still be many things to say…the chorus of the opera…properly formidable, confirming all the good that we had thought of it during its moving interventions in a Lohengrin made unforgettable. The figuration itself is a success, the arrival on stage of charming young girls still teenagers sometimes dressed as servants sometimes made up as lackeys andCinderellat all more charming than the other, then little girls between six and eight years old, delighted to come on stage to dance with the adults, everything is refreshing and gives this show a mixture of childlike grace and deep humanity. Don't worry, we weren't going to forget our dear Brittany orchestra. To tell the truth, it is he who is somewhat forgotten, hidden in his pit where he does not fail to be copiously smoky. He puts himself so totally at the service of a show that captivates the public that we forget him a little. It's unfair, but in any case the job is done and well done. Besides, the time will not seem so long to us. If you consider that the first act lasts an hour and forty-five minutes and that after half an hour of posing, the second takes you on for another full hour, it is desirable to be caught up in the scene. This is what is happening and from the youngest to the grandparents we all find ourselves like children.opera reindeer cenerentolants eager to know the rest of the story and in no hurry to see it end. Magic of fairy tales… Thank you, Mr. Perrault! The greatest pleasure is to know that, in addition to the other performances, on Friday June 5 at 8 p.m., it will be possible for everyone to go and attend the free performance given on the big screen on the Place de la Mairie in Rennes. Don't go thinking that opera is not for you, try it as one tastes a delicacy for the first time, you will perhaps discover the lyrical art lover who is in you. To be continued… !
02 June 2015www.resmusica.comVincent DelogeA joyful Cenerentola in Rennes in memory of Jérôme Savary
For the fourth edition of Operas on screen(s) , combining broadcast on large screens in thirteen Breton municipalities as well as in Jersey, live broadcast on France Musique and on local television channels, and demonstration of new technologies, the Opéra de Rennes wanted to pay tribute to Jérôme Savary , who passed away in 2013. After Mozart and Verdi, make way for Rossini with the reconstruction of the famous staging of La Cenerentola , created in Geneva in 1993 and then revived at the Palais Garnier. We personally keep a dazzled memory of the performances of December 2002 during which Juan Diego Florez gave the reply to Joyce Di Donato. Frédérique Lombart , former collaborator of the founder of the Grand Magic Circus, lovingly settled this recovery for which it was necessary to reconstruct part of the sets. Of course, the food side is prioritized here over the poetic dimension of the book, but the show works and more than once provokes the hilarity of the public. Accustomed to this production, Jeannette Fischer and Anna Steiger make tons of it in their roles as obnoxious sisters. If the first still masters the splits just as well, the second gives obvious signs of vocal fatigue. Unexpected in this repertoire, Marc Scoffoni frees himself over the course of the performance and displays a vocal health and a scenic fantasy that end up gaining acceptance. Luigi De Donato uses his physical stature and his deep bass to play a brilliant deus ex machina while Bruno Pratico is forced to use his great craft and his comica vis to make people forget an instrument that is now very threadbare. Launched by maestro Alberto Zedda at the Academy of Pesaro, Daniele Zanfardino ranks among the best Rossinian tenors of the moment with an accomplished technique, intense virtuosity and a conquering treble which are particularly marvelous in Si ritrovaria io giuro . The laurels of the evening, however, go to the Sicilian Josè Maria Lo Monaco who combines the amenities of an ideal physique for the role with those of a flattering mezzo. We know what to put forward, shimmering tones, the art of coloring, the ease of vocalization or perfect musicality. His final rondo is a real moment of grace. Darrell Ang signs a very professional orchestra direction, well established, but lacking in fantasy and sparkle. Rossini probably does not enter his family tree, any more than that of the Orchester Symphonique de Bretagne , so much more flamboyant in a later repertoire. Finally, the chorus sometimes seems unusually disorderly in its generosity.