Notizie da Vienna: Bellini: La Straniera Musikverein 18.2.2013

Edita Gruberova (Alaide)

Sonia Ganassi (Isoletta)

José Bros (Arturo)

Paolo Gavanelli (Valdeburgo)

Randall Bills (Osburgo)

Sung Heon Ha (Prior)

Leonard Bernad (Montolino)

Münchener Opernorchester & Philharmonia Chor Wien

Pietro Rizzo (conductor)

So what is there to expect of an opera, which requires really first class singers to show itself in the best possible light and about a 67-year-old Primadonna who wants to prove to herself and to her public that she can still do it? Reading in advance the names of the rest of the cast I was wondering whether she would be able to carry/sustain the evening more or less on her own. The cast is the same as on the night of her debut as Alaide last year in July at the Munich Gasteig.Yes, Gruberova still can do it and she was better than expected (or feared). And yes – she still has her mannerisms, her little vices and exaggerations as well as her stiff notes and her weak lower register. And, of course, she knew exactly where she had to show her true colours and where she could save a little. As always with her, there were notes or expressions, which made you shake your head in anger and then there were passages which left you with mouth wide open and which you were drinking in, as you knew you wouldn´t be hearing phrases and notes like these again so soon. She audibly was in good voice, which still is admirably firm without a hint of a wobble, its sound is remarkably „healthy“. She is a little short of breath and power towards the end of the top notes, but really: who else sings such notes today with such intensity and such a well-focussed cutting edge? Personally, I felt that Alaide suited her better than Elisabetta in Devereux and certainly Norma. It is among the best things I heard from her in the last 10 years and she certainly has got guts and does not avoid risky top notes. She was only one singing without the score in front of her. – A professional from head to toe, one could hear that she was the only one on stage who had a „plan“ about her role, a structure and a shaping of her vocal part while the others were struggling (more or less so) with the vocal demands oft he score. While the voice itself is not exactly a „voce modesta“, but no vocal miracle either, as a singer she is still towering head and shoulders after 45 years of career (which she celebrated in this performance) above almost all colleagues today – certainly above her co-singers in this „Straniera“. She certainly sounds younger and in better vocal health than Sonia Ganassi in her late Fourties:

Sonia Ganassi is adequate, but I could not think of any significant virtue to be singled out. The middle range is the better part of it, but while she pushes the low notes her top sounds harsh and forced. The sound is rather thick and not well focussed, a lyric voice really, but Ganassi audibly tries to artificially create a bigger and darker sound than that of her natural voice.

Apart from Gruberova I found José Bros the most satisfying of the rest of the cast. His passionate singing mostly making up for the lack of volume and incisiveness. He mostly sings forte, pushing too much in the middle range thus the top sounds forced and narrow. When he tries to sing mezza voce the voice does not carry and respond like it should.

Gavanelli had almost raving reviews in most cases. Newspapers were writing about a „cultivated and noble sound“… Nothing could be further from the actual truth. He is loud and making big, mostly ugly, sounds, but at least he does try so differentiate a little and add some nuances. The voice sounds almost torn in two: the lower middle range and low notes sound better, but from the passaggio area upwards he has major intonation problems, the top notes he just blurts out with full power.

Randall Bills (Osburgo), Sung Heon Ha (Prior) and Leonard Bernad (Montolino) were ok, but nothing more.

Standing ovations for Gruberova who is said to have stated in an interview with a wink that she would mind any applause lasting less than 20 minutes. Well – she missed it by  only 60 seconds…

 Immagine anteprima YouTube

11 pensieri su “Notizie da Vienna: Bellini: La Straniera Musikverein 18.2.2013

  1. I watched the streaming this week-end. I coudn’t agree more with your account. We won’t hear things like that anymore, even if one would enjoy slapping her in some places (now and 20 years ago)…

    Gavanelli è da quaresimal. Orrendo.

  2. However, the final scene featured here sounded better in the house than here over the live-stream… She is a singer who is not captured very well over the microphone. The voice needs space to spread and unfold – just like it should be…

  3. cara la me Selma, me par che te set dré a difindì la Gruberova come ho fat me co la Meier ne la registrasiù del Fidelio che go dat la colpa al microfen. Ma chè la situasiu l’é più grave. L’Edita pica fo certe stunade che la fa pora.-

    • E la fa’ anche stemi’ i tusècc.
      E pò semper : a l’è ègia, a l’è ègia…ho kapit kè l’è ègia, kel ka ma fa’ gira’ i fik, l’è mìa kè l’è ègia, ma kè la ùsa, e mìa ndoma de ier.

  4. guarda che io adoro la gruberova ma c’ e’ un limite a tutto. Mi ha ricordato l ultimo falstaff d taddei o d bruson l anno scorso. Lei ha grande coraggio ma almeno da youtube sembra uno strazio. Guarda che al confronto il tanto vituperato don pasquale della Sills con kraus titus e gramm e’ una cosa molto ma molto piu’ dignitosa.

  5. ho visto il concerto in streaming(con tanta pazienza,per le interruzioni) della Gruberova che dire? nonostante la voce ormai è quella che è,come con la Devia i giovani possono molto imparare da queste due anziane.
    La Sonia è quello che è, si scrive mezzosoprano,e si legge soprano..

  6. Beh dai…altra cosa :-) io ebbi la fortuna di andarci una domenica e E.G. dopo la pazzia fece un mi (corigetemi se mi sbaglio -nella denegata ipotesi era comunque un mi bemolle-) niente male. Voi peraltro sapete quanto io amo la Devia che ha inciso una Linda di tutto rispetto. Tuttavia la Gruberova, correva il 1998, risultò molto più varia e ovviamente più penetrante. Aggiungerei di ricordarla pure perfettamente in stile.-

  7. Io capisco e tutto sommato condivido l’omaggio alla carriera fatto dal nostalgico pubblico viennese, che considera la Gruberova come fosse la Sacher Torte. Sacra. Però siamo sinceri: l’esecuzione è penosa, l’intonazione totalmente andata a farsi benedire, l’acuto finale straziante. Questo non è Belcanto ma solo un documento abbastanza triste.

  8. stesso commento che ho fatto per Devereaux. Paragonare la Gruberova di oggi alla Devia di oggi è un insulto alla Devia che è ancora in condizioni piu’ che buone. Noiosa ma brava e musicista.
    La Gruberova ormai fa ridere per non piangere. Ma, mi domando, che ci trovate in certi versi?

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