L’Ape musicale

rivista di musica, arti, cultura


Indice articoli

Cannabis and passion

by Susanne Krekel

For this new production of the Munich Staatsoper, stage director Evgeny Titov situates the piece in modern times, and in a strange place, a basement, a bunker? No windows, the walls are covered with something like metal sheets or paint; the indispensable armchair is a multicoloured piece of furniture, of baroque outlines, accompanied by strange objects - some rather unorthodox sexual practices come to mind. Act II takes place in the same room, a pink plush sofa has replaced the armchair, there is some scaffolding, a few pots of paint and someone has started to paint the wall pink; Cherubino will escape by a ventilation shaft - the Countesses boudoir. Things begin to fall into place when Susanna comes out of the Countesses cabinet smoking a joint, and proceeds to lounge on the sofa, clearly under the influence of some illicit substance. In Act III, everything becomes clear: teak wainscoting instead of pink paint, a very modern and chic desk in the same material, we are clearly in a businessman’s office; a row of cannabis plants in one corner, complete with growth inducing lamps, and behind a plastic curtain we can see an entire plantation - which will be, of course, the scene of Act IV - so, his Lordship is the CEO of an illicit plant production. Impoverished nobility or grande bourgeoisie, it doesn’t matter, the power games are the same everywhere. This is a place far from the world, a closed system as it were. Stage design and costumes, by Annemarie Woods, entertaining and accomplished as they are, still serve as amere background for the musical interpretation: served by an inspired team, Mozart simply steals the stage.

Stefano Montanari leads the Bayerische Staatsorchester through the ouverture at breakneck speed, and we wonder if the singers will have time to catche their breath during the performance or if it will be a night à la Helene Fischer and «Atemlos durch die Nacht», breathlessly through the night. However, things will calm down right away, and we will be treated to an almost perfect show: elaborate recitatives, where every word is not just sound but carries its sense, intensely sung arias, harmonious ensembles with lovely voices blending perfectly, all this delivered by a young and energetic cast. Montanari makes the orchestra glow with gold, illuminates a hidden beauty here and there, finds the perfect tempo for each scene, is not afraid of silences, and we imagine joy down in the pit.

Elsa Dreisig is the countess Almaviva. She expresses despair, anger, tenderness with a clear fresh voice and noble poise. Huw Montague Rendall is wonderful in the role of the Count, the perfect alpha male pursuing his desires, and always colliding with reality, in the literal and in the figurative sense. Agile of voice and of movements, he impresses and entertains, the perfect buffoon. Konstantin Krimmel is Figaro, with his generous and warm voice, a good-natured Figaro, a bit naive, adorable. Louise Alder sings Susanna charmingly, warm voiced and energetic. Avery Amereau is the perfect Cherubino, androgynous, oscillating between genders - in the wedding scene he appears in a bridal gown and Doc Martens boots, and we think of Pippi Longstockings disguised as a really fine lady. With Montanari and the Staatsorchester, she interprets his music, tinged by a juvenile, uncertain erotism, just wonderfully. Dorothea Röschmann is hilarious as Marcellina, Willard White is an admirable Bartolo, and Martin Snell as Antonio manages to convince us that the destruction of his flowers - cannabis plants here, of course - is a catastrophe and merits severe punishment. An impeccable cast, full of drive - we need the German word «Spielfreude» here - but the true miracle is the energy of the whole team. Thus, the duos and trios of Act II, the jealous rage of the Count, the Countesses anger, a bit tinged by guilt, because she does feel attracted to Cherubino, are played out with a wild intensity, and all those emotions are tangible, ringing with truth. This intensity doesn’t flag for a moment, we follow our heroes right to the finale, relieved when things get back in line and the party begins. The stage movements flow effortlessly from the music, each singer incarnates their character, feels and expresses their emotions. This is the real merit of the stage direction, Regietheater as it’s meant to be.

A pity only that the conductor gets carried away sometimes and shows a tendency to cover the singers. That doesn’t really matter much, however, we have had a near perfect Mozart night, and the public celebrates the singers, the orchestra, and the conductor with heartfelt and well-deserved applause and acclaim.

Bravi tutti and many, many thanks!


Vuoi sostenere L'Ape musicale?

Basta il costo di un caffé!

con un bonifico sul nostro conto

o via PayPal





Utilizziamo i cookie sul nostro sito Web. Alcuni di essi sono essenziali per il funzionamento del sito, mentre altri ci aiutano a migliorare questo sito e l'esperienza dell'utente (cookie di tracciamento). Puoi decidere tu stesso se consentire o meno i cookie. Ti preghiamo di notare che se li rifiuti, potresti non essere in grado di utilizzare tutte le funzionalità del sito.