Thursday, November 10, 2011

REVIEW: Der Freischutz (Macao)

Macao Cultural Centre Grand Auditorium, Wednesday November 2

The 25th Macao International Music Festival closed with a customized production of von Weber’s Der Freischutz… and what a beautiful one. This is my third program I have seen in the 25th MIMF and if they were any indications, I will say that the MIMF is definitely back in shape and form. Congratulations!


I was there for the first of three performances and it shows. It was almost like a dressed rehearsal BUT nevertheless, the class and quality was undeniably there. Almost every aspect of the performance started shaky, the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre Chorus was not focused and the Macao Orchestra led by Lu Jia was dragging a bit. It didn’t take long though before the performance tightened up and brought forth a clear and concise narrative.



This production has a fairly even cast. Clemens Bieber as the desperate gamekeeper Max sang with firm, bright and lyrical tone. Melanie Diener as Agathe sang with gorgeous fluidity; though I wished that her higher registers were a little bit brighter. Erica Miller was an ideal Annchen vocally and dramatically. Kurt Rydl (whom I saw in Wagner’s Ring Cycle in Shanghai as Fasolt, Hunding and Hagen) was effectively menacing and fraught. The Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre Chorus was very committed and a pleasure to watch and listen to.


The star of the opera however, was the production directed by Dieter Kaegi and set and costume design by William Orlandi. The simple and elegant set and costume were effective in conveying time and space yet not overpowering. While the use of modular simple geometric forms to create different configurations communicating different places is quite common, Orlandi’s set was always consistent in feel and texture… in particular, the huge deer head trophies were visually powerful and relevant. If there is one thing that I think was overdone was Thomas Mathys’Samiel. His presence coming in and out constantly was annoying rather than threatening… almost like a pesty little kid in Halloween costume. I do have to admit though that I like how Samiel, after being defeated in the end, managed to steal the statue of Saint Mary.

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Der Freischütz
Opera in 3 Acts by Carl Maria von Weber
Composer: Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826)
Libretto: Friedrich Kind

2, 4, 5/11 (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday)8:00pm
Macao Cultural Centre Grand Auditorium
Ticket:MOP 500, 400, 300, 200

Conductor: Lü Jia
Director: Dieter Kaegi
Rehearsal Pianist: Lorne Richstone
Assistant Director: Gerald Stollwitzer
Set and Costume Designer: William Orlandi
Lighting Designer: Roberto Venturi

Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre Chorus
Macao Orchestra

Ottokar, Duke of Bohemia: Marcin Bronikowski, Baritone
Kuno, head gamekeeper: Matthew Burns, Bass
Agathe, the daughter of Kuno: Melanie Diener, Soprano
Ännchen, a young cousin of Agathe: Erica Miller, Soprano
Caspar, a gamekeeper: Kurt Rydl, Bass
Max, a gamekeeper: Clemens Bieber, Tenor
A hermit: Julien Robbins, Bass
Kilian, a wealthy peasant: Karl-Michael Ebner, Tenor
Samiel, the ‘Black Huntsman’: Thomas Mathys, Actor

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2 Comments:

At November 10, 2011 at 5:02 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Set and costume designer - William Orlandi

 
At November 10, 2011 at 5:11 PM , Blogger SATOSHI said...

Thank You Anonymous :-)

 

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