Gran Teatre del Liceu
Gran Teatre del Liceu
Barcelona's opera house, the Gran Teatre del Liceu, was founded on the Rambla in 1847 and has continued over the years to fulfil its role as a culture and arts centre and one of the symbols of the city.
Puccini's La bohème, one of the world's most famous verismo operas, in a traditional production by Jonathan Miller, full of realism, inspired by the photographs of Brassaï and Cartier-Bresson from the 1930s. Marc Piollet conducts the Liceu Orchestra in a Bohème that stands out for the excellence of its cast: in the role of Mimì, Eleonora Buratto, and in that of Musetta, Olga Kluchynska, winner of the 2015 edition of the Tenor Viñas Competition. The group of bohemians is led by tenor Saimir Pirgu as Rodolfo, and Marcello by baritone Gabriel Bermúdez.
The love story between Rodolfo, the poet, and the sweet Mimì, a neighbouring embroiderer, sets the pace of the work, which is set in Paris in 1830, a hundred years before Miller's wager. In the Latin Quartier, a group of bohemians, including the protagonist, with his companions Marcello, Schaunard and Colline, live in a garret in the cold and hunger, unable to pay the rent. The counterpoint to the protagonist couple, who are torn between jealousy and fear of the girl's illness, are the couple Marcello, a painter, and Musetta, a femme fatale who ends up helping Mimì in difficult times. The opera features great musical moments, such as the famous Act I aria "Che gelida manina", in which Rodolfo warms the hand of a helpless Mimì who has come to the artists' house to ask for matches. After the poet introduces himself in "Chi son? Sono un poeta", it is the girl's turn to sing "Mi chiamano Mimì", a page full of tenderness that reflects the idealism that surrounds the plot.
Juan Diego Flórez made his debut in the role of Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor in November 2015 at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, in this production by Damiano Michieletto, directed by Marco Armiliato and featuring soprano Elena Moșuc in the title role.
Based on Walter Scott's gruesome historical novel The Bride of Lammermoor, which Salvatore Camarano turned into a libretto for Gaetano Donizetti, who composed the opera in barely a month, Lucia di Lammermoor expresses the romantic love that endures beyond lies, misunderstanding, madness and death. Set in Scotland, the rivalry between two enemy clans is the setting for the love between Lucia and Edgardo, who secretly swear a vow of marriage to each other. The protagonist, Lucia, is one of the great challenges of the operatic repertoire, both vocally and scenically, and is known for one of its high points, when the character indulges to madness.
The Liceu's staging, directed by Damiano Micheletto and premiered at the Opernhaus Zürich, recreates an atmosphere "devoid of excess, dominated only by the sharp, cold glass of a tower, which is both a place of celebration and death", in the words of the stage director.
Envy and conspiracies, but also passion, jealousy, revenge and final forgiveness come together in Verdi's masterpiece, which aroused the wrath and prohibitions of the censors of the time to the point of forcing the composer and librettist to make changes to it: from the original Sweden to faraway Boston.
The great Polish tenor Piotr Beczala returns to the Liceu with one of his signature titles, accompanied by soprano Keri Alkema. Vincent Boussard's staging reinforces the dark and mysterious atmosphere surrounding the piece, with costumes by Christian Lacroix and the sober scenography of Vincent Lemaire, which allows us to concentrate our attention on the dramatic core of the score. The cast, directed by a true specialist like Renato Palumbo, also features a benchmark in Verdian singing: Dolora Zajick.
El Gran Teatre del Liceu estreno la ópera Roméo et Juliette el 14 de febrero de 2016, una coproducción entre el Liceu y The Santa Fe Opera dirigida por el británico Stephen Lawless y bajo la batuta del maestro Josep Pons. La versión operística de Charles Gounod del clásico de Shakespeare no se veía en el Liceu desde 1985 y se estrenó con un reparto encabezado por la soprano rusa Aida Garifullina como Juliette y el tenor albanés Saimir Pirgu como Roméo acompañados por la Orquesta Sinfónica y el Coro del Gran Teatre del Liceu.
Esta reciente producción sitúa la acción original en el contexto de la Guerra Civil de los Estados Unidos (1861-1865), una decisión del director Stephen Lawless para transportar los tiempos de Shakespeare a la época de Gounod. En palabras del propio director, la versión operística de este clásico universal “se convierte en una obra diferente y diversa que comienza a salir del molde shakespeariano y que imprime un toque francés a la fugacidad y el ingenio del original”. El director ha querido situar a los amantes en un marco mortuorio que condicionará fatalmente su destino desde el inicio de su enamoramiento.
Norma (1831), with a libretto by Felice Romani, Bellini's regular collaborator, is based on Alexandre Soumet's tragedy Norma ou L'Infanticide, which had been successfully performed in Paris shortly before. It is an update, in a romantic key, of certain themes from the classical tradition, such as the priestess who breaks her vows for love (Spontini's La Vestale, 1807) and infanticide as revenge (Cherubini's Medea, 1797). The setting in the world of the Druids of Gaul and the love affair of a priestess with a Roman soldier are reminiscent of an episode from Chateaubriand's Les Martyrs (1809).
The action is concentrated in the unity of time required by classical theatre, and the traditional forms of Italian melodrama are integrated into a large collective picture. The figure of Norma, of great psychological complexity, rises above all, with an unprecedented melodic beauty.
Teresa Lloret, philologist