- Guillermo Garcia Calvo | Dirigent
- Sylvia Schwartz | Adina
- Juan Diego Flórez | Nemorino
- Levente Molnár | Belcore
- Adam Plachetka | Doktor Dulcamara
- Lydia Rathkolb | Giannetta
I have to admit that I really have a soft spot for Donizetti´s „Elisir“. An adorable opera both witty and touching. – IF you have accomplished singers it is done with the right dosis of humour and sentiment.
Let´s go straight to the point: I am not an unconditioned fan of Florez, I find that for many parts he sings his voice is just two sizes too small (Rigoletto Duca, let´s not speak of Tell), but Nemorino really fits him well. It´s a small sized yoice, yes, which has gained a little in fullness, especially in the middle register, and sounds no more like a choir boy but like a tenore di grazia. If you don´t like an oversized, stodgy Nemorino like Alagna of Villazon, you might well try Florez.
This is not a part where he constantly has to stretch his voice into all directions in order to fill out the role. Here, he is at vocally at ease and relaxed as one can hear.
At the end of „Quanto è bella“ at „AAAH non son capace“, he hit the first note badly before interpolating the first of many high notes (a little too many for my tate) and cadenzas. „Chiedi al rio“ is sung very correctly, without really going tot he heart. The same goes for „Adina, credimi“, what he lacks here is the ability to really spin a big legato-bows (like Schipa does so excellently), which obviously does not have anything to do with the size of the voice. What I find he also lacks is a REAL mezza voce. He tends to sing out too much, and although there is nuance in his singing, it seems that his mezza voce does not the body and density it should have.
What he also painfully lacks is the power and squillo (at least a little!) for „Esulti pur la barbara“ or „“Poiche non sono amato voglio morir soldato“ , for example not has he the drive for „Ai perigli della guerra“ in the duet with Belcore. He is fine when there is litlle or no orchestra to sing against, but the voice becomes almost inaudible when the orchestra is getting anywhere near a full sound.
He sang, however, a truly respectable „Una furtiva lagrima“, which was neither what I would call „magical“ nor did it exactly break my heart, but he really sang it excellently. The „bis“ was asked for and granted, as it obviously has become customary for this aria in Vienna, especially when Florez sings it…. Probably it was also a „thank you“ to Vienna for having appointed him „Kammersänger“ just a few days before.
Spanish soprano, Sylvia Schwartz, already was Florez´ Adina in a series of Elisirs in 2010. The voice is fresh and small, almost tiny with good and accurate agility and pretty even throughout the registers. – A little Sciutti with a drop of Sayao. She manages it well, too. It stands out a little of the nowadays usually colourless and doll-like lirico-leggeros. There are, however limitations: the voice is so light-weight that as soon as she puts only little weight or volume on it, the sound tends to go out of focus. The top notes sound a little squeezy. She sings cleverly and well and is charming to look at and listen to. Charming, but „harmless“.
Which brings us to Belcore and Dulcamara.
Levente Molnár´s voice is throaty, inflexible, „swollen“ and loud. As a singer he is monotous and and as an interpreter unimaginative. He stumbles over the slightest ornaments in the music and during the ornated passages he gasps for air – truly amateurish was the „ho ingaggiato il mio rivale“ from „Venti scudi“, where he steamrolled each and every coloratura. Adam Plachetka´s Dulcamara was not much better. Loud, yes, but already blessed with a terrible wobble for his age.
Guillermo Garcia Calvo did a good job and followed the singers without allowing them to drag the tempo.
So – a small-scale, rather intimate „Elisir“ this was. Now all we have to do is change Belcore and Dulcamara and transfer the production to the smaller-sized Theater an der Wien.