Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Il Trovatore, Salzburg 9/12 Aug 2014

Verdi - Il Trovatore

Salzburg 9/12 Aug 2014

Daniele Gatti, Conductor
Alvis Hermanis, Director and Sets
Eva Dessecker, Costumes
Gleb Filshtinsky, Lighting
Ineta Sipunova, Video Design
Gudrun Hartmann, Philipp Krenn, Associate Director
Uta Gruber-Ballehr, Associate Set Designer
Ronny Dietrich, Dramaturgy
Ernst Raffelsberger, Chorus Master
Huw Rhys James, Assistant Chorus Master

Anna Netrebko, Leonora
Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Azucena
Diana Haller*, Ines
Francesco Meli, Manrico
Plácido Domingo, Count di Luna
Riccardo Zanellato, Ferrando
Gerard Schneider*, Ruiz / Un messo
Raimundas Juzuitis*, An Old Gypsy
Members of the Angelika Prokopp Sommerakademie of the Vienna Philharmonic
Concert Association of the Vienna State Opera
Chorus Vienna Philharmonic

*Members of the Young Singers Project

Written by Herbert

Yesterday I saw the second performance of IL TROVATORE in Salzburg.

I love the production, although some critics say it was without any ideas. I don't hink so at all! To put the story in a museum, where the paintings begin to "live", is quite clever, especially in the first part. In the second part everything is destroyed and there doesn't happen too much on stage. But it is the part where Anna Netrebko has to sing several arias and duets, and she does it in such a fantastic way that you don't miss anything on stage. It is enough to see her alone on this huge platform and listen to her voice.

I hope the TV broadcast on Friday shows a lot of the whole stage, not just the open mouths of the singers, because there is a lot going on in this museum. ;-))

After the first night there were no standing ovations - that's what some critics moaned about. Well, I can assure you that yesterday there were many curtain calls and the whole house was on their feet!

After the show Anna and her fiancé Yusif left the Festspielhaus by car. She said though the open window that she was sorry, but they had to go to a special dinner, which was true, as I heard afterwards.

Before Placido Domingo left he came out to his fans, and he "bathed" in the crowd. He is a real treasure. He even waved this arm through the open window of the car when some young people greeted him (that's one of my funniest snapshots).

Everybody who has the chance to see IL TROVATORE on Friday on Arte, CLASSICA or on - do so! It will be one of Anna's best roles!

All photos by Herbert

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Paris, France 12 July 2014

Report and photos by

"Probably one of Anna Netrebko's best concerts ever" - it may sound like an ad for Heineken beer, but it is true.

Last night she sang at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, and it was an absolute triumph. The Parisiens - many young people in the audience - love and adore her. She was welcomed with ovations even before she had sung a single note.

It was the same programme as in Baden-Baden in June, this time with the Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava (conductor: Massimo Zanetti), and her tenor partner for two duets was Riccardo Massi.

Although there were numberless curtain calls at the end, she added only one encore (from Dvorak, "Rusalka") and then said she had to finish because she had to sing in Paris again on Monday.

All her arias and duets from Il Trovatore, Macbeth, Otello, Manon Lescaut, Adriana Lecouvreur were samples and "tasters" which made you wish to hear the whole opera sung and interpreted by her.

What a voice, what a presence!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Macbeth, Munich 2014-07-01

Report and photos by Herbert

The second MACBETH on 1 July was as sold out and impressive as the first.

Anna Netrebko's interpretation of the role of Lady Macbeth was intense, striking and certainly a new and promising step in her career.

After the show there was a big reception in teh Nationaltheater, so the singers didn't come out at the stage door, except Joseph Calleja.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Worldwide debut of Anna Netrebko as Lady Macbeth at the Opera Festival in Munich

Report and photos by:

Last night Anna Netrebko sang her first Lady Macbeth ever (worldwide!) at the Opera Festival in Munich.

Together with Simon Keenlyside (Macbeth), Joseph Calleja (what a luxury for the comparatively small role as Macduff!) and Ildar Abdrazakov (Banco) she was the star of the evening and enjoyed a very big success.

One may discuss the production by Martin Kusej. To me the first part was very static, whereas in the second part masses of people crowded the stage, sometimes in underwear, sometimes in uniform, sometimes naked - and the costumes are at least not a stroke of genius by a dress designer.

The same can be said about Anna's red-blonde wig. But you can forget all this when you see Lady Macbeth acting together with her husband or when you listen to Anna's vocal eruptions which brought the house down.

Having heard her now in Il Trovatore, in Manon Lescaut and in Macbeth, I can't believe that she once sang the roles of Adina in Elisir d'amore or Amina in La Sonnambula. What an impressive and unbelievable development of her voice! Her acting, too, is very convincing - as far as the production allows it. Whether she has to balance and sing (!) on a giant chandelier or to walk (in high heels) across a large field of white skulls - she is "the lady".

Standing ovations and many curtain calls for Anna and the whole cast and for conductor Paolo Carignani.

The next and already last performance will be on Tuesday. And then let's look forward to the new Macbeth at the Met in September/October - hopefully director Adrian Noble and his production team will offer a more inspired view of this powerful story than Kusej does.

Some official photos can be seen here.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Anna Netrebko in Baden-Baden on 10 June 2014

Anna Netrebko & James Valenti
Baden-Baden, Germany, 10 June 2014

Report and photos by Herbert

Yesterday Anna gave a "new" concert in Baden-Baden.

It was "new" because she sang only arias from her new repertoire ("Il trovatore", "Manon Lescaut", "Macbeth") or from operas she will hopefully sing as soon as possible ("Andrea Chénier", "Otello", "Adriana Lecouvreur").

If this is the direction of her career, we can be expeting something great!

Even for an encore she said: "No Traviata, no dancing. But Dvorak, Rusalka".


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