Thursday, May 28, 2015

Anna Netrebko Ushers Out John Copley "La Bohème" At ROH

Living on Love: Rodolfo (Joseph Calleja) and Mimì (Anna Netrebko) struggle to make ends meet,
but they still have each other until death do them part at Covent Garden.
"So now we bid farewell to another dear old friend, as John Copley’s venerable production of Puccini’s weepie, rich in period detail and devoid of interpretative tricks, is being laid to rest after four decades in service, embracing twenty-six revivals and well over two hundred sold-out performances. To be honest, this loyal carthorse of a show does seem a trifle sclerotic nowadays. I’ve seen stagings recently that feel more youthfully raw and emotionally urgent; aspects of its 'realism' look dated; and the second interval slows the pace down unhelpfully. But the tableaux for the snowy Barrière d’Enfer and bustling Café Momus remain wonderfully atmospheric, and the straightforward characterisations never inhibit the singers. Richard Jones, rumoured to be
Herr Direktor: Read more about 
John Copley by clicking here.
commissioned for a replacement, will have his work cut out to provide anything sturdier. Copley, a spry octogenarian, returned to rehearse this final outing and made a lively job of it. Sharp cameos from Ryland Davies (Alcindoro) and Donald Maxwell (Benoit) sprinkled light relief. Marco Vinco’s Colline mourned his pawned coat in style, Lucas Meachem presented an exuberant jock of a Marcello, and Jennifer Rowley was a brassy Musetta, with a touch of Ethel Merman about her gusto....His Mimi was the mercurial Anna Netrebko, in lustrous voice. She is not a subtle artist, and having adjusted her focus to more dramatic repertory, her resinous soprano can’t convey the fragility of the consumptive flower-girl. She also failed to float the rapturous 'ball of light' note at the end of Act I. But she never just phones it in or holds back à la Gheorghiu, and here she gave of herself unstintingly, most notably in an affecting account of the third act - one of Puccini’s most masterly inspirations." [Source]

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