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The Tenor Takes All

Gran Teatre del Liceu
04/01/2011 -  & April 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19, 20, 2011
Pietro Mascagni: Cavalleria rusticana
Ruggiero Leoncavallo: Pagliacci

Ildiko Komiosi (Santuzza), Ginger Costa-Jackson (Lola), Marcello Giordani (Turiddu), Marco Di Felice (Alfio), Josephine Barstow (Lucia), Dimitri Darlev, Daniel Alfonso (two villagers), Marcello Giordani (Canio/Pagliaccio), Ángeles Blancas (Nedda/Colombina), Andrzej Dobber (Tonio /Taddeo), David Alegret (Beppe/Arlecchino), Gabriel Bermúdez (Silvio), Rosa Cristo (a woman)
Polyphonical of Puig-Reig, Ramon Noguera (conductor), La Unió de Granollers Children Chorus, Joseph Vila Jover (conductor), Orchestra and Chorus of the Gran Teatre del Liceu, José Luis Basso (Chorus Master), Daniele Callegari (conductor)
Teatro Comunale di Bologna/Teatro Vincenzo Bellini di Catania (coproduction), Liliana Cavani (direction), Marina Bianchi (revival direction), Dante Ferretti (set designer), Gabriella Pescucci (costumes), Gianni Montovanini (lighting designer), Micha van Hoecke (choreography)

M. Giordani & M. Di Felice (© A. Bofill)

The last time Pagliacci was performed at Liceu, season 1990-1991, it was coupled with Donizetti’s Il campanello. This time has been coupled with Cavalleria rusticana, the standard double bill.

The original production directed by Liliana Cavani is very realistic. The sets for Cavalleria rusticana depict very well a typical Sicilian village. The blue sky, the church, the windows with light curtains, the villagers with dark dresses... It’s almost like an Italian movie.

This was the first time that Marcello Giordani sang Turiddu and he did it very well. He was impressive, he sang easily and bravely. He rendered a feisty “Viva el vino spumaggiante”. He deserved a great ovation from the audience at the end of the performance.

Ildiko Komiosi was a fine Santuzza, the betrayed wife. Her voice has a quick vibrato at the top notes, but bottom notes are powerful.

Marco de Felice, as Alfio, offered a good singing but, in my opinion, his voice is a little light for the role. A stronger and darker voice would be more suited for this part.

The short role of Lola, the unfaithful wife, was finely played by Ginger Costa-Jackson.

Josephine Barstow, as Lucia, was correct. Her voice has aged, and it was often covered by the orchestra.

The chorus sounded very well in the procession scene. It is always a pleasure to listen to them.

The orchestra, under the baton of Daniele Caligari, sounded without nerve. The famous Intermezzo was rather monotonous and didn’t deserve the audience’s applause it received.

The action for Pagliacci is set in Italy at the end of the 1940s. The scene shows a village square with a very simple stage where the show will take place later, just a minimal structure with simple curtains. This stage was a challenge for the singers because it was placed far from the front line.

Andrzej Dobber, as Tonio, had several cracked notes during the Prologue, and this was just a warning: it happened later again. His low range was a little short.

Marcello Giordani, as Canio, began a little short of breath, but despite this little problem, maybe related with his first time singing the role, he offered a wonderful and strong “Recitar!...Vesti la giubba” and a thrilling “No! Pagliaccio non son.”

Ángeles Blancas, as Nedda, offered a better singing in the second act, maybe more suited to her voice and her personality.

Gabriel Bermúdez, as Silvio, and David Alegret, as Beppe, did their job well and their singing were sufficient.

The chorus, this time with the addition of the Polyphonical of Puig-Reig and the La Unió de Granollers Children’s Chorus, was wonderful and acted very well as villagers.

The orchestra offered a better performance in this work, at least they get the audience’s applause at the end of the Interludio.

At the end of the evening, tenor Marcello Giordani was the most successful among the singers.

Lola Vicente



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