It was the year 1642, at the Teatro dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo in Venice's last great opera it premiered Monteverdi, The coronation of Poppea. from librettist, Giovanni Francesco Busenello, and self Monteverdi, They had made a daring dash for the time. Full of sensuality and criticism of society at the time and, in a more veiled way, the church and the papacy. The work featuring an original element that distinguished other compositions operísticas. It was the first time that the characters and events were real, and not mythological.
A great Monteverdi, their 76 years, He reflected in his work and denounced the decadence of a society that is falling apart. The Renaissance humanist thought of retreating and was reflected in the ambitious power struggles, banality and frivolity of his characters. When Busenello reflected the rivalry between virtue, fortune and love to gain primacy among humans, He never imagined that four centuries later would be a perfect fit in events, decadent again, of today's society.
Perhaps it is in this context that the phrase successful display of Albert Einstein with which starts the work and projected on stage:
"The difference between the past, present and future is only an illusion. Time is not what it seems, It does not flow in a single direction, and the future exists simultaneously with the past. "
Monteverdi's work is one of the most enigmatic that exist as to the origins of its composition. Despite numerous scholarly studies, They are still unclear authorship of some of his best-known arias, including the beautiful end Duetto "Pur ti miro, while you enjoy ", of which the only thing that seems clear is that it was not its composer Monteverdi.
There are two handwritten scores of this work, Neapolitan and Venetian. Probably none of them finished by Monteverdi. With enough differences between them, but both only the ridge line and the line is included continuo. This fact is what forces to carry out harmony and instrumentalization every time it is interpreted..
This time, and under the title of "Poppea and Nero" the composer Philippe Boesmns, that has corrected a version already released in 1989, absolutely respects the continuous bass line that is wrapped, Besides, with the harmony of the piano, key, celesta, Armonius, barley, marimba and vibraphone. The curious mix of instruments brings originality of color and rhythm, but sometimes the sound combination moves away from the score.
Sylvain Cambreling, conductor who has a special ability and sensitivity to extract the greatest sonic subtleties from his orchestras, he does it again this time by directing the Klangfrum Vienna, one of the most important contemporary music groups and that the director is very knowledgeable, not in vain is one of its titular directors.
And to close the circle around Mortier (who programs this opera just two years after William Christie's version), we only need the third element. Along with Boesmns and Cambreling, could not miss his stage alter-ego, Warlikowski.
Set the scene in a kind of class, or college in the Germany of the years 30. For that, use the huge stage box in all its glory. Open, darkened and soulless, with significant details but that is only able to be filled with the projections, of great aesthetic beauty and very successful, from Denis Guéguin. The images are reflected against the background of the immense stage and add intensity to scenes, details and characters.
The recordings, Real time, were simulated with images from film recordings of Leni Riefenstahl, German filmmaker linked to Nazism, which helped to historically locate the entire scenic framework.
Characters, unable to fill the immense space, circulate through the proscenium while a line of extras pass in a kind of catwalk of Warlikowski obsessions. The most important of these obsessions, the calculated sexual ambiguity of his characters. The need to crossdress and undress them, sometimes, eccentrically. But it's about Poppea, the most sexually explicit opera in which such concessions can be made.
All presented after a prologue, a lot presumptuous, that tries to explain to the public, who does not know or understand, the philosophical intention of the work. What laziness…
At the beginning of the performance, Poppea's disease is announced to us, Nadja Michael, who will participate out of deference to the public. He must always sing with a fever, because the difference is not substantial. The greatest quality of his voice is the powerful sound.
Nerone's voice, performed this time by a tenor, in the way that has been done throughout the twentieth century, is done by Charles Castronovo. Build an aggressive and superb Nerone, which is aptly unsympathetic. A powerful and sometimes dark voice makes the character particularly compelling.
A very sad Ottoe, interpreted by William Towers, did not leave the mouth of the stage, otherwise it would have been impossible to hear him. A flat voice, weak, and without nuances, accompanied an Ottavia, María Ricarda Wesseling, who seems to have infected his reluctance.
The familiar Willard White Seneca, It was the highlight of the night. Its tables and professionalism make him a sure value in addressing almost any character. The difficulty in the very serious not tarnished the rest of declamation of his character.
But without any doubt, the most interesting voices of the night and were the most aplaudidad Ekaterina Siurina, as Drusilla, in a voice loud and polished. Good thing he did not sing while I had to stay suspended from a ring, as if it were an athlete,.
very well José Manuel Zapata (a little tight), Juan Francisco Gatell, Gerardo López Y Antonio Lozano. Their good voices and trade deserve more roles in this Theater.
Poppea e Nerone
Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)
Philippe Boesmans (1936)
L´incorinazione di Poppea with orchestration by Philippe Boesmans
Dramma in musica in a prologue and three acts
de Giovanni Francesco Busenello.
D. musical: Sylvain Cambreling
D. scene: Krzysztof Warlikowski
Lighting: Felicd Ross
Choreographer: Claude Bardouil
creator videographic: Denis Guéguin
Playwright: Christian Longchamp
Distribution: Michael, Castronovo, Wesswling, Towers, White, Siurina