OPERA NORDFJORD ON TOUR (Sogn og Fjordane, Norway)
Sogndal Kulturhus (25.04)
Flora Samfunnshus (26.04)
Hotell Alexandra in Loen (27.04)
Opera Nordfjord tour-ensemble, orchestra & three soloists.
Cecilia Lindwall, soprano, was Adina in Elskovsdrikken (L'Elsir d'amore) in 2001, she now lives in Berlin.
Trine Øien, is one of our (Norway) best new mezzo-sopranos, lives in Oslo. Freelance
Jørgen Talle, tenor, at the opera in Hannover since 2000.
Orchestra ca. 35 musicians: mainly District musicians, music teachers and music students from Sogn og Fjordane, with some few hired freelance musicians. Conductor: Michael Pavelich.
M.Glinka: Ruslan et Ludmila -Ouverture
G.Bizet: Carmen -Habanera (Øien)
G.Puccini: Tosca -Vissi d'arte (Lindwall)
G.Verdi: Macbeth -Ah, la paterna mano (Talle)
C.Saint-Saëns: Samson et Dalila -Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix (Øien)
G.Puccini: La Bohème -Quando me'n vo (Øien)
C.Gounod: Faust -Salut! demeure chaste et pure (Talle)
E.Humpeldinck: Hänsel und Gretel -Evening prayer (Lindwall & Øien) & Dream-ballett
Pause (20 mins.)
G.Rossini: La Gazza Ladra -Ouverture
R.Leoncavallo: I Pagliacci -Vesti la giubba (Talle)
G.Puccini: Gianni Schicchi -O mio babbino caro (Lindwall)
G.Verdi: Il trovatore -Stride la vampa (Øien)
G.Puccini: Madama Butterfly -Bimba dagli occhi (Talle, Lindwall)
J.Strauss II: Fledermaus -Champagner (Øien, Talle, Lindwall)
If this were a contest I would have pronounced the soprano as the absolute winner, the mezzo as a smashing good second place, and the tenor as a dubious third. Since this my review I have to tell why.
And I begin with the orchestra which was very good with the inspirational conductor Michael Pavelich, who also introduced the music and the soloist in a humorous way, yet informative way. The both overtures was brilliantly done. First soloist was the mezzo Trine Øien. A great mezzo voice who sang Carmen, Dalila, Azucena and little Hänsel wonderfully. Yet only in Azucena's aria did she make use of her hands. Which made her Carmen and Dalila a little less seductive than the full use of body language. The singing was excellent. A competitor to Agnes Baltsa
The second soloist was Cecilie Lindwall, the Swedish soprano. Two years ago I heard her as Adina, now she was even better. Her Tosca, Musetta, Gretel, Lauretta and Cio-cio-san, was a marvel to see and hear. The wonderful voice, now matured to more dramatic, but still essential lyric soprano voice, and with her acting skills, and a great sense of humor and dramatic poignancy. A miracle of a soprano.
Then the tenor, Jørgen Talle, when he sang Macduff's aria from Macbeth, I was deeply disappointed, I seemed to be the only one to feel that way. As the evening progressed, he was being better and better, also in my ears. Maybe my ears was wrong. Or maybe he was nervous, or simply not yet a Verdi tenor, he IS young, and he did use to be a baritone. But when I say he was a baritone, it does not mean that his tenor voice had a baritonal sound, not at all. His very bright, light tenor voice was ideally suited to Faust by Gounod, and he sang Pinkerton very well. In Pinkerton he showed that he not only can sing, he can act. He did the Pagliacci aria very well, but I don't think that Canio Is a role that he should sing, not yet, he is still young.