Notizie da Vienna: La fanciulla del West 8.10.2013

„Risparmiate lo scherno“…….








Franz Welser-Möst | Dirigent

Marco Arturo Marelli | Regie und Licht & Bühnenbild

Dagmar Niefind | Kostüme

Nina Stemme | Minnie

Jonas Kaufmann | Dick Johnson (Ramerrez)

Tomasz Konieczny | Sheriff Jack Rance

Norbert Ernst | Nick

Paolo Rumetz | Ashby

Boaz Daniel | Sonora

Michael Roider | Trin

Hans Peter Kammerer | Sid

Tae-Joong Yang | Bello

Peter Jelosits | Harry

Carlos Osuna | Joe

Clemens Unterreiner | Happy

Il Hong | Larkens

Jongmin Park | Billy Jackrabbit

Juliette Mars | Wowkle

Alessio Arduini | Jake Wallace

Alessio Arduini | José Castro

Wolfram Igor Derntl | Postillion

Much has been expected of this production, Kaufmann´s first premiere in Vienna and role debut as Johnson. A packed house in the first evening, loosely filled standing room in the second performance already.

I have never been a fan of Nina Stemme in Italian Opera. After a disappointing „Forza“ years ago I wondered what to expect. In addition to an ugly and flaring red wig and a most unhappy jeans-overall costume in the first act, Stemme has little of a chaste, charming and sweet, yet resolute and „down-to-earth“ „fanciulla“. A strong voice and forceful singing, but little else. As much as „Laggiù del Soledad“ lacks incisive diction, „Oh, se sapeste come il vivere è allegro!“ lacks gaiety and charm and the duet in the second act real tenderness. The voice is practically torn into two halfs. The lower register sounding totally different with a nice dark sound, but from the middle register upwards the tone spreads badly and becomes harsh and squeezed, the high notes – and Minnie has many of them! – are ugly, shrill and forced. The top is really quite short, she sings these badly attacked and with much strain. One of her biggest vocal deficits is really an even vocal range. She speaks of herself as a singing actress – I cannot find anything outstanding about her neither as a stage performer nor as a vocal actress: diction or „accento“ are certainly not her strong points. The finale, where a real singing actress MUST make a lasting impression was dissappointing. Listen to a Carla Gavazzi in the finale of the opera – not a huge, but a vibrant voice and what a clever singer and vocal actress adressing each one of her workers with a different tone and nuance. Acting with the voice – That´s what makes all the difference…

Kaufmann´s Johnson is definitely one of his better roles. Not that he doesn´t shows    his usual vocal deficiencies and vices here: mushy diction, sobbing attack of the notes in the higher register, thick sound and hardly any vocal elasticity, opting for a broad and dark chest sound which he presses up all the way through the passaggio in to the high register. They are just a little more bearable in this role. He was at his best in „Or son sei mesi“ which is effective, yet in a comfortable range ringing full force on „ch´ella non sappia mai la mia vergogna“, but it costs him considerable effort not to be drowned by the orchestra. But it´s not really an intentional shaping and forming of phrases, it´s rather a following and sweeping along with the urge of the music and not actively moulding the part. There are so many nuances in Johnsons character (as Kaufmann noted himself in an interview), yet so little really comes through of these „piccole cose“: „quando il braccio v’ho offerto alla danza con me“, „no, Minnie, non piangete“, „vi piace leggere?“ etc. It´s all drowned in this guttural and throaty sound. Acting with the voice, accento , incisive diction, well sculptured phrases – all impossible without a decent vocal production.

Polish baritone, Tomasz Konieczny, is monotonous, one-dimensional and vocally totally insufficient for the role of Sheriff Jack Rance. Right from his entrance with „Buona sera, ragazzi“, which sounded more like „Buänä särä, rägäzzä“ to the finale (buänä färtönä, sägnär“) he was terribly anxious to make people understand who was the evil guy here. The poker scene is heavy-handed and awkwardly exaggerated. Little imagination as a singing interpreter, vulgar phrasing and tiresome shouting and simply bad singing – and little idea how to sing through the passagio like in „Minni, dalla mia casa“: „Nessuno mai mi amò, nessuno ho amato, nessuna cosa mai mi diè piacere!“ All with non-musical and cheap effects. Ridiculous and tiresome discolouring of every vowel and singing while grinding one´s teeth is not enough to portray a villain.

Of the miners, especially Alessio Arduini and Norbert Ernst deserve special notice Boaz Daniel as Sonora was well cast here.

Welser-Möst handled the score well, keeping the sound clear, full-bodied and well-collected. At times at the expense of Stemme and Kaufmann, who are not exactly small-voiced, but who lack the projection and carrying power to cut through the orchestra.

Every single review raved in relief that this production avoided the usual wild-west clichées. For costumes and stage setting I suppose „conventional update“ would be a fitting description – but Minnie´s costume-designer (and hair-stylist) surely could have done better than that! And the hot air ballon, which finally takes Minnie and Johnson away seemed more of a compromise.

In my opinion the first really significant and “well-rounded” own production of the duo Meyer/Welser-Möst. Nice and well prepared production and good to hear this opera which has been absent too long from the Vienna State Opera, but although there´s certainly worse out there to cast a Fanciulla one craves for singers who really shape and evolve a character and who KNOW what they are singing about, who convey the sense of the words through the music – loud and passionate singing and lots of stage action is not that.

Immagine anteprima YouTube Immagine anteprima YouTube Immagine anteprima YouTube Immagine anteprima YouTube

7 pensieri su “Notizie da Vienna: La fanciulla del West 8.10.2013

  1. Vi prego questi latrati urlati e ballanti sono inaccettabili…Fra Stemme e Kau potremmo invocare “La fanciulla del canile”. Non capisco come questi cantanti che a malapena riescono a reggere tessiture centrali come quelle wagneriane ingrossando e ingolando artificiosamente pretendano anche di volersi dare ad un repertorio spinto in acuto…siamo alla frutta proprio…nel senso che si urla come al mercato…

    • eppure in questa scena trovo Nina Stemme più che sufficiente lui no é praticamente un bisonte. Credo che per il polish bariton e Lucic si potrebbe introdurre la sottocategoria di un’altra nota scuola bovina che per approccio e portamento definirei la “scuola del bisonte”. Vado ad ascoltarmi su you tube il resto della recita e per oggi prometto di non intervenire più.-

  2. Il Kaufmann era già così nel lohengrin scaligero, lo sarà anche nelle altre performance in altri teatri….il suo successo è solo dovuto al fisico, e certi teatri si accodano all’andazzo, vien da ridere il pensare che oramai taluni teatri si affidino SOLO al lato visivo degli spettacoli.Che miseria!

  3. Sono veramente stanco di questo pseudo attore/ tenore che non sa fare né l’uno né l’altro! Il suo mal canto che incanta i giovani e non senz’orecchie e la sue false mossettine da ‘attore’ fanno solo rabbrividire per le loro ‘nonsense’! Meno male che i suoi agenti hanno (o almeno fin’ora) avuto il buon senso di non cercare di vendere in Italia questo falsario nel repertorio nostrano. Che se lo tengano a Vienna, Monaco, ecc., ecc.

Lascia un commento