La traviata. Verdi. Munich

Nationaltheater in Munich. 9 July 2013.
This year, as it cannot be more logical, the Munich Festival has a strong presence of works by Verdi and Wagner. In fact, in the days of my stay in the Bavarian capital there are scheduled 4 operas of Wagner and 5 of Verdi, being this Traviata the second of The Verdi ones after the Troubadour of the previous day.
The production of Günter Krämer, which already saw last year, and which premieres here 20 years ago was again offered. I guess that it will be soon replaced, since the interest offered is very low. It is a very dark, minimalist production and with a Symbolist touch, which either adds nothing.
The scenery of Andreas Reinhardt is limited to presenting a first act in front of the stage, with a few doors, in which roam the guests to the feast of Violeta. In the second act the scene opens to show us a great space with leaves by the floor, some chairs and a great swing, which seems to represent the couple in love happy times. Again, we return to the darkness in Flora’s party, with the presence of a large lamp on one side of the stage. Finally, the death of Violeta develops in tie, which is placed a mattress for all props. Back you can see the great fallen lamp and swing in the dark. The costumes of Carlo Diappi have no interest, abusing of dark tones in the Flora’s party. In this environment it makes sense is to wait the brilliance of responsible for lighting, Wolgfgang Göbbel, but not such a thing occurs.
The stage direction of Günter Krämer is disappointing, especially in the handling of the choir. I have always said that the regista who does not know what to do with the choir often resort to do a chain stitch. This is what makes Kramer in the first act and, quite badly, by the way. The second act has greater dramatic interest, but primarily due to the stage capacity of father Germont and Violeta. Kramer occurs to incorporate into the scene the mute character of the sister of Alfredo, whose presence and performance are almost pathetic. There is no life in the Flora’s party, with the chorus of Gypsies and bullfighters virtually non-existent, as well as completely static. I am surprised that this production has endured 19 years. I would celebrate never see it again. It is, simply, traditional, poor, hit and boring. Suffice it to say that most interesting production was the performance of a magician in the Flora’s Party.
Is very difficult to judge the musical performance of a professor in these replenishments of Repertory operas, since there is practically no practise. In fact, this Traviata was represented this season in the month of may, and with an entirely different cast. In these conditions Dan Ettinger has enough merit  he took the work very well controlled and that, there has been practically no mismatches between pit and stage. I Found more interesting the version offered by Meir Wellber last year, which does not diminish the performance of Dan Ettinger. Good performances of the Bayerische Staatsorchester and the choir of the Bayerische Staatsoper, both formations somewhat below their performances of the previous day in Il Trovatore.
Marina Rebeka
Was Violeta, the Latvian soprano Marina Rebeka, who, if I am not mistaken, made her debut in Munich. Regardless of the personal triumph that has garnered, I must say that I was not a convincing Violeta in vocal terms. It has always said that Violeta needs three different sopranos and is true. The most convincing of her performance was for me the second Act, which is the one best  suits to characteristics of liric-light soprano, who has a good singing technique and knows how to express. Instead I found her quite routine in the first Act, with an interpretation of E’strano, where I missed more glitter and glamour. In fact, she did not went to the E at the end of Sempre libera, which surprised me, since the first time I heard her sing this scene she had no problem with the over-treble and that was only 7 years ago, which is not much for a soprano of 33 years. In the last act she falls short of excitement, because her instrument is not what the score requires, regardless of as an actress always works well. Addio del Passato sang with a single verse and did not obtain any applause, as neither the subsequent duo of Parigi o cara, which shows that emotion did not reach the Viewer. Marina Rebeka has many positive qualities and is an interesting soprano, which has the disadvantage that her timbre is excessively metallic over all the pass through area. The surprising thing was the triumphal welcome in final greetings, after the silence in her interventions in the last act.
Saimir Pirgu
Saimir Pirgu replaced the initially announced Piotr Beczala in the character of Alfredo. The truth is that we lost with the change. The Albanian tenor voice is still beautiful, but I find him somewhat in its limit in this part. Sings warmly, but the voice is reduced in the upper part of the range, which deprives him shine in the second act cabaletta. Let’s say that he was not much more than a correct Alfredo.
Simon Keenlyside repeated as Germont and returned to show his usual virtues and shortcomings. From my point of view, we have an important artist, who phrases and says so very remarkable, both in his dialogues and his arias, though his voice does not respond to what we can call a Verdi baritone. In any case, I have no doubt that if the most convincing representation was the second Act, largely was due to the presence of the British baritone on the scene.
With the exception of Annina, the secondary characters were the same as the previous year. The new Annina was Silvia Hauer, who was below Tara Erraught.
Heike Grötzinger was a dutiful Flora. Christpoh Stephinger was a vocally poor Doctor Grenvil.
Met the requirements Francesco Petrozzi (Gaston), Christian Rieger (Baron Douphol) and Tareq Nazmi (D’Obligny).
I do not know the name of the magician, who performed divinely.
The theatre offered No tickets poster. The public only showed their enthusiasm at the end of the representation, showing quite cold during it. In fact, to open scene there was no single intervention to which the public dedicated an ovation of more than 18 seconds. In the final greetings, surprising personal triumph of Marina Rebeka, being also very  cheered Simon Keenlyside.
The representation began with the usual 5 minutes late in Munich, had a total time of 3 hours, including two intermissions. The purely musical duration was 2 hours, 6 minutes longer than the one of Omer Meir Wellber the previous year. The final applause lasted for 6 minutes. It is good to remember that last year  these applause lasted 10 minutes, thanks to the presence of the great Maria Agresta on the character of Violeta.
The price of the most expensive ticket was 193 euros, having stalls seats from 117 euros. On the upper floors locations were between 64 and 90 euros. There also was the non visibility ones for 14 euros.
José M. Irurzun
Traducción al inglñes por: María Garcia-Rosado