|Annette Dasch as Elsa von Brabant|
The French-German television channel ARTE last night made it possible for European opera lovers to join the audience at the opening of the 2012/2013 season at the La Scala in Milan. As promised, Wagner's Lohengrin was an evening of "great wagnerian voices", with the fresh septuagenerian Daniel Barenboim conducting a staging by Claus Guth.
Although everything went well, it was actually a small wonder that the opening performance took place at all. This announcement on the La Scala's webpage gives us a hint of how close to a catastrophe they were less then 24 hours before the opening:
Annette Dasch was thus the star of the evening in two ways, as a singer and as the person who saved the opening night of the new opera season at the La Scala. To be able to perform such a major role on very short notice is a feat not many singers are capable of doing.
|Jonas Kaufmann as Lohengrin|
Jonas Kaufmann was the other great star last night. His Lohengrin was both powerful and - where it was needed - beautifully smooth.
This is a positive blog, which is why it is sufficient to say that Claus Guth had chosen to transfer the opera from the 10th century Antwerp to something that looked like a 19th century Belgian prison. Thank God, he did not choose a date 100 years later, which would have brought us another "modernized" opera performance, with the the singers appearing in Nazi uniforms.
|Dasch and Kaufmann toghether|