Teatro La Fenice

La Cambiale di Matrimonio at La Fenice

Cambiale-matrimonio-2013-fenice* Notes *
This month Teatro La Fenice is performing Rossini's first opera, La Cambiale di Matrimonio, in Teatro Malibran. The opera is only one act and director Enzo Dara certainly makes the most of the scant 75 minutes it takes to perform. The sets and costumes, from Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia, feature the city of Venice in the background and on the clothing of the singers. The production also involves reams of textiles and Commedia dell'Arte supernumeraries. The opera itself is completely absurd, and has not a few jokes about the Americas, as the marriage contract of the title concerns a Canadian merchant.

Last night Stefano Montanari conducted the very cheerful orchestra, which sounded fairly clean and mostly together. The singing all sounded great from Ordine 2, Palco 19, since we were essentially above the pit and almost on top of the stage. The singers were fine actors and pulled off the slapstick humor in a charming manner. Omar Montanari (Tobia Mill) and Marco Filippo Romano (Slook) were particularly adept. Marina Bucciarelli sounded sweet as Fannì.

* Tattling * 
Teatro Malibran could use a good airing out, as the musty smell is pronounced and somewhat nauseating.

There was much talking and noise from electronic devices. At least one mobile phone rang. A man in the middle of the first row was texting during the performance and was scolded by the maestro.

Věc Makropulos at La Fenice

Fenice-makropulos-2013* Notes *
La Fenice is currently presenting the Robert Carsen production of Věc Makropulos. Carsen sets much of the action in an opera house, starting with Emilia Marty on stage during the overture, switching in and out of various opera costumes. Act II is clearly backstage after Turandot, and Act III is simply in Marty's dressing room. This is a pleasant enough effect and it was entertaining to try to guess which costumes were for which operas.

Gabriele Ferro conducted an enthused orchestra. The playing was not particularly clean, but was spirited. The singing too was somewhat lacking, some pushed the edges of their voices a good deal. Ángeles Blancas Gulín acted and sang the lead role with strength, and only sounded slightly shrill near the end.

* Tattling * 
There was some talking during the music.