Friday, 3 July 2015

Claude Debussy, Pelléas et Mélisande - Bayerische Staatsoper München, Münchner Opernfestspiele (Prinzregententheater)

Performance 1st July

As first performance of my summer festival season I attended the new production of Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande at the Bavarian state opera Munich. The overall performance was very ambivalent. The production was horendous but the musical parts were really great.
Christiane Pohle's production was just not present. Instead of helping to unfold the complicated and very symbolic plot it made everything worse. It is a pity that such a nice piece is produced so utterly cheaply. The staging (Maria-Alice Bahra) and the costumes (Sara Kittelmann) also did not really help a lot even though they looked acceptable (still, I am so sick of hotel lobbies as staging).
At least musically it was a great success. Constantinos Carydis and the Bayrisches Staatsorchester gave a brilliant performance full of colorfull impressionistic sounds with great delicacy and proficiency.
Evgenij Kachurovsky as Ein Hirt only had to sing a few lines but did it well anyway. Also just a few sentences to sing: Peter Lobert as Ein Arzt. Anyway Lobert impressed me a lot with the sheer power and the exemplary stamina of his voice! When he opened his mouth to sing it was a real moment of shock because I did not expect him to have such a huge voice. Really impressing.
Young boy Hanno Eilers sang the role of Yniold, Golauds son, and gave a nice and solid performance. During the curtain calls he got a lot of applause and I think he totally earned it for his performance.
Alastair Miles gave a very dignified and noble old king. I thought his voice faded a little bit next to Lobert, but anyway it suited his role of the old king. Munich's universal weapon Okka von der Damerau sang Geneviéve and showed off her strong and profound mezzo. She is probably one of the most talented allrounders Munich has in its ensemble. She simply sounds great in everything she does.
In the role of Golaud we heard Markus Eiche who gave a very convincing and even disturbing performance. His portrayal of the role really made a huge impression with all its depression and despair. Vocally he was best equipped with his strong and clear baritone voice.
Elliot Madore as Pelléas seemed very youthfull and fresh. His portrayal showed his role as a quite naive and innocent child that experiences his first great love. His voice sounded great in this for a baritone very high role. He managed it without any trouble and sounded lovely throughout the evening.
Probably the best performance of the evening was done by Elena Tsallagova as Mélisande. Her voice sounds like an angel with its most delicate timbre but still has quite some power to offer. Her dreamy phrasing and the sheer purity of her sound made her performance just glorious. Her agony during the final act was just really impressive and she managed to seem more and more closer to death with every minute. As I said, just glorious.
So in the end I have to say that it would have been better to just make a concert version instead of this horrible production but the music was really great and so I enjoyed the evening (at least acoustically). The whole performance gets 7 stars (even though the production itself should not even get 5).
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