Agnes Baltsa and Luis Lima in Cavalleria rusticana
Pietro Mascagni : Cavalleria rusticana
Agnes Baltsa (Santuzza), Luis Lima (Turiddu), Nelly Boschkowa (Lucia), Alberto, Mastromarino (Alfio), Stella Grigorian (Lola)
Orchester und Chor der Wiener Staatsoper, Jun Märkl (conductor)
Jean-Pierre Ponnelle (director)
Ponnelle's productions are always fantastic and this Cavalleria rusticana confirms it. The singers were also fantastic starting from Agnes Baltsa who sings Santuzza since 1989 and has recorded it for DG with Domingo. Her voice is beautiful and expressive and seeing her on the stage is one of the best things you can do in your life. She started "Voi lo sapete" in a so felt way that it is impossible to forget, the same in the duetto with Turiddu or in the sentence "Non posso entrare in casa vostra". Baltsa is a Santuzza who really suffers for Turiddu: for "Battimi, insultami t'amo e perdono, ma è troppo forte l'angoscia mia!" there is no equal.
Lima wasn't bad, but his timbre wasn't beautiful and he could difficulty sing the high notes, it was evident in "Bada Santuzza, schiavo non sono". He was better in the second part of the opera in "Viva il vino" and "Mamma!", his acting was very good.
Boschkowa's Mamma Lucia was absolutely awful, with disgusting and hideous sounds.
Mastromarino was one of the best Alfio I ever heard with beautiful voice and great acting. His "Il cavallo scalpita" was clear and accurate.
Good Grigorian's Lola. The audience loved the performance very much.