Another excellent DVD just came my way: Lehnhoff´s production of Henze´s first opera, the Manon Lescaut-story Boulevard Solitude from 1952, here in a 2007 Lehnhoff production from Barcelona, also seen a couple of years ago at the London Royal Opera.
Nikolaus Lehnhoff´s simplistic staging evolves around a waiting hall with people continuously passing by, which sets the right backdrop for Henze´s score, of which the inspirations range from 12-tone music to jazz. Fine performances from protagonists Laura Aikin (Manon), Tom Fox (her brother) and Pär Lindskog (des Grieux).
Also nice to see Henze walk to the brink of the orchestra pit to receive standing ovations after the performance.
An excerpt with Laura Aikin:
The bottom line (scale of 1-5, 3=average):
Laura Aikin: 4-5
Tom Fox: 4-5
Pär Lindskog: 4
Lehnhoff´s staging: 4
Zoltan Pesko: 4
Overall impression: 4
I thought this production was eye-opening. I had listened to the CDs of Boulevard when they came out years ago and was unmoved. Not so here. This production really led me into the score and illuminated it for me. Now I know what all the critics were talking about all those years ago.
Yes, that was also my impression.
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