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La Sonnambula – Variety
You must be a registered user to use the IMDb rating plugin. Photos Add Image Add an image Do you have any images for this title? Edit Cast Episode credited cast: Natalie Dessay Elvino Michele Pertusi Count Rodolfo Jennifer Black Lisa Jeremy Galyon Alessio Jane Bunnell Teresa Bernard Fitch Notary Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Metropolitan Opera Ballet Dancers Amir Levy Dance Captain Carrie-Ann Matheson Soon chorus members in street clothes bustle around a rehearsal studio, furnished with coffee makers, blackboards, clothes racks and garbage cans.
This is a one-set production, suggestive of the Met's new austerity plan. The only hint of Bellini's Swiss village is the tiny diorama depicting a traditional production. By now, of course, we have sadly understood Zimmerman's concept: This is going to be a play within a play. How original. Everyone on the stage is rehearsing a production of "La Sonnambula. To give the story greater interest as she sees it, Zimmerman has moved the action to the present day. Dessay makes her first entrance wearing a white coat, red scarf and gloves, chatting on her cell phone, every inch the diva.
She multitasks during her first aria, having her costume altered, picking out shoes, a nice green pair, and rejecting wigs. All this stuff distracts from the sweet beauty of the music. Later, she "sleepwalks" in from the rear of the auditorium, singing her way down the left aisle.
Where is her bed? In the Met opera gift shop? Florez looks tough in his black-leather jacket, but what 21st-century man would carry on just because his girlfriend has been found sleeping on a strange bed? And why is this bed in the rehearsal studio anyway? Round of Boos. Paper is torn into pieces, costumes are thrown about and the bed is disassembled.
Even the garbage cans are emptied onto the floor, why is never made clear. As the curtain came down, the first round of boos rang out. In the next act, we briefly enjoyed Florez's impassioned aria, but even the fabled sleepwalking scene was ruined by Zimmerman's "improvements. Come on. Why stage an opera you don't like or trust? Evelino Pido by contrast clearly loves the music and conducted with a light touch and support for the singers, the lot of them encumbered by silly outfits. Michele Pertusi swaggered around in a camel-hair coat and didn't fit into Zimmerman's concept at all -- who was this rich stranger who had to sleep on a bed in the rehearsal studio?
CD: Bellini Sonnambula 2001 Milan Benini Dessay Florez Pertusi Forte
Period Costumes. Just before the end, the set turned and the choristers entered, now dressed in spanking new Swiss village period costumes and hats. Dessay and Florez, also clad in stupid Tyrolean finery, join them in a final song and dance number that came off as a mockery of Bellini. The audience's final response: a cascading chorus of boos. Best Just Walk Away. Hundreds of the capacity audience erupted in loud boos when director Mary Zimmerman took her curtain call - clearly displeased with the Tony winner's postmodern take on Bellini's wispy plot.
In his opera "La Sonnambula," small-town virgin Amina Natalie Dessay loses her reputation after waking up in a strange man's bed. Even her boyfriend Elvino Juan Diego Florez rejects her, until he realizes she is, as the title implies, a sleepwalker. Zimmerman attempts to add a layer of sophistication to this naive tale by setting the action in a modern-day rehearsal hall.
A soaring SoHo-like loft space designed by Daniel Ostling, the room is scattered with folding chairs, music stands and costume racks, ready for a run-through of "La Sonnambula. The "villagers" are now choristers in jeans, sweaters and casual skirts, and the drowsy ingenue has become a bitchy diva complete with cellphone and oversize sunglasses.
As Amina sings delicately of nature and the joy of first love, she tries on shoes and trashes a half-dozen wigs. Stranger concepts have succeeded in the opera house, but Zimmerman's ideas lacked both conviction and consistency. Why, for example, did the chorus tear its music into confetti during the first-act finale? The audience, unsure of what was happening onstage, tittered nervously. Even the finale, with the entire company decked out in glitzy Swiss costumes for a campy "Springtime for Hitler" production number, puzzled more than it pleased. The worst opera staging can be redeemed by great singing, and in Florez, the Met can boast one of the world's most stylish tenors.
His light, tangy voice alternated between sweetness in the lyrical sections and sheer adrenaline when he skyrocketed into the stratosphere around high C. Dessay was less happily cast as Amina.
Her manic mugging couldn't camouflage a worn voice that left Bellini's elegiac melodies sounding threadbare. The strong supporting cast featured Michele Pertusi, who unfurled a suave bass as a mysterious count. Conductor Evelino Pido showed consideration in keeping the Met orchestra down, never overwhelming the light voices of his cast. But an opera about sleepwalking needs someone more alert in charge or else the audience is likely to doze.. The premise behind Mary Zimmerman's exasperating new production of Bellini's "Sonnambula" for the Metropolitan Opera, which opened on Monday night, is that the story of this bel canto classic is hopelessly absurd.
Amina, a sweet young woman in a 19th-century Swiss village, has fallen in love with Elvino, a wealthy young landowner. Alas, Amina is a sleepwalker, and on the night her engagement is formalized, she wanders in a trance into the room at an inn where a mysterious count is staying. The villagers are shocked; Elvino is outraged. But Amina's innocence becomes clear when, mad with grief, she sleepwalks in the presence of her beloved, and all ends happily. Yet through his emotionally piercing and sublimely lyrical music Bellini touches on the buried complexities of this flimsy story.
You would think an opera director could find contemporary resonances. Amina is an orphan, raised by a single parent, a good-hearted mill owner with ambitions for her daughter. From her opening aria the fragile Amina seems almost disbelieving of her luck at finding a mate as splendid as Elvino. By sleepwalking into the count's room, is she exposing some subconscious desire? Or sabotaging her happiness? Instead of trying to take the opera on Bellini's terms, Ms.
Zimmerman places the story in contemporary New York, where we see a small opera company rehearsing "La Sonnambula. Zimmerman's staging, the first Met production of the work since , comes across as a cop-out. It must be said that Ms. And Ms. Zimmerman conveys the hubbub of an opera company vividly. The unit set by Daniel Ostling depicts a warehouselike rehearsal room, with tall glass windows overlooking downtown streets. A metal stairway leads to an upper-floor office, and the place is cluttered with costume racks, music stands and a blackboard on which the director writes the settings for each scene: a village square, a town inn.
The Met choristers, portraying the members of the opera company, look relaxed in their workaday clothes, designed by Mara Blumenfeld. When Ms. Dessay arrives for rehearsal, a little late, she descends the stairs in a creamy white coat, her ear to a cellphone, looking distracted but confident as the company's prima donna. The bright-voiced soprano Jennifer Black plays Lisa, who, as Bellini presents her, is an inn hostess frustrated in her enduring love for Elvino.
Here she is the efficient director of the company. The mezzo-soprano Jane Bunnell sings with appealing warmth and makes a charmingly frumpy Teresa, Amina's adoptive mother. When the Italian bass Michele Pertusi, a sophisticated singer, made his entrance as Count Rodolfo, dressed impeccably in a cashmere coat, I wondered whether Ms. Zimmerman might have simply updated the story and left it at that.
The added conceit encumbers the entire production. When Elvino proposes to Amina, is it real or just a rehearsal? That the choristers look on, slightly bored and slightly touched, gives no clue. Dessay's entrance during the first crucial sleepwalking scene is a theatrical coup.
royal-steinfurth.de/includes/2019-03-19/2227-iphone-6-sms.html From a rear door of the Met auditorium, a bright light pointing the way, she walks down the aisle toward the stage, turning around midway to sing the opening recitative, looking and sounding spectral. Soon, she wanders up to the stage and the waiting count. Yet again the questions come: Is her sleepwalking just a rehearsal? If so, who is directing it? When the villagers in Bellini's opera discover Amina asleep in the count's room, they are scandalized.
But why would Amina's colleagues be so shocked by a little backstage hanky-panky? What kind of urban opera company is this? The ensemble scene that ends Act I is a meticulously staged and unmotivated muddle. The choristers, riled by the breakup of Amina and Elvino, go crazy and trash the rehearsal room, ripping up their scores, flinging costumes on the floor, knocking over music stands. Clearly Ms. Zimmerman wants her audience to respond intuitively and not think too hard.
But this does not excuse her from having to work out the details of the concept. Paradoxically, I have never been so caught up with the implausible specifics of the libretto. With the disconnect between the story and the staging, I kept thinking, "But that's not what Amina means. Dessay was not too happy working with Ms. Zimmerman on the Met's new production of Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor" last season.
But on Monday, when Ms. Zimmerman's appearance during curtain calls was met with an outburst of lusty booing, Ms. Dessay tried to shush the audience and applauded her director vigorously. I wish I could say that Ms. Dessay has been thoroughly emboldened by this production. There are wondrous qualities in her singing. Though not large, her voice has such bloom and is supported so securely that it fills the house easily and sends Bellini's phrases soaring. Her feeling for nuance in the lines and the words is always sensitive. Still, there is sometimes a tentative quality to her work, as during the opening cavatina, "Come per me sereno," when Amina expresses girlish contentment in her love through radiant music suffused with sadness.
As Ms. Dessay sings this aria, her Amina blithely endures a costume fitting, which makes her expression of romantic bliss come across as insincere. I seem to be among a minority who find the timbre of Mr. But he certainly sings Elvino with abundant energy, stylish phrasing and ringing top notes. He won a tumultuous ovation from the audience. Hanging over the production is the perception that no one seems to believe in this opera.