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Ensemble

A Blockbuster Weekend

Beethoven's 'Fidelio' and Verdi's 'Requiem'
at Los Angeles Opera, reviewed by MARIA NOCKIN

 

Los Angeles Opera opened its 22nd season on 8 September 2007 with a blockbuster weekend, consisting of Ludwig van Beethoven's Fidelio on Saturday evening followed by Giuseppe Verdi's Requiem on the following afternoon. The Fidelio was a new production by Florentine director-designer Pier'Alli that had first been seen at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía in Valencia, Spain. By incorporating some cinematic elements, he gave this well known work a modern twist without changing any of the rescue opera's familiar story.

As the curtain opened, Marzelline was ironing in what seems to be the prison's torture chamber. It made the onlooker think about the kinds of horror that could seem normal if one lived with them long enough. Despite the visual cues, Rebekah Camm, a Houston Grand Opera Studio member, sang sweetly in a Mozartian manner befitting her character. She is a very promising young singer who will certainly grow in stage presence as she gains valuable experience.

From left to right: Eike Wilm Schulte (Don Pizarro), Anja Kampe (Fidelio), Matti Salminen (Rocco) and Klaus Florian Vogt (Florestan) in the Los Angeles Opera production of Beethoven's 'Fidelio'. Photo © 2007 Robert Millard
From left to right: Eike Wilm Schulte (Don Pizarro), Anja Kampe (Fidelio), Matti Salminen (Rocco) and Klaus Florian Vogt (Florestan) in the Los Angeles Opera production of Beethoven's 'Fidelio'. Photo © 2007 Robert Millard

Her would-be lover, Jacquino, was portrayed as a down-to-earth working man by Greg Fedderly who sang with robust tones. As Rocco, the older jailer, Matti Salminen was a well-intentioned father who wanted a good life for Marzelline. His vocal rendition of the 'Gold Aria' was inspiring despite its worldly text.

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Copyright © 23 September 2007 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA

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