Our First Euryanthe

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lennygoran
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Our First Euryanthe

Post by lennygoran » Sun Mar 15, 2020 8:22 pm

Our First Weber Euryanthe

C/O Netflix a wonderful production-an appropriate set, beautiful costumes, nice singing, very good acting, wonderful music-unfortunately the opera itself is a little crazy. Here's another review below. Len

Weber Euryanthe
A worthwhile performance of Weber’s neglected, flawed masterpiece

Author: mscott rohan
There’s so little Weber about on DVD, still less that’s worthwhile, that any Euryanthe at all is a welcome surprise, let alone a rather good one. Cagliari in Sardinia might not seem the likeliest Weber venue but this still quite young company has established a reputation for staging unusual operas, and they handle this one with some style.

Euryanthe contains some of Weber’s finest and most adventurous music, and was a major influence on Lohengrin, but it remains rare because of the poetaster Helmina von Chezy’s inane cod-medieval libretto, with an improbably naive hero and heroine, and an invisible protagonist in the ghost of the hero’s suicidal sister. Producers are understandably tempted to send it up but playing it absolutely straight, as here, accords far better with the score. Music director Gérard Korsten’s sprightly reading steers admirably clear of ponderous Wagnerism, bringing out the music’s freshness and vivid colours, with some decent orchestral playing.

Best-known among his cast is Elena Prokina, remembered for her Glyndebourne Tatyana; her bright lyric soprano has acquired some extra heft at the price of more vibrato, and she portrays the victimised heroine with suitably hand-wringing intensity. As her jealous lover Adolar, Yikun Chung shows considerable promise, even if his attractive lyric tenor isn’t yet ideal for this semi-heroic role, and he cuts a reasonable stage figure. The villains are rather less impressive. Jolana Fogasová is suitably slinky and duplicitous, vocally and physically, but her voice hardens and easily becomes shrill under pressure. Andreas Scheibner is a leathery-voiced but incisive Lysiart in Act 1, so it’s disappointing, in the great tormented scena ‘Wo berg’ ich mich?’, when he makes such a hash of the storming finale, losing tone and pitch until he barks rather than sings, in the closing runs especially. He improves somewhat, acts energetically, but remains harsh and uningratiating. The King is suitably resonant, though, and the lesser roles and chorus likeable.

Other Pier Luigi Pizzi productions I’ve seen have been naturalistic, richly sombre and somewhat crepuscular, and that’s exactly what we get here – Gothic-style unit sets and traditional stage-medieval costume. Their very old-fashionedness, however, catches the work’s atmosphere perfectly. The recording is good despite the shadows, the surround-soundtracks lively, and Dynamic’s presentation excellent except for some hilariously awful subtitles – the King pronounces ‘How we worries about the lad!’ All told, however, this is a lively and recommendable argument for a neglected masterpiece.

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