Sunday 8 July 2007
Alcina: Superb Harteros and Kasarova in Munich Loy production
First of all, Alcina is really a long opera, totalling 4h 30 min, with intermissions. And some say Wagner operas are long...
Christoph Loy´s Alcina is both simple and aesthetic. Audiences at Bavarian State Opera´s Prinzregententheater responded with raptuous applause, in particular for Vesselina Kasarova, Anja Harteros and Christopher Mould. And understandably so - for Händel afficionados, this seems as close to heaven as anything on an opera stage may aspire to be.
Needless to say: It was a first-rate performance. Vesselina Kasarova was absolutely brilliant in the trouser part of Ruggiero with her dark, virtuous mezzo and androgynous appearance. Interesting how she will do in the heavier repertoire, she seems determined to take on , beginning with Carmen in Zurich.
Anja Harteros beautiful, clear and stylistically solid soprano combined with her dark-haired slender looks makes it hard to come up with arguments as to why she isn´t the ideal Alcina.
Combined with Christopher Moulds´ inspired orchestra and an excellent supporting cast, I cannot imagine a better advocate for Alcina than this production, rumoured to be taped for DVD release as well. Apparently, the audience agreed, responding with several minutes of applause after each individual aria as well as standing ovations at the end.