Nicola Luisotti tended toward quicker tempi throughout the evening, to solid results overall. There were undeniably some moments where it seemed things could get muddled and messy (the clarinet solo during the Allegro Brillante in the overture, where the accompanying triples were unfocused), but on the whole, it allowed for the opera to flow. While his tempo in the overture made the contrasts of the differing sections less pronounced, it did help in getting to the next scene quickly to mitigate some of the effects of shifting its placement. As is his tendency in many other Verdi operas, Luisotti did have moments where he would unleash the brass instruments over the entire orchestra (especially in the overture’s climax), creating imbalance, but it did create dramatic effect in punctuating chords. That said, he showed tremendous generosity toward the singers throughout the night, allowing them to expand phrases as they desired and never overpowering them; in fact, in moments where it seemed inevitable that the orchestra might drown out a thinner sound (like Stikhina’s during the duet with the Padre Guardiano), he adjusted quickly to allow the artist greater vocal bandwidth. On the whole, as is related to my personal experience with his work, this was one of Luisotti’s best interpretations and the musical successes of this production are undoubtedly a result of his collaboration with the vocal artists. Musically there is a lot to savor from this “Forza” production. And because it is not performed as often as it deserves, that is good enough. Hopefully future productions, or even revivals of this one, will take more risks with the staging to enable the work to truly come alive.
Varduhi Abrahamyan made a vividly engaging, earthy Preziosilla. This was a very lived in performance, which is just right. Abrahamyan brought bags of personality to the tricky role. Rafal Siwek made a poised Padre Guardiano, one suspected he was rather ascetic and definitely at one remove from humanity in great contrast to Gabriele Viviani's very human Melitone. As with the best performances of this role, Viviani added a nice sense of serious intensity to the humour. Carlo Cigni made a youthful, upright and unbending Marquis. The smaller roles were all well taken with Majdouline Zeran as a delightful Curra, Rodolphe Bricano as an upright Mastro Trabuco, Luciano Prete as the Alcade and Laurent Laberdesque as the surgeon.The large chorus sang well, and made the big chorus numbers fill the auditorium. In the pit Luisotti conducted a fluid account of the piece so this most sprawling of operas really flowed. The playing from the Paris Opera Orchestra was admirable.
I am an artist: How can I add performances, repertoire, photos, manage my personal contact information? Click here
I am an agent: How can I add my personal and office contact details, update my artist roster? Click here
I am a professional at a theatre, festival, orchestra: How can I use a professional casting tool? Click here
Operabase has documented operatic activity worldwide since 1996, with over 500,000 performances on file. It records the work of artists in over 900 theatres, and publishes season information to opera-goers in 31 languages.