The Cenerentola. Rossini. Athens



Greek National Opera. 3 November 2013.

Seasson opening of the Greek National Opera in the Olympia theatre of the Greek capital.

It is a new production, directed brilliantly by Rodula Gaitanou. The Greek girl living in London and fired on the stage of Covent Garden, makes the scene inside a theater in the America’s 29th. crisis, where the deceased father of Ramiro, who was the director of the theatre, between their last wills asked that his son had to be responsible for the continuity of the theatre thus leaving his Bohemian life and marrying one of the girls in the company. In the theatre is Alidoro right hand of the father of Ramiro, and which will try to help him in its mission and promoter Don Magnifico, who is in charge of schedule once after another of harmful shows of her two daughters, Clorinda and Tisbe, having relegated to maintenance of the theater charges his third daughter, Angelina (magnificent large boiler that presides over the ground floor of the theatre and our Cenerentola feeding with large amounts of coal) Ramiro arrives accompanied of his great friend, Dandini, who is in charge of making great performance to unmask the girls who just want to marry Ramiro by the economic interest and social position; thus making Gatinaou, in a masterful way, reading and social critics of that time.

Clorinda and Tisbe were embodied by Eleni Davou and Myrsini Margariti, both singers formed perfect tandem both vocal and scenically, worthy Don Mgnifico daughters, personified by Argentine bass Carlos Esquivel, that filled his character with entity and although, at times, his voice was too clear and scenic movement too graceful for a character who already has an age, the superb characterization made that we forget about that.

Alidoro character was played by the Greek bass-baritone  Petros Magoulas, a distinctive voice for the public regular season and which in this case had surprised very positively performing the aria «La del ciel..» with a very good rossinian singing, very different from what we are accustomed, his voice in many other occasions somewhat coarse, has become much more flexible in this repertoire that seems much more adjusted for him, hope he continues in this line.

Another common of the Olympia Theatre public is Greek tenor Antonis Koroneos, surely the voice that best represents this repertoire a priori. He has a clear light tenor voice, with appalling ease for the over acute and the coloratura and although he was unable to show his best because his forays into wider repertoires are making him lose the freshness that he had years ago, although it suggests even that good rosinian work and scenic solvency and his intelligent singing make you know where has his strong point so demonstrated with a fantastic «C» at the end of his aria, and some closings crowned with fantastic over acute «D» that the public knew how to thank as it was one of the most acclaimed numbers of the night.

Replacing the magnificent Mary Ellen Nesi, which was in the first deal Angelina, the character of La Cenerentola was embodied by the young Greek mezzo-soprano Artemis Borgi; a young woman who knows the music of Rossini and that although her youth and her lack of stage experience do not play in her favor, her natural elegance and cool song, her vibrant coloratura and vocal extension allowed to play with the character on her will, above all in her very difficult final scene, she comfortably sang. Undoubtedly we are facing a young promise of the scene.

The Spanish baritone David Menéndez who embodied the character of Dandini, deserves special mention. We are facing a true baritone voice, important flow and enviable projection, that he uses a whim to play with a wide palette of colors and shades, singing with equality in all logs. It is this already demonstrated from his entrance aria «Come un´ape ne’gioni d´aprile» where Menéndez fiato boasts from the first sentence and takes us from the «panissimo» to the «fortissimo», from the serious acute, of the passages more lyrical to the coloratura and more Deviled silabatos undeterred, with built-in choreography and acute included at the end of aria. I have to say that few other times I have had the opportunity to hear the acute end and even less maintained until the final chord of the aria, really superb and which made the public crazy already in his first speech; but the best was still to come since once he made it clear that he dominated his voice perfectly, made the delight of the audience with his hilarious characters handling with great skill the recitatives that perfect diction made that we heard him better even when he almost whispered. A joy to find a full singer who put his voice on service of interpretation this, together with his scenic port has made undoubtedly the Greek public to recognize on him a real star. Proof of this was the resounding Ovation gived by the public and that clearly made the big difference with the rest of the cast.

The musical direction was provided by the young Greek and with Austrian training Konstantinos Diminakis, which at all times was outstanding singers, doing a Rossini in the purest Belcanto style, despite his youth is seen in his approach to the service of the singers, to know perfectly the style and that breathing is music, making that everyone can make the best in each of their interventions even in the concertantes which ran to the perfection despite that to the difficulty of interpretation was  occasionally added also small choreographies.

Special mention also for very good intervention and very well directed choir  by Rodula Gaitanou who made that it is involved in the story at all times, something that in this theater is not always the case, many nights have attended functions where the choir seemed to be in position of concert. The simple but elegant costumes Alexia Theodoraki, did not more than enlarge the final result of the spectacle as well as the scenery and magnificent lighting of English Simon Corder.

Congratulations to all, especially the intendant of the theatre, Myron Michailidis, by such an excellent combination of artists. This is a very good way to go.


Vassilis Andreatos

Traducción: Maria García-Rosado