Monday, 29 December 2008

Berlin: Man of the future Andris Nelsons conducts Turandot

Turandot. Berlin State Opera, December 20th 2008. Production: Doris Dörrie. Cast: Sylvie Valayre (Turandot), Frank Porretta (Calaf), Adriane Quieroz (Liu), Peter-Jürgen Schmidt (Altoum). Conductor: Andris Nelsons. Further information here.

German filmmaker Doris Dörrie, who previously created a hilarious Cosí fan tutte for the Berlin State Opera was invited back in 2003 with a production of Turandot, revived this season.

Doris Dörrie´s Turandot is a mix of a Japanese cartoon and Spiderman - complete with over sized puppies, pink scooters, brightly coloured rubber-suits and stage curtain depicting a tourist map of Beijing. Sit back and enjoy, but don´t think too much about it, she seems to say portraying Turandot as a hysterical Edward Scissor-hand female look-a-like. All is very colourful and looks great, though interpretatively we are on shallow water.

Of the singers, all were fine and none were great: Sylvie Valayre looks great as Turandot, though pushed to her limit, which also may be said of Frank Porretta. More disappointing was Adriane Queiroz, a simply not very appealing Líu.

The most interesting aspect of the performance was 30-year old Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons, making his debut at the Berlin State Opera. Rarely have I heard the orchestra play so well without Daniel Barenboim: Energetically, with continuous flow and myriads of details, without ever retorting to empty bravado. Excellent. If he is not a man of the future, I don´t know who is.

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

Sylvie Valayre: 3
Frank Porretta: 3
Adriane Queiroz: 2
Peter-Jürgen Schmidt: 3

Doris Dörries staging: 4

Andris Nelsons: 5

Overall impression: 3-4

Photos @ Monika Rittershaus from the Berlin State Opera website


Anonymous said...

Staging of very bad taste; mopeds, couples in improper positions, all in all a too Eurotrash direction.
Puccini would have hated it.

Anonymous said...

Nelsons for me was extremely disappointing. The orchestra, especially in the Berio ending, was too loud, his gestures just ridiculous. This was nothing special, except for the pain in my ears after the show.
The tenor Porretta sounded throaty all over the evening and he couldn't get his voice over the orchestra. The sopranos were in my opinion very good to exceptional. Queiroz has a beautiful voice and is more dramatic than other Liùs, which I liked. Maybe she missed some soft piano high notes. Valayre was extremely impressing as Turandot - powerful, huge high notes, but overall very nuanced singing and she is a great actress. All one expects from a great Turandot.

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