Saturday, May 19, 2012

I Capuleti e i Montecchi

Romeo: Vesselina Kasarova
Giulietta:  Anna Netrebko
Tebaldo: Dimitri Pittas
Capellio: Ante Jerkunica
Lorenzo: Paul Gay

Conductor: Yves Abel
Production: Vincent Boussard

I Capuleti e i Montecchi by Bellini was streamed from the Bayerischen Staatsoper in Munich Saturday.  This is the production we will see in San Francisco next season.

No one plays men like Vesselina Kasarova, and damn she sounds good.  Joyce DiDonato who will be our Romeo is going to have her work cut out for her.  I am shouting in my computer room.  Somehow one does not wish to give up shouting.

This opera is about the Guelphs and Ghibellines, the great Italian political factions of the middle ages. We studied them in the classes I took in Florence. It's all about money. The Guelphs represent the merchants, and the Ghibellines represent the landed gentry. Dante got into the wrong group and was exiled from Florence. Do we care which is which?

The great one is throwing up in her bathroom.  You are required to know that that is Anna Netrebko.  She's climbed up into the sink and is trying to escape.  Throw away your expectations and learn to love her.  She is the best.

The music is so merry and gorgeous that it doesn't seem quite suitable.  Apparently this Juliet is a lunatic.  It is Italian opera, after all.  The stream is not perfect and occasionally pauses, sometimes long pauses.  The translation is in German which I can read.  Sorry if you can't.

This is a stream of consciousness review.  My feeling is that Kasarova and Netrebko are well matched, both for voice and for craziness.  I have to go somewhere soon and I don't want to.  GD.  This is fabulous.  Y'all can have your Wagner.  I'll take a little Bellini any time.  Or at least I'll take fabulous Bellini over mediocre to bad Wagner.

Very little of the Shakespeare plot survives.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

and i was there live, it was an incredible evening of exquisite singing from Kasarova and Netrebko! The zoom-ins of the set made it much more confusing i think. The two of them being so intuitive were doing a fantastic job making sense of it of us the audience. I saw the same set last year and was very confused but not this time around. Truly a remarkable job of acting for both in addition to the sublime vocal treat.

ps- From Philip Gossett's take, this opera's storyline is derived from an original work much earlier, one which Shakespeare also used for his play. There's a nice clip of him discussing about the work during the 2001 lyrics opera of chicago broadcast here in case you want to listen :-).