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Two high quality casts in Il trovatore at Barcelona’s Liceu – Seen and Heard Worldwide

United Kingdom Verdi, Il trovatore: Refrain and Orchestra of the Gran Theatre del Liceu / Riccardo Frizza (conductor). Gran Theatre del Liceu, Barcelona, 27 and 28.10.2022. (JMI)

Hibla Gerzmava (Leonora) and Yonghoon Lee (Manrico) © T. Bofill

Director – Alex Ollé
Units – Alfons Flores
Costumes – Lluc Castells

Manrico – Vittorio Grigolo / Yonghoon Lee
Leonora – Saioa Hernández / Hibla Gerzmava
Azucena – Ksenia Dudnikova / Judit Kutasi
Rely Luna – Juan Jesús Rodríguez / Ángel Ódena
Ferrando – Gianluca Buratto / Krzysztof Baczyk
Inés – María Zapata
Ruiz – Antoni Lliteres

Solely 5 years have handed since Il trovatore was final carried out on the Liceu, and issues didn’t begin easily as a result of always-feared sicknesses. Certainly, the director of the Liceu got here on stage to remark that Saioa Hernández had been ailing in current days, and her presence had been unsure till the final second, though she had lastly determined to sing. All of this weighed on the efficiency.

The staging by Alex Ollé is a co-production of the Opéra nationwide de Paris and the Dutch Nationwide Opera. It premiered seven years in the past in Amsterdam, and I had the chance to see it the next yr on the Opéra Bastille. Then, as now, the manufacturing was disappointing. The motion takes place in a warlike atmosphere throughout the previous century, the place Rely Luna’s troops appear to be these of a daily military whereas Manrico’s reply extra to the idea of guerrilla forces.

Juan Jesús Rodríguez (left, Luna) and Vittorio Grigolo (centre, Manrico) © T. Bofill

The units and costumes are of little curiosity. This stage is sort of naked, and that has an affect on the voices which don’t attain the viewers with the required readability.

The musical route was entrusted to Riccardo Frizza, who carried out Les contes d’Hoffmann on the Liceu final season with good outcomes. His studying right here was right and supported the singers though, for my part, there was a scarcity of emotion. Undoubtedly, the actual fact of getting a sick Leonora influenced his route, which needed to be extra delicate when the soprano was on stage. The Liceu orchestra did effectively, as did the refrain, the place the ladies appeared to me higher than the boys.

Manrico was sung by tenor Vittorio Grigolo, who was making his debut within the function. He’s a skillful actor and sang in a really pure manner. I discovered him extra concerned on this character than on earlier events, the place his taking part in was often exaggerated. He was good within the long-awaited Act III aria and good within the well-known ‘Di quella pira’, though he solely sang one verse (and I feel it was off key). Tenor Yonghoon Lee was Manrico within the second forged. His voice is highly effective and properly suited to the function – he’s a assure in this sort of character.

Leonora was sung by soprano Saioa Hernández, one of many important sights within the forged. As I discussed above, there was point out of her being ailing, and the reality is that she took quite a few precautions all through your complete opera. At instances her voice didn’t attain out into the opera home clearly, though usually her voice is kind of exceptional by way of quantity. I don’t know if, in these circumstances, it might need been higher to cancel.

Soprano Hibla Gerzmava as Leonora within the second forged gave a efficiency that was clearly an enchancment upon that of Saioa Hernández. We had an opportunity to see her on this half three years in the past on the Teatro Actual, and he or she as soon as once more sang with gusto, demonstrating her engaging voice all through the tessitura. Her high register is considerably metallic, however she was a powerful Leonora, particularly in her Act III aria.

Azucena the gypsy was sung by mezzo-soprano Ksenia Dudnikova. She has a large voice that’s acceptable to the calls for of the character, though her voice does lose high quality on the high. The second Azucena was mezzo-soprano Judit Kutasssi, who was returning to the Liceu the place she was a superb Amneris in Aida two years in the past. On this event, she was once more very good, with a voice that’s stronger on the high that that of her colleague within the first forged.

Juan Jesús Rodríguez was fairly good as Rely Luna, with an essential voice that may be very well-suited for Verdi’s baritones. He was excellent within the ‘Il balen del suo sorriso’ aria. Ángel Ódena within the second forged has a robust voice, though he has the widespread drawback of singing every thing forte, as if somebody had advised him that in any other case he wouldn’t be heard.

Bass Gianluca Buratto was right within the function of Ferrando. In his Act I aria, his voice wasn’t heard by way of the orchestra very clearly, a results of the open stage. Within the second forged Ferrando was performed by Krzystof Baczyk, who additionally had some issues with projection on that stage.

The secondary characters had been properly lined by María Zapata within the a part of Inés and by Antoni Lliteres as Ruiz.

Jose M. Irurzun



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