quinta-feira, 1 de julho de 2010
(Netrebko como Manon)
Há cerca de dez anos, de malinhas aviadas - algures entre o fascínio do regresso à pátria e a tristeza profunda -, deixei a Ville Lumière. que havia sido a minha cidade durante um período considerável da minha vida.
Decidi presentear-me com um lugar burguês na Bastilha. Fleming preparava-se para estrear uma nova produção de Manon. Foi apoteótica: charmosa, certeira e rigorosa, com uma convicção teatral impressionante... e apoiada numa voz de ouro...
Anos e anos volvido, eis que a Manon de Fleming - a melhor do mundo, até à data!!! - parece ver-se ofuscada por aquela que seria LA MIA DONNA, não fora eu um respeitável pai de família...
Netrebko, em Londres, triunfa como Manon! Baremboim já o sabia - tal como eu!
«I’ve always held that Massenet’s Manon is an outright masterpiece, but never until now seen a performance that justified my belief (the old Monteux recording has been my lodestar). Antonio Pappano’s conducting must take great credit for this: vigorously muscular and boldly coloured, it never lets the score drift into whimsy or sentimentality.
Laurent Pelly’s production won’t please those who nurse a pink rococo vision of the piece. Austere to the point of ugliness (the Hotel de Transylvanie looks like a maximum-security facility designed by Philippe Starck), it is set in a Paris closer to the world of Manet and Zola than Fragonard and Louis Quinze.
But it has the great virtue of taking the characters’ emotional turmoil seriously, and telling the story with crystalline clarity. Nothing is souped up, nothing sugared: this becomes a credible human tragedy, in which greedy impulsive youth is outsmarted by venal hypocritical middle age.
Yet it’s the singing that gives the show its extra star. I don’t forget the terrific supporting cast, but it is without doubt the night of nights for the leads, Anna Netrebko and Vittorio Grigolo.
In the past, I’ve been resistant to La Netrebko’s charms, but not here. She gives herself wholeheartedly to Manon – enchantress, gold-digger, calculating little crook – and sings with polish and precision, without any of her usual approximate grabbing at the music. She was in magnificent voice (her top register spot-on in the Cours-la-Reine frolic) and her sheer joy in performing was contagious.
Opposite her Grigolo made a triumphant Covent Garden debut as Des Grieux. All his success with crossover romantic ballads might lead you to expect a vulgar crooner, but you’d be wrong. He balances his Italianate ardour with style and intelligence – his Saint-Sulpice aria was sung with lovely musical sensibility – and his good looks and energetic acting make him an appealing stage figure. A great operatic career lies in his sights, if he keeps his wits about him.»