domingo, 18 de outubro de 2009

Der Rosenkavalier & o TEMPO - II

Em antevisão - aqui -, referimo-nos à reprise (muito aguardada) de Der Rosenkavalier, no Met.
É agora o momento de fazer o balanço (sobretudo) das prestações das veteranas Fleming e Graham...

«When opera singers perform touchstone roles from the staples, they compete, however unfairly, not just with legendary artists of the past but also with themselves. The soprano Renée Fleming first sang the role of the Marschallin in Strauss’s “Rosenkavalier” at the Metropolitan Opera in early 2000, to wide acclaim. The Octavian during that run was the mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, who had triumphed in the role since her first Met performances in 1995.

On Tuesday night Ms. Fleming, who had not sung the role in nearly a decade, and Ms. Graham were reunited in “Der Rosenkavalier,” a revival of Nathaniel Merrill’s lavishly traditional production first introduced 40 years ago, which is holding up nicely. As the Marschallin (the Princess von Werdenberg in mid-18th-century Vienna, the wife of the empire’s field marshal), Ms. Fleming may have lost a little of the sumptuous vocal beauty and some of the soaring pianissimo phrases of before. And though the arduous role of Octavian, the hormonal 17-year-old count who is having an impetuous affair with the Marschallin, remains one of Ms. Graham’s signature achievements, she may not have had the effortless power she used to.

Yet Ms. Fleming and Ms. Graham sang splendidly over all. In ways that matter their performances were richer and more affecting. They and the rest of the cast, which included the lovely Swedish soprano Miah Persson as Sophie in her Met debut, had to cope with a change of conductors.


The warm texture and robust resonance of Ms. Graham’s voice as Octavian naturally convey a young person’s ardor and intensity. This Octavian is ecstatically in love with the middle-aged Marschallin, as is boldly clear during the opening scene, where we find the lovers in bed after a night together, still frisky, giddy and careless.

In Ms. Graham’s involving portrayal Octavian’s shortcoming is also his most appealing quality: he lives entirely in the present, full of love for the moment but hardly able to think past the afternoon. Octavian actually says some perceptive things, and Ms. Graham made the most of each. For example, as the Marschallin told Octavian that sooner of later, naturally, he would leave her for a younger woman, Ms. Graham, summoned shimmering sound and annoyed intensity as she answered, “You are pushing me away with words because you cannot do it with your hands.”

Ms. Fleming’s vocally captivating performance was daringly subtle. You are pulled in by the expressive nuances of her singing and the multiple meanings she uncovers in the character’s sadly wise words. You will probably not find a better-acted Marschallin, and not just during the foolproof dramatic moments, like the Marschallin’s monologue on the inexorable passage of time. Even during the scene in which the princess is entertained by the Italian Tenor, here Ramón Vargas in good voice, it was touching to see this astute Marschallin so taken out of herself for a moment, enthralled by the music.

Ms. Persson’s singing had less rosy bloom than that of some lyric sopranos as the virginal Sophie, but it had great character and warmth. The Icelandic bass Kristinn Sigmundsson was a suitably boorish and vocally booming Baron Ochs. The stage director Robin Guarino deserves credit for eliciting such believable portrayals from the cast, especially Ms. Fleming and Ms. Graham. It is good to have these fine artists back together in this Strauss favorite.»

(Der Rosenkavalier, Met Opera Housa - Outubro de 2009 - Renée Fleming, à esquerda, e Susan Graham, à direita)

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