Brilliant LAWRENCE BROWNLEE in Lausanne
The young American tenor Lawrence Brownlee is brilliant as Lindoro in L´Italienne in Algier by Giacchino Rossini at the Opera in Lausanne. After that I enjoyed Mr. Lawrence Brownlee in the same role at Palais Garnier in Paris. It is a great pleasure again to enjoy his brilliant voice in a new production in Lausanne, which is a coproduction with Theatro Municipal de Santiago-Chile and the Opera de Ovido, produced in Lausanne. Mr. Brownlee is not only singing and performing the role as Lindoro well, his wonderful coloratura is not only a long wave of tunes, every tune is there, as if it was played on a harp or piano, it is presented relaxed and with a lot of beauty. I will be surprise if it is possible to sing this role any better.
As Isabella, the title role we are enjoying the wonderful coloratura to the young beautiful mezzo soprano Anna Bonitatibus. With power and beauty she is performing this role first class, in addition she is a good actor, who manage to perform the role very good, which is of greatest importance, to get the many details in to the role. Particularly in the caricature.
It is exactly the same regarding Mustafa Luciano di Pasquale. We are trusting in his character, and his singing, it is great.
But these three outstanding singers are not alone on stage. The Opera de Lausanne has managed to assemble an outstanding cast to this production, which too includes Ricardo Novaro as Taddeo, Alexandre Diakoff as Haly, Elizabeth Bailey as Elvira, the wife of Mustafa, which he after having met Isabella, the Italian girl, which is engaged to Lindoro, but they have lost each other, and now by accidence are now finding each other again in the Harem by Mustafa, where Lindoro has got a job, and Mustafa wants Isabella to be his mistress, and to marry her. Therefore Mustafa declares that he want divorce and he wants that Elvira shall be married to Lindoro and leave the country with him. Simple? Isn´t it? As the last leading role Zulma, we enjoyed Antoinette Dennefeld.
To make such a great success, it is not enough with good singers. A first class production group is necessarily, and in this, the opera chief Eric Vigié has found the staging responsible Emilio Sagi, who is taking care of all the lively details, and doing so we do understand everything, but furthermore are giving is entertaining, amusing and lively details, so the audience don’t have any time to relax or feeling boring a second during the nearly three hours long performance. Together with Emilio Sagi is his assistant Javier Ulacia, Enrique Bordolini is responsible for the scenography, together with Renata Schussheim for the wonderful costumes, which is made clean in colours, white for the first act, reed for the second act, blue/turkis for the third, and for the fourth act the colours of the Italian flag, red, white and green.
The costumes by Renata Schussheim are very good, and I specially observed the great detailed “evening” outfits for Isabella, Mustafa and Taddeo, and for the five girls in leopard, ozelot , tiger patterns following Isabella, colorful giving a touch of Italian couture elegance in to the production. In addition I liked the outfits for the (male) Harem “girls”, which are very good. It must be a fortune for the opera chief to have such a choir, where the beautiful feminine (with muscles) girls (boys) can change sex in one minute, and then coming in as handsome and sexy male participants. The turbans were fantastic, and letting Lindoro change to an elegant white suit in the very end was a good choice. The mirror walls, and furniture’s helped together with twisting the carpet easily to change from red to blue, a good way of marking the colours. The light by Eduardo Bravo was following it all in a very good way. I especially enjoyed the use of backlight, so a few times all the event was going on like shadows lighten up from behind.
Musically, the Lausanne Chamber Orchester is playing well, good solo players (obo), as it is needed in Rossinis music, a great swing in the overture, tempo and a lot of feeling together with the semiprofessional choir, which sounded whole professional, leader is Véronique Carrot. During the direction of Ottavio Dantone did a good job, and it was clear to hear, that they have done a good rehearsal job.
The stage at Salle Métropole is slighter small, both in the wide and deep, and nearly without any side stages, – where Opera de Lausanne has its performance during their very long time restoration/rebuilding work going on at their “own” home.
Therefore it is a job to make the stage working well, it was a good scenography work done to make the stage look so big and well functioning.
Please also enjoy our critic of L´Italienne en Alger at Palais Garnier with Lawrence Brownlee as Lindoro, and where we also enjoyed Ricardo Novaro but in Paris as Haley at: http://www.kulturkompasset.com/2010/09/l%E2%80%99italienne-a-alger/
To be honest. The Lausanne production is, for me, better than the one mentioned at Opera de Paris.
The small following photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.
All photos by: Marc Vanappelghem.