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Attila's Ninjas

Opernhaus Zürich
03/02/2001 -  
Giuseppe Verdi:Attila
Mara Zampieri (Odabella), Ruggero Raimondi (Attila), Leo Nucci (Ezio), Boiko Zvetanov (Foresto), Miroslav Christoff (Uldino), Giuseppe Scorsin (Papa Leone I), Vladimir Fedoseyev (Conductor), Ernst Raffelsberger (Choir Master), Chor und Orchester der Oper Zürich, Erwin Piplits (Producer).

The last Attila of the season was an exceptional performance. Intendant Alexander Pareira has excelled in the art of bringing together a cast of extraordinary quality. The presence of Zampieri, Raimondi, and Nucci on the same scene is a combination that can rarely be else than a success. They are not only famous operatic names, they are also the result of a scrupulous selection of the voices that fit the roles. The Verdi specialists know that it is becoming difficult to find truly Verdian singers. They are getting rare and there are too many opera houses around the world. All three of these artists have the maturity of voice needed to sing such explosive roles. Attila, as many of the Verdi operas, has to be howled. The roles are not for bel canto voices, but for vibrant and heroic ones, full of energy and stamina, this force that provokes intense emotion.

And the voice of Odabella was full of this emotion. Mara Zampieri’s Lady Macbeth performed in Berlin with Sinopoli has become legendary. She expresses in that role the prototype of the "mata". I have never heard someone matching her in that role. Her Odabella conveyed again her "mad" tessitura and intonation that matches this role so well. Indeed, Odabella is moved by a furious hatred to kill Attila. Ruggero Raimondi has showed us as again that he can master an Attila as well as a Mozartian Don Giovanni with ease. He is also an extraordinary actor. In Attila and Ezio's duo, Nucci and Raimondi competed with virtuosity to who will have that best stamina. Nucci was on the top of his art with great heights. The Bulgarian tenor Boiko Zvetanov is already known in Zurich where he has performed many times since 1991. One of his first roles was already in Attila. He sung a very bright Foresto in duo with Mara Zampieri they were both moving and expressive.

The orchestra under the baton of Vladimir Fedoseyev gave all what it could and the choir of the Zürich Opera followed the same Verdian tradition. The public was frenetic after each aria and duo. Is this really Zürich or are we not in Italy…

The Set was not very exiting but it gave the right impression of oriental invasion in Medieval Italy, except for the pistols pointed at the dying Attila. The choir appeared in Ninja dress inspired by the oriental origins of the Huns with stocking masks like terrorists or bank robbers. A scene of pales protecting the fort of Attila and interesting lights with a mysterious full moon.

Zoltan Bécsi



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