Le Nozze di Figaro – Mozartiade @ Brussels

1529 Shadi_TorbeyThe theatre was only half full, I guess due to a disorderly organization, change of name half way through, relative little public attention and little communication on ticket sales. But the location is extremely suitable for an opera production, one has a cosy sense of intimate informality. Eric Gobin puts 3 doors on the stage and very few props but it works. The musical part was somewhat uneven. David Miller’s direction is flat and monotone and the lack of colours and variations spread to the singers as well, with few exceptions. From the singers Keith Tillotson as Bartolo acted over the top and sang with poor intonation, while Christine Schmidt as Marcellina had a wobbly-ish voice, but was overall acceptable. Pauline Claes and Gianna Cañete Gallo were convincing as Cherubino and Barbarina. Cécile Lastchenko as Susanna and Laura Telly Cambier as Countess sang well but with a horrendous, really horrendous pronunciation. Laurent Kubla and Shadi Torbey on the other hand were very good. (Except for the few unprecise colorature in the Count’s aria) they both had an extreme clear pronunciation, beautiful voice (which was perfect for the size of the theatre) and great singing. Both were truly enjoable (and Shadi Torbey was even announced sick). Good all other roles and the lovely girls of the choir. The royal Chambre Orchestra of Wallonia played well.

Director-David Miller, Mise en scene-Eric Gobin, Figaro-Shadi Torbey, Susanna-Cécile Lastchenko, Conte Almaviva-Laurent Kubla, Conteassa Almaviva-Laura Telly Cambier, Cherubino-Pauline Claes, Barbarina-Gianna Cañete Gallo, Basilio-John Manning, Don Curzio-Jean-Michel Van Oosten, Marcellina-Christine Schmidt, Bartolo-Keith Tillotson, Antonio-Yu-Hsiang Hsieh

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midSUMMER MOZARTiade, Brussels, July 2016

UntitledSo, coming back to the BOF, which was first announced and then cancelled. It started as Brussels Opera Festival but now it is presented as midSUMMER MOZARTiade… Not two opera’s anymore but one: Le nozze di Figaro, staged at the Park Theatre with young and very promising singers. So certainly something to look forward to.

Instead of the second opera we will see “A servants’ ball”, which is explained, with a letter by Mozart, as “facchinata”. Facchinata is, as Mozart himself explains in a letter to his sister (Milan, 3rd March 1770), “eine Mascherada, die facchinad, welche schön zu sehen ist, weil sich leüte anlegen als facchin, oder als hausknecht, und da ist ein barca gewesen, wo vielle drin waren, und viel sind auch zu fuße gegangen, 4 oder 6 Chör Trompeten und paucken, und auch etliche kör geigen, und andere Instrumenten” (a masqued ball, that`s wonderful to watch as people dress up as facchini or household servants, and there was a barca (boat?) with lots of people in it, and there were also lots of people on foot, 4 or 6 choirs of trumpets and timpani, and several choirs of violins and other instruments). Well, this seemed promising. But then the program mentions “Voice & piano recitals”. So not a facchinata? Then why mention the letter? On the bright side, the facchinata will be held in the Lorraine Room of the Cercle Royal Gaulois Artistique et Litteraire, “the pleasure garden of Brussels” which will give us a possibility to visit the venue.

masquerade-frolic-scott-jonesAnother happening will be “Mozart in the air”, a set of concerts in the Brussels Royal Park. There is no program to understand who or what we will hear. But the organizers still have a full year to prepare it and fill the internet with plenty of information. I am certainly looking forward to it so let’s them all wish all the best and a happy start in July 2016. For more information visit the festival’s website http://www.amadeusandco.be/en/

I cannot refrain from mentioning the little professionalism in giving indications on how to get a ticket. When calling the only available number one is instructed (in French only) to leave a message….

Brussels Opera Festival opens in 2016

logo1In times of crisis where one can barely avoid reading news of opera houses being on the brink of a precipice, it is such balsamous news to read of new opera festivals. This one is called Brussels Opera Festival and, according to the webpage (http://bofestival.com) will open in July 2016. The hosting house will be the Royal Park Theatre (facing the Belgian Parlament), which has a history of staging plays, but for a period presented also operettas and opera comiques. The first two production in 2016 will both be Mozart operas, namely Le nozze di Figaro and Zaïde. I can’t wait, and I wish the new festival a prosperous future.