A Midsummer Night’s Dreaming Sonnambula
Opera of Lausanne
12/31/1998 - and 3, 5, 8, 10, 12* January 1999
Vincenzo Bellini : La Sonnambula
Tomas Tomasson (Rodolfo), Claire Larcher (Teresa), Natalie Dessay (Amina), Raoul Giménez (Elvino), Graciela Oddone (Lisa), Marc Mazuir (Alessio), Jérôme Brunetière (Il Notaro)
Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Véronique Carrot (conductor)
Waldemar Kamer (Director)
La Sonnambula à la bordelaise presented to the Lausanne audience was a grate success if we refer to the "clapometer" and the "bravometer" that was also very high. This version of the work was not only of a high vocal quality but also very original indeed !
The scene should be normally set in a little village in the Swiss Alps inhabited by simple mountain dwellers. Through Kamer’s eyes it is on a bushy island in the middle of a lake that is itself in the middle of an oak forest resembling more, by the thickness of its trees, to the pluri-centenary oak forest of Rambouillet near Paris than the highness’ of Alpine flora. And on this island and in this forest we shall stay till the end of the play.
We are for sure not in a customary setting. Again to our surprise, it is a joyful and alert pan that introduces us to the world somewhat legendary that will unfold in front of our eyes, a world closer to a Midsummer Night Dream than the harsh realism of peasant life. Indeed it is rightfully that we are getting prepared for the astonishing, when dames and gents appear in sophisticated and rich fin de siècle clothing, resembling more to a joyful mob of refined aristocrats ready to taste their pick-nick under the shade of the majestic oaks. All this society is dressed in a fade beige colour, accept for the main figures that wear green, black and other coloured clothes. The special light of a sunset gives a warm and pastel tone to the apparition. On this island drops from nowhere Rodolfo, the local count, with his hot air balloon. He, the aristocrat, is underdressed compared to such elegantly metamorphosed peasants. His room for the night will not be Lisa’s inn, but the island itself. No mill but the branches of the trees will carry Amina on her somnambular and funambular promenade during the finale.
The voices are beautiful and the "stupenda"-ing Nathalie Dessay could brake glass with her impressive coloratura. She is the Star of the evening and her variations, as well as her act, are simply breathtaking, a marriage parfait between high technicality and sensitivity. She is already considered as on of the leading soprano’s of the moment and has been accepted as a member of the elite troop of the Vienna Staatsoper. This is the true sign of the recognition of her grate art. The bass Tomas Tomasson in the role of Rodolfo is remarkable. His magnificent and very profound voice is of the monumental Commendatore type. Raoul Gimenez as Elvino is also up to his task, in a role that is difficult for he, an Argentinian, has to play the role of a person lacking character. Eventually the direction was quite fade, lacking the italian spirit.
This evening at the opera was an enchanting one, and may I contribute to the bravometer: bravi cantatori!