Monday, April 13, 2015

Cavalleria Rusticana

You can watch the brand new Cavalleria Rusticana from the Salzburg Easter Festival on YouTube. Here are some bits.

Conductor:  Christian Thielemann
Production:   Philipp Stölzl

Turiddu: Jonas Kaufmann (tenor)
Santuzza: Liudmyla Monastyrska (soprano)
Lola: Annalisa Stroppa (mezzo-soprano)
Mamma Lucia: Stefania Toczyska (contralto)
Alfio: Ambrogio Maestri (baritone)

I like both Kaufmann and Lyudmyla Monastyrska in this, Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana.


I find that I want to comment on the production.  It was hard to understand exactly what was going on.  There was a conductor in the pit and an orchestra, and they were playing.  On the stage it seemed to be a film playing.  Up to six different screens appeared in two rows, and the scenes of people milling around outside the church for Easter services could have actually been films.  The gorgeous choral work could not be seen, and they didn't get a bow.

The only thing I could figure out was a large screen with films of live action which went on behind it.  The maybe four actual sets were shot and put together into what we were seeing.  It was hard to tell exactly since I am possibly seeing a film of a film.  Or who really knows? 

In the scenes with mama Lucia there were two mysterious men that came and went.  I kept rewinding to see what happened.  And who exactly were they?  Mama seemed to be working.

The plot was easy to follow.  It was only confusing if you wanted to understand how they did it.


She's right.  You can't tell from a film, but my current guess is two rows of three boxes.  Sometimes they are only frames that make it look like boxes.  Turiddu is respectable but Santuzza isn't, though they live together and have a child together.

The street cleared and mama Lucia's box appeared in the lower row.  They must be rolled around backstage.  Maybe this would only work for the lower row.  One can't help wondering.


There is a film also of Ruggero Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci which I find I don't like quite as much.  There is the same arrangement of two rows of boxes.  In this one when the play is being enacted in one section above, there are closeups projected on the section next to it.  Then at the end there is a big empty stage.  Curious.

Dirigent: Christian Thielemann

Canio:  Jonas Kaufmann (tenor)
Nedda:  Maria Agresta (soprano)
Tonio:  Dimitri Platanias (baritone)
Beppe:  Tansel Akzeybek (tenor)
Silvio:  Alessio Arduini (baritone)



Rob said...

Thanks for sharing this! I heard it the other night on Radio OE1, but seeing AND hearing is MUCH better. Thanks!

marilyn said...

It is very difficult to understand the production from a video. You need to see the whole stage at once. It was all live. I was there and it was the best night of opera I have ever had. The choir had a curtain call after Pagliaci, even the orchestra was on the stage along with both casts.

Dr.B said...

This is a hard opera to stage. Musically in every aspect it was glorious.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dr. B, I enjoy your blog but have not commented before. I watched the Salzburg Cav/Pag on YT. Both productions used live video to provide close ups of the live action on the four other parts of the stage. Video screens were on the top right and left (sometimes also live action on top left!). The other four boxes were live stages. At the beginning of Pagliacci the cast appear on stage partially prepared (JK still in bloodied Tiriddu costume) and you can see the stage modules being moved into position for the next opera. I thought the whole thing was brilliant. Diese Version hat die beiden Opern, und bei der Pause - ein kurzes Interview des Regisseurs auf Deutsch):

Dr.B said...

When you are concentrating on the action and the singing, it's hard to notice exactly what they are doing.