Tuesday 5 August 2008

Salzburg Romeo and Juliette on DVD

Romeo and Juliette. DVD. Salzburg Festival 2008. Production: Bartlett Sher. Cast: Nino Machaidze (Juliette), Rolando Villazón (Romeo), Mikhail Petrenko (Frére Laurent), Cora Burggraaf, Susanne Resmark(Gertrude). Conductor: Yannick Nézet-Séguin with the Mozarteum Orchestra.

The ticket-scalpers worst nightmare must have come through when Anna Netrebko cancelled her participation in this Salzburg production of Romeo and Juliette, to be replaced by Nino Machaidze next to Rolando Villazón. Blackmarket ticket prizes have fallen from approximately 1000+ Euros to something approximating the ordinary ticket prize, which at 360 Euro for the top seats may not exactly be called cheap either.
Bartlett Sher was accused of commercialism at it´s worsts well as selling out Salzburg´s soul  by the Salzburg Festival critics when this production opened the 2008 Salzburg Festiva. Audiences loved it, though. Though exactly how Bartlett Sher´s rather minimalistic staging elegantly utilizing the special stage of the Felsenreitschule represents commercialism at it´s worst is not apparent to me. All characters wore period costumes and the direction was engaging. Admittedly Bartlett Sher was not overly inventive, but I was nevertheless rather well entertained.

49-year old American Bartlett Sher, who previously directed the Barber of Seville at the Metropolitan Opera commented on the production: "My inspiration for the staging came from Patrice Chéreau´s film Bartholomeus Night. The costumes were inspired by Fellini´s Casanova.".."I intend to show Romeo and Juliette´s innocence in a decadent world...after each period of decadence a catastophe occurs before a new development may begin".

Obviously Anna Netrebko-replacement and Angelina Jolie look-a-like Nino Machaidze was chosen more for her looks than for her singing, where she was seriously overparted, but of a 25-year being thrown onto the glitzy Salzburg main stage and filmed mostly at her opening night, she was rather impressive. Supposedly if she had been more ordinarily-looking, her casting would have seemed less superficial..

Rolando Villazón was back in his right element vocally, now he only needs to be on pitch as well to be back on the track of old times. Susanne Resmark was excellent as Gertrude, the rest of the gentlemen less so, apart from the engaging performance from conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Rolando Villazón and Nino Machaidze, O nuit divine:

The bottom line (scale of 1-5, 3=average):

Rolando Villazon: 4
Nino Machaidze: 4
Mikhail Petrenko: 3

Yannick Nezet-Seguin: 5
Bartlett Sher´s production: 4

Overall impression: 4


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, no broadcast in France; but there is a live this night on Aug. 2, at 8.15 p.m. ORF2 and 3sat.

If somebody had the fantastic idea to record it, please let me know.
Thanks a lot.
Catherine(la parisienne)

mostly opera... said...

Unfortunately I don´t know, but it lookds like most of it has been uploaded on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=machaidze&search_type=&aq=f

Anonymous said...

there will be a radio- rebroadcast on wednesday, 13. August, on radiostation Bayern 4 (Germany), starting at 18.05,
perhabs you have the possibility to listen to radio via internet

Anonymous said...

I have an excellent video recording of that performance: perhaps somebody would like to buy it (2 dvds: 16 EUR) Excellent sound (AC3) and picture !!!
Please write to: orfeo1762@hotmail.fr if interested

Holiday Verona said...

It would be nice if you can find some DVDs of shows of the Opera in the Arena in Verona. Maybe the best venues for Opera in the world

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