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Verdi Weeks Vienna State Opera 2001 Part 2


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Verdi Weeks

Vienna State Opera, January 2001

I vespri siciliani

Johan Botha as Arrigo
Johan Botha as Arrigo, Photo: A. Zeininger

An outstanding evening at the opera

Finally, after the many cancellations, a performance took place as it was supposed to be due to the monthly schedule and this constellation of voices provided an outstanding evening at the opera. The protagonists Renato Bruson (Monforte), Johan Botha (Arrigo), Ferruccio Furlanetto (Procida) and Eliane Coelho (Elena) had all been in top form as the choir and the orchestra was.

Already the overture anticipating the melee at the end of the opera, the love duet between Elena and Arrigo and the loving feelings of the father Monforte towards his son Arrigo was a rousing start of the evening through the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Paolo Carignani. A very special enjoyment of this performance was Renato Bruson as Monforte, the French occupying governor of the Italian island Sicilia, who recognizes his son in the Sicilian rebel Arrigo. At January 13, 2001, the Italian baritone had celebrated his 65th birthday and as well his 40th anniversary of his first appearance on stage. With his vocal presence in all dynamics and registers, which had not always been given to this extend especially in the beginning of the performances in the last years, his vocal culture and techniques, his pleasantly sounding legato and his urgent interpretation he was able to go back to his heydays. Who had not had the chance to hear him on stage at those days, but was hearing him on January 24, knows now what has established his glory and outstanding reputation. It is to hope that Renato Bruson will still be able to produce many of such evenings.

Ferruccio Furlanetto as Procida
Ferruccio Furlanetto as Procida,  Photo: A. Zeininger

All positive vocal qualities mentioned about Bruson, are valid also for Johan Botha. In the role of Arrigo he convinces by his perfect guiding of his voice, which lets fuse the registers with smooth transitions, and his in all registers beautiful sounding tenor. Eliane Coelho mastered with great reliability the wide-ranging tessitura from low (mezzo) register to high soprano regions and this with her typical, intensive role interpretation. The Italian bass Ferruccio Furlanetto was again a class for his own, which is hard to describe in words. You have to hear and see him.

Renato Bruson and Iano Tamar in Ernani
Renato Bruson and Iano Tamar in Ernani
also in the Verdi Weeks at Vienna
Photo: Axel Zeininger

Less delightful is the production of Herbert Wernicke, who was also responsible for the costumes, settings and lighting. Through all five acts it has the same steep staircase, which goes over the full width of the stage, and the costumes are clothing of the 20th century. As in many Verdi operas the choir plays also in I vespri sciliani an important role, which has a great part in the success of this opera evening.

Birgit Popp

Review Verdi Weeks Don Carlo




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