1998-05-31 Le Prophete (Meyerbeer), Wiener Staatsoper

Fidès = Agnes Baltsa
Jean = Placido Domingo
Berthe = Viktoria Loukianetz
Le Comte d'Oberthal = Davide Damiani
Zacharie = Franz Hawlata
Mathisen = David Cale Johnson
Jonas = Torsten Kerl

Marcello Viotti, conductor

Inszenierung - Hans Neuenfels
Bühnenbild und Kostüme - Reinhard von der Thannen
Choreinstudierung - Johannes Meister
Einstudierung der Tänze - Renato Zanella
Preparation is everything, especially if an opera that are new for me. First live Meyerbeer opera. The only Meyerbeer I knew was the opera L'Africaine (from the video of the opera with Plácido Domingo and Shirley Verrett in San Francisco Opera. I went to the Theatermuseum, after buying Le Prophete (CBS Masterworks), it was a Meyerbeer expedition. Then it was time to go to Vienna State Opera for Le Prophete with Agnes Baltsa and Plácido Domingo. Having read the CD-libretto made me see what should have been onstage. Hans Neuenfels was the director, and his job was to make this Grand Opera unto a big messy spectacle.  It was not too bad, the singers was excellent, and some of his ideas was good. One thing was absolutely not agreeable by me, the dancer who was another Jean, a modern one with heroin abuse and hanging, coming unto the stage, and the monkeys (probably belong to the 3 Anabaptists or even representing them). Too much was happening on the stage. Making you lose moments of the opera, confusing you.

Plácido Domingo was a superb Jean, very charismatic and strong. Agnes Baltsa was Fidès, very charismatic and in splendid voice.  Le Prophete needs both a Jean and Fides that are in good voice and have charisma. Viktoria Loukianetz was Berthe, wonderful soprano. Acting was not easy in this overcrowded stage so filled with the directors own ideas of making Le Prophete his, but still Agnes and Plácido was strong enough to give enormous pleasure both in the singing and acting. Even if one loathed the production, one would like to go again to experience both Plácido and Agnes in roles that suited them so well, and Meyerbeer's opera is so wonderful in the melodies. Just focus on Plácido Domingo  or Agnes Baltsa and the rest would cease to exist.
This page was last updated: June 20, 2022