Thursday, April 6, 2017

Una volta c'era un rè....

We have written before of The Opera Platform, a site where one can see live streaming performances from European opera houses. We recently enjoyed Mr. Rossini's charming opera La Cenerentola from the Opéra de Lille, a live performance from October 16 of last year, that will be available until April 13. I would recommend viewing this performance.

Emily Fons
Photo: (c) Patrick Delacroix
We're always most excited by thrilling performances, and this cast supplied many. Young American mezzo-soprano Emily Fons was a charming Angelina. Her singing was free and even throughout, her coloratura clear, her characterization both humble and mischievous. One especially enjoyed her chemistry with the Ramiro of Taylor Stayton and the Dandini of Armando Noguera. Mr Stayton, also an American, is not unknown to us, having an internet presence dating back several years. We enjoyed his singing, particularly his thrilling high notes, and found his Ramiro effectively noble and stoic but with a good sense of fun.

Dandini (Armando Noguera) and Ramiro (Taylor Stayton),
pursued by Clorinde (Clara Meloni) and Tisbe (Julie Pasturaud)
Photo: (c) Patrick Delacroix
Mr. Noguera, an Argentinian baritone with an active career in Europe, gave Dandini an endearing naughtiness and healthy, robust singing. We especially enjoyed his first entrance in Act I. Roberto Lorenzi was an impressive Alidoro, with warm, booming sound and a gentle, wise portrayal. Renato Girolami was quite the blustery Don Magnifico.

We quite enjoyed the Orchestre de Picardie and the Chorus of Opéra de Lille under the baton of Antonello Allemandi. We weren't so sure about the production. Sets by Jean Bellorini and Charles Vitez, costumes by Nelly Geyres, and make-up by Laurence Aué were puzzling. Along with Mr. Bellorini's lighting, the team created some dazzling visual effects, but one wondered why. (Longtime readers know that at Taminophile Enterprises, we often wonder why settings are updated in opera productions.) We don't know whether this production team claimed the tired excuse for updating of clarifying social and power structures, but if so, they didn't succeed. Frankly, the costumes and makeup seldom flattered anyone, with the possible exception of Mr. Lorenzi, who would look great in anything!. (Are you reading this Roberto? Call me!)

All in all a most enjoyable performance. The singing of all far outweighed my quibbles with the production.