Kulturkompasset | critics of culture events

DIE WALKÜRE IN VILNIUS


The 8 Walküries in Vilnius - applaus. Photo: Henning Høholt

The 8 Walküries in Vilnius - applaus. Photo: Henning Høholt

The many outstanding Lithuanian female voices in the Lithuanian National Opera’s performance of Richard Wagner’s opera Die Walküre is a good sign that the high quality opera singing will continue in Lithuania.

As it is wellknown the third act starts with The Rite of Walküries, in this part we enjoyed a line of outstanding young female Lithuanian singers: Vilhelmina Moncyte, Julija Stupnianek, Joana Gedmintaité, Regina Silinskaite, Aisté Sirvinskaite, Marta Luko´sioté, Laura Zigmantaité and Eugenija Klivickaite, this part sounded first class, and in the groups – octets – it was wonderful. They surrounded Brünhilde, as allways in the most safe hands by Irena Milkeviciuté.

However it was the two outstanding soloists, Inesa Linaburgyté as Sieglinde and Laima Jonutyté as Fricka who impressed me mostly among the female singer, these two wonderful Lithuanian solists are of international standard, and Lithuania can be very happy, that they are still here in Vilnius at the the ensemble of the National Opera.

Johannes von Duisburg did a splendid job as Wotan, his voice is very beautiful, and brings an extraordinay beauty in to the Wotan role, as in fact, quit often the Wotan is sung by singers with a rougher baryton or bassbaryton voice. It was a pleasure to listen to. A good casting choise for this role.

Audrius Rubezius voice fitted well in to his role as Siegmund, with good character in the voice and specially in the second act, when he has been warm, it was during the way adding a lot of beauty to the role. If he is not too fast being pressed to sing this kind of Helden tenor roles, his sound and voice can develope even more in that direction.


Die Walküre, from first act, Photos: Martynas Aleksa

Die Walküre, from first act, Photos: Martynas Aleksa

THE STAGING: Eimuntas Nekrosius

The staging is made by the famous Lithuanian director Eimuntas Nekrosius, which has his own ideas of  bringing in poetical – metaphorical theatre to the opera, where great attention is paid to exclusively emotional, physical, psychologically accurate acting and unique use of  things that are present on stage – during the play they are giving various meaningful layers. These ideas are good, and can sometime give outstanding results, as we also have seen by another outstanding director, Robert Wilson. But in this case Eimuntas Nekrosius has been adding too many difficult movings – swinging and twisting with arms and body, that didn´t cooperate musically and didn´t seem to look natural for the singers on stage, and i personally feel that it was complicating the performance for the singers, specially for Inesa Linaburgyté in the first act. And  it didn´t look good or naturally.

Furthermore, I like when a director is letting the music, and the textual concept in the singing leading what is happening on stage. Sometimes the beautiful and powerful music by Richard Wagner and the long singing lines can stay alone on stage and filling up the mind of the audience, which are constructing their own pictures inside in the head. But, No, in this performance Eimuntas Nekrosius has desisde to put in too many disturbing effects on stage which didn´t cooperate with the text, and only disturbed the beautiful singing and the singers, as they had some one (sometime eight persons) moving around playing their own history around and behind them.

I have met directors before, who are afraid when notthing is happening on stage, – that they are not beliving in the music itself, and therefore are putting in effects, it might be good in a theatre history, but not allways in an opera, where the music is the most importent. As during a long recitative or a long aria, and of course in Die Walküre is plenty of that.  The first act was sometime being spoiled for me, as too much disturbance was coming on stage. Furthermore. The sword is in the history of Die Walküre is placed in a three, and only the right person, in this history Siegmund can get it solved from the three. Here it was brought on stage by Wotan and nearly handed ower. That was wrong for me.

Die Walküre at Lithuanian National Opera, Vilnius. Photo: Martynas Aleksas

Die Walküre at Lithuanian National Opera, Vilnius. Photo: Martynas Aleksas

COSTUMES: Nadezda Gultiajeva

Laima Jonutyté wear the most beautiful costume in this production made be the costume designer Nadezda Gultiajeva, and unfortunately Inesa Linaburgyté wear the most clumpsy of the female costumes in the first and second act also made by Nadezda Gultiajeva, but happily Linaburgyté got a new dress for the third act, which much more showed her elegance, feminimity and underlined that she is a very young woman in the role. Irena Milkeviciuté is looking good in he dress, and so did the tall Johannes von Duisburg as Wotan and Audrius Rubezius as Sigmund, specially the jacket in the first act, but I dont understand why Rubezius should change to another jacket for his appearance in second act. As in fact He and Sieglinde are fleeing from Hunding, and as far as I know, and can see, they do not catch the other bagage than Sieglinde carpet.

While Egidijus Dauskurdis as Hunding were looking clumpsy and didnt underline his powerful role, in addition he has difficulity mowing around in the costume suronded by a lot of scenographic elements.

Furthermoore, – to my oppinnion – the clumpsy costumes for the 8 Valkyries was not a success, and I dont understand why seven wears black and one blue dress.

director Eimuntas Nekrošius.jpg

director Eimuntas Nekrošius.jpg

SCENOGRAPHY: Marius Nekrosius

Marius Nekrosius is responsible for the interesting sculptural, heavy scenography, as i observe nearly as a changing  piece of sculptural art. With many interesting and moveable and change able details.  Unfortunately in the good cooperation with  Eimuntas Nekrosius too often use of too many effects on stage, the scenography was taing attention away from the history and the music, but seen as a separate scenographic worok it is beautiful, demanding, and very well made.

MUSIC: conducted by Robertas Servenikas

The Lithuanian Opera Orchestra, which is too little for Die Walküre, did their best job to get it sounding very well, All the three opening sequences vere brilliant and in deed, I was amazed. But as we all know, the very tight programme with performances at The Lithuanian Opera house is demanding for the orchestra, and unfortunately the could have neede, and skould have had more rehearsal time for this production before every time it is being perfromed. This is not an operetta, this is Wagner, which is also wellknown for the musically parts separately, and we, the audience, or at least some of them knows how it can be sounding with a large orchestra, who has been working with this opera for weeks before.  I noticed very well how well Robertas Servenikas is cooperating with the singers on stage and forming it all well. But shall Vilnius be famouse for Wagner, then more preparation and rehearsal is needed, in addition to a larger orchestra.

This production of Die Walküre was Premiered in Vilnius: 10 March 2007

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