capuleti montecchi round 2

back, from climbing off the rail to a free seat in front for the last 2 scenes (with Kasarova singing in full swing, yayyyy).  Tonight’s standing spot was severely limited in view (I knew that the moment they sent me the tix).  The staging is highly anti-symmetric, so a ticket on extreme left side (round 1) offers 60-65% view whereas on right gives only ~20%.  The other 20% (Act 1 scene 4, quintet on stairs) can only be viewd if you’re either sitting in the middle or at a lower level.  Anywho, this report is more in rambling mode…

Some details to report: Kasarova’s voice and musicianship are in top form! *love* , reallly *love*.  Without climbing, i wouldn’t have managed to see her in the tomb scene, which was why i was so adamant and decisive, apparently to the surprise of many upscaled opera-goers in the vicinity.  She breaks my heart everytime.  pooor Romeo.   Deh tu, bell anima was no longer rushed this night.  I’m really in awe, she pays so much attention to the fine detail in the singing.  And i spotted a really nice pianissimo just before the duet with Tebaldo too.

Anna Netrebko has a HUUUGE voice, she blasted above the all-male chorus plus full-strength orchestra at the end of Act II scene 1 without any problem.  Actually her singing was in top form this whole scene (though i saw only 20% of it, she migrated to the corner where the entire right standing side couldn’t see).  Unfortunately, because of the big voice, she also masked out Kasarova in their duet on the stairs (Act I, last scene), mainly because she’s standing directly in front of the audience and VK much higher up and in. My ears might be going south, but i have a feeling her voice is so big that it’s not the most flexible (and is once in a while off-pitched (?))

Anyhow, I have a few open questions for the readers, given that you will see the staging in 3 days!!  I don’t quite get the staging of Romeo / Tebaldo duet (hence the lack of discussion for it in last post as well.)  So, a hand-made version of it is to the left (black sloping asymmetric triangle + the “moon”).  Romeo started out standing on the apex, which one can easily interprets as standing on top of a hill to the rising moon in the far field, waiting for Lorenzo.  After mumbling (in very very nice piano and pianissimo bits), (s)he descended to the left… just in time for Tebaldo to arrive from the right climbing up to the apex.  Then they started singing to each other while exchanging positions around the corners (while showing off their plastic gloves, that’s just really strange.)  At one point, Tebaldo grabbed Romeo’s glove, only to see him (her) shaking it off and they faced off again.

Then Giulietta’s funeral came and gone, Tebaldo took off his plastic glove while Romeo stood legs together hands apart to finish off the most energetic part of their duet. I guess both actions symbolize them giving up in different manner, but why is Romeo using that stand? It looks quite strange every single time i’ve seen it. At the end, Romeo walked off (just that, not quietly, not forcefully, just off) leaving Tebaldo looking quite lost on the “hill”. Somehow i just can’t connect the storyline together in this scene at all. To make the matter more “confusing”, I can not understand the tempo set here by Yves Abel. It seems he wants high drama by making it exceedingly slow. I know Kasarova is one of the few singers who can sustain the audience’s attention just from her singing (e.g., the beautiful monologue in the tomb), but here, it seems both Romeo and Tebaldo were pushing to their limits trying to sustain the drama… and yet when they were done singing each elaborate phrase, the music was still not up and running. So, twice now (and every single time last year) it sounded, at least to me, quite dragging. That really irks me, especially when we know this duet can really generate high charges (and here’s another reason i really wish Marcello Viotti has the baton).

On that same tempo note, I really don’t understand the jolly tune to start the tomb scene. First, it’s sped up very fast, then slowed down to epic tempo (many of us noticed that last year). But why speeding it up?? I can’t envision a scenario that makes sense of the tempo, argh. At least the “typical” tempo like that set by Eve Queler, it implies a sense of bitterness; i always have the image in the head of chill wind blowing the leaves outside the tomb, with the next phrase in the music taking us to the inside…

Anyhow, now that i’ve seen VK’s 2nd take on Romeo’s entrance aria, i’m still a bit puzzled by the mood of Romeo as well. In this 2nd take, she acted a bit less, so that didn’t quite help… (The singing is top notch, just trying in my head to get it fit with what’s going on on stage 🙂 ).

Dear Bayerische Staatsoper, may i have this wall-sized poster when you’re done?

Lastly, we’ve all seen the trailer with VK spectacularly executing the “fall” on top of Giulietta next to the sink. (Oh, first, she ditched the leather, might have been too hot? ;-), tux, even tux shirt are gone, it’s all white shirt now.) I quite curious which version of that “fall” we’ll see on broadcast night. Round 1, might have been Netrebko forgetting to get to the sink (?), they somehow made the fall happened in the middle of the stage but it didn’t look very convincing. Tonight, Netrebko was still working on falling, but VK was spectacular ;-). very very nice. Sadly, i missed seeing the entire first part of the duet as they sang/caressed each other in the corner that was invisible to all standing-tix on right side… Anyhow, i now have the luxury to sample each night various parts to try to make sense of this entire staging + conductor… but wow, singing is top notch. Even Tebaldo is great! I really like his singing tonight.

So there you have it. hopefully i can also see the broadcast at some point down the line, as it might provide the most complete picture… Below is the curtain call, note the fabulous view from climbed-down seat! (still uploading, 60min to go…)

ps- At least now i understand why my tix are so off at extreme points in the theater: the darn double-tix prices. I was very specific with my price range to end up on door 2 on either side (1 = middle, 3 = extreme left/right), but thanks to that nice tix jump, i end up 4/5 times at doors 3…

About thả diều
writing-challenged opera-addict

11 Responses to capuleti montecchi round 2

  1. operasmorg says:

    Ha. What a teaser! 😀 Now I’ll be looking out for all the problem spots, so to speak, come Saturday. 😀 Thanks a bunch for your reports, Dr. T! What would we do without you?

    • Eyesometric says:

      Seconded! It is amazing to have an inside reporter who takes the time to provide such detail and wonderful videos 🙂

  2. yvette says:

    I am scared… thinking I will travel so far to be stuck in those dreadful spots? having waited so long for the lottery… you will see us dear Dr.T…it will be fatal!

    • thả diều says:

      hi Yvette, I had some incorrect info on my blog, door 1 is middle, 3 is extreme left/right. I don’t think the wait for getting tix has anything to do with where you end up, it’s mostly the price range. I’m considering looking for a different spot for the last night, because my standing tix for that night is at the same area on the right where i won’t see much. looking forward to tonight!!
      (ps- you can also find out where you sit using this seating chart site.)

  3. Eyesometric says:

    That is a really helpful seating chart Dr.T. In any future posts could you please tell us your seat information so we can visualise where you are and the angle from which you are viewing?
    Enjoy tonight!!!!!

    • thả diều says:

      i woke up very early this morning, a bit nervous!! the world will be watching, want “my” singer at her BEST!! 🙂 . Hopefully she doesn’t have to think too much about the cameras, coz that can potentially break the flow, we all wish for spontaneity!
      was in top floor extreme left seat 75 on premiere night, with full view of duet and tomb scene, that was sooo lovely. tonight will be complete opposite, extreme right seat 76, might break my neck stretching for lovely duet!!!! while you are all watching live! so exciting. the other night, i climbed down to extreme right seat 60, that was a fantastic view :-).

      • Eyesometric says:

        Lovely seat info – thank you. And don’t worry – she will be fine and TOTALLY at her best, after all she’s got the whole WS army behing her!!!
        In my limited experience I find she is aware of the cameras – but only in a good way, having a natural instinct for such things.
        See you later 🙂
        PS. PLEASE don’t break your neck!

  4. Murielle says:

    It was not possible for me to watch the broadcast. But I have my ticket for Saturday 26th .
    I read yours inspired reports but I didn’t want to to see the videos (to resist is very hard !!!) . Saturday, I want to plunge into musical bath. Like the beginning of story.
    Thank you Dr T : you are an aficionada and a passionaria !
    For me, it will be the day of « first time » : first time to see and discover VK in live, first time in Munich (I come from France) .
    And maybe time to meet another white shirt ? I don’t speak german and my english is very wild and chaotic but I do want to live this emotion . Perhaps the opportunity to meet us at intermission ?
    I’m very impatient.

    • thả diều says:

      Hallo Murielle! yes, definitely, we shall meet up during intermission. Unless you want to hear my exotic French, we shall settle for English as a common language :-D. VK has been very consistent and top notched, she moved me immensely. Re. news of Anna Netrebko cancellation: i reallly like Eri Nakamura last year. I think she’ll fit in well with VK. VK is really THE reason i’m here for 5 nights :-).

      (ps- let me send a private email to all of us who will be there on the 26th so we can gather up and discuss away 🙂 ).

      • Murielle says:

        Thank you for your welcome, I’m waiting for your email : you know Bayerische Staatsoper like the back of your hand now 😉
        VK nights fiever: It is not so much love, it’s an obsession .;-)
        The reviews of Eri Nakamura performance in Giulietta have been outstanding one year ago . Dr T’s « sentence » soon

  5. yvette says:

    Got the news? AN cancelled the last two performances, how about that? We will get 50% of the price ticket back… got the official mail from Bayerische Staatsoper! Anyway I am pleased VK doesn’t have to escalade the wash basin, and of course because of extra effort on top of singing, did not cancel… and if I am right, Eri Nakamura is a ‘lighter’ version. After all AN had a dark and heavy colour often for very young Giulietta, no?

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