Christoph GLUCK(1714-1787) Orfeo ed Euridice - an opera in three acts (1762)
Orfeo: Anita Rachvelishvili
Euridice: Maite Alberola
Amore: Auxiliadora Toledano
Dancer: Aline Vincent
Cor de Cambra del Palau de la Musica Catalana/Jordi Casas Bayer
Orquesta bandArt/Gordan Nikolic
Staged by La Fura dels Baus
Stage Director: Carlus Padrissa
Costume Designer: Aitziber Sanz
Sound: PCM Stereo, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Region: 0 (worldwide)
Subtitle languages: Italian, English, German, Spanish, Korean, Chinese
UNITEL/C MAJOR 710404
Bad taste has become common in the opera these days, under the
guise of “avant-garde”, and it’s very easy
to take a great work, with fine singers, and ruin it through
poor visuals and costumes. Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice
is one of the great operas of the late 18th century but a production
like this manages to ruin it entirely. There are so many things
that make this a bad production, but they are most likely heightened
by the close-ups that one sees on a film; in person, many of
these things may have been acceptable, but you see too much
in this film.
First, this work is performed on a fairly small stage, with
the musicians sitting in trap doors on the stage, their upper
bodies visible. At times they also leave their holes and play
standing on the stage; in their grey-and-black striped tights,
they fit in quite well. This leaves very little room for the
singers to move around. Add to that the disturbing projections
of, well, things, on the stage and a screen behind it - it’s
not always clear what they are - and this is very distracting.
Then there is Anita Rachvelishvili’s costume. She is wearing
some sort of horrid blue pantsuit, around which is a harness.
She also seems to be pregnant, which makes the tight-fitting
costume stand out even more. You may wonder for the first 20
minutes or so why she is wearing this harness. She climbs up
to the top of a column, and stands atop if for a while, and
needs to be wired to protect her in case she falls. She continues
wearing this harness throughout the remainder of the work.
Anita Rachvelishvili is an excellent singer, but her stage presence
here has all the charm of a slug. She clearly wants to move
around a bit, but there’s no room to do so. The other
singers are fine, and the choir is excellent as well. That said,
the overall feeling of watching this is one of discomfort; discomfort
that the production is so bad, but also that the lead character
seems so incredibly out of place in this mess.
All in all, this is certainly a performance worth listening
to, but the mise en scène is so terribly off that
it’s best to not watch this, unless you are attracted
by incongruous stagings.
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