Give this opera OMO color
This is the 3rd time I saw this opera in this production. Unfortunately the production just a little less then 10 years old is weary. The colors needed brightening up, some of the scenography definitely needed a new touch. But worst of all was the lack of timing and a director to strengthened the drama and give the tension the drama needed. A more traditional approach would have helped, especially the costumes.
If the conductor had not taking some seconds here and there, when it did not need it. It felt like patched up, like listening to an opera on a cd-player, who put 1 second air between each track.
Just tighten the drama, it is a very dramatic opera, French, yes, but it does have drama even if this an opera for the beautiful voices.
Luckily Jose Cura as Jean, not bothered by the production, he sang out, clear and ringing being the Prophet Jean. The opera rose up every time Jose Cura was there.
Agnes Baltsa as Herodiade was wonderful, but the partnership of Philippe Rouillon gave her no support. Her voice found her strength, her acting was perfect. And when with Phanuel (F. Furlanetto) and Salome (B. Haveman), her ability shone out. Wonderful in the ensembles.
Ferruccio Furlanetto as Phanuel was great, he was better in 1995, when Herodiade was almost new. But growing in stature all the time.
Barbara Haveman was great as Salome. Good in the beginning, fantastic in the end of the opera.
Philippe Rouillon as Herode, was a disappointment, his acting bad, even his voice was good enough.
Markus Nieminen as Vitellius was good in the ensemble and elsewhere. High Priest: Januszch Monarcha, a good voice.
The Voice, John Nuzzo, was not in a beautiful voice.