Wednesday 5 November 2008

Karita Mattila´s Arabella (Paris and London)

Arabella. Paris Châtelet 2002. Production: Peter Mussbach. Cast includes Karita Mattila (Arabella), Thomas Hampson (Mandryka), Barbara Bonney (Zdenka). Conductor: Christoph von Dohnanyu with the Philharmonia orchestra.

Another comment on a performance of the recent past, televised, but not released on DVD (hopefully yet).

A co-production with London Covent Garden where it played in 2004 with the same main cast. The Paris performances consititued the role debut for both Karita Mattila and Thomas Hampson as Arabella and Mandryka, respectively.

Karita Mattila quite simply is a wonderful Arabella. The characterization of Arabella with Mattilas´s touch of awkward shyness and naivity is utterly convincing. As is her simply flourishing beautiful voice.

Also Madryka is an almost ideal part for Thomas Hampson.

Peter Mussbach´s production is admittedly rather strange. It all takes place in one set, depicting a ultra-modern hotel lobby, with a golden very narrow spiral staircase and unmoving escalators connecting the various levels of the sets. However, while the hotel configuration doesn´t disturb much, it doesn´t add much, either..

Now we have only the Renée Fleming DVD among the modern interpretations of Arabella. I´d say a release of this production and/or the Vienna production with Adrianne Pieczonka would be most welcome.

Karita Mattila, Barbara Bonney "Aber der richtige":

Karita Mattila and Thomas Hampson "Er will mich heiraten.."

Karita Matila and Thomas Hampson - "Das war sehr gut Mandryka":

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

Karita Mattila: 5
Thomas Hampson: 5
Barbara Bonney:4
Hugh Smith: 4

Peter Mussbach: 4

Christoph von Dohnanyi: 4

Overall impression: 4-5

Videos originally posted by operalou

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I saw this production on French TV and I much like it. The direction is convicing. Mattila is fantastic in the part of Arabella in his play and in his singing. Hampson is a great Mandryka. Bonney is a moving Zdenka and she sings beautifully the part. The conducting is exceptional. Thank you for this rewiew.

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