La Sonnambula

by Vincenzo Bellini

Victorian Opera
Hamer Hall, Arts Centre
http://victorianopera.com.au

Melbourne, Australia
  • Conductor Richard Mills
  • May 2017
    05
    Friday
    12:00 > 15:00
    3 hours
Find out more about the Cast , the Composition , the Composer

La Sonnambula

Cast

Press & Reviews

GB Opera
Roberto Campanella
VENEZIA, TEATRO LA FENICE: “LA SONNAMBULA”
This review refers to La Sonnambula at Teatro "La Fenice" (April 2012).
Not available in English
Quanto agli interpreti vocali, Jessica Pratt (Amina) ha sfoggiato una bellissima voce di soprano lirico-leggero dalla pasta omogenea, evidenziando un’ottima padronanza tecnica, che le consentiva facilità negli acuti come nelle mezze voci, nei filati e nei trilli. Il suo canto era particolarmente elegante e lieve per l’abilità nell’affrontare salti anche estesi senza portamento e per la dizione chiara e suggestiva come in «Come per me sereno» (che Ferro ha accompagnato con un ritmo riposato e meditativo e un bel legato dell’orchestra) e nella successiva cabaletta «Sovra il sen la man mi posa», resa con grande agilità nelle colorature e ottima intonazione, a rendere una gioia quasi presaga dell’imminente dolore. Meraviglioso l’acuto finale. Amina si è rivelata molto espressiva anche nel recitativo – mai banale in Bellini – insieme a Teresa presso il podere di Elvino. Ma il momento culminante della sua interpretazione si è realizzato nella scena del sonnambulismo del secondo atto, dove ha fatto sentire un declamato bellissimo per fraseggio e colori senza eccessi né portamenti, sullo sfondo di un’orchestra dalle sonorità soavi. Veramente sublime poi si è rivelata in «Ah, non credea mirati», assecondata dal misurato accompagnamento degli archi, che metteva in valore un canto caratterizzato da assoluto controllo della voce per esprimere un’Amina ora infiammata d’amore ora sconsolata per la perdita dell’amato, meritandosi acclamazioni e applausi a scena aperta. Appassionata e precisa nelle colorature anche nell’impervia cabaletta finale «Ah, non giunge uman pensiero» dal piglio energico e festoso, siglata da uno sfavillante fa sovracuto.
Platea Magazine
Javier del Olivo
Jessica Pratt Stars in "La Sonnambula" with ABAO
This review refers to La Sonnambula at ABAO (January 2016).
You have to doff your hat when a singer proves onstage that she dominates as emblematic a role as the title role of Bellini’s Sonnambula. A role sung by such legendary singers as Giuditta Pasta and Maria Malibran, and, in the 20th century, Maria Callas and Joan Sutherland. Jessica Pratt, who made her ABAO (Bilbao Association of Friends of the Opera) debut on Saturday with Amina, gave a perfectly canonical, fully belcantista interpretation of the role. Her intentions and deep understanding of the role were already clear in her excellent interview with Yolanda Quincoces for this magazine. On Saturday she confirmed everything, proving herself a singer technically well prepared for the difficult agility that the part requires. But not only was her coloratura beautiful, all her singing was full of intent, delicacy, emotion. Though not a voice of extraordinary power, she is yet always heard clearly above the chorus and orchestra. Her pianissimi were delicious, sweet, spectacular. Neither in her devilish opening aria ‘Come serene per me’ nor in any of her other interventions did her line falter or her beautiful singing fail to dazzle the audience. Her tender sleepwalking scene and the cabaletta ‘Ah, non Giunge,’ was topped by a pristine and beautiful top note, the best that the author has heard in eleven years of regularly attending performances at this venue. Her theatrical approach to the role avoids cloying fussiness or overplayed innocence. As she says in the interview alluded to above, Amina is a young woman who has taken the lover over another woman, the resentful Lisa, and knows exactly what she wants: Elvino’s love. And that's what we saw, a woman in love, firmly insisting on her innocence when she is unjustly treated and nobly forgiving when the mess of convoluted argument is clear. A brilliant singer and convincing actress.

The Composition

La Sonnambula

Libretto written in italian by Felice Romani, was first premiered on a Sunday on March 06 of 1831

Vincenzo Bellini

Short biography of the composer
Vincenzo Salvatore Carmelo Francesco Bellini (3 November 1801 – 23 September 1835) was an Italian opera composer, who was known for his long-flowing melodic lines for which he was named "the Swan of Catania". Many years later, in 1898, Giuseppe Verdi "praised the broad curves of Bellini's melody: 'there are extremely long melodies as no-one else had ever made before' " A large amount of what is known about Bellini's life and his activities comes from surviving letters—except for a short period—which were written over his lifetime to his friend Francesco Florimo, whom he had met as a fellow student in Naples and with whom he maintained a lifelong friendship. Other sources of information come from correspondence saved by other friends and business acquaintances. Bellini was the quintessential composer of the Italian bel canto era of the early 19th century, and his work has been summed up by the London critic Tim Ashley as: ... also hugely influential, as much admired by other composers as he was by the public. Verdi raved about his "long, long, long melodies ..." Wagner, who rarely liked anyone but himself, was spellbound by Bellini's almost uncanny ability to match music with text and psychology. Liszt and Chopin professed themselves fans. Of the 19th-century giants, only Berlioz demurred. Those musicologists who consider Bellini to be merely a melancholic tunesmith are now in the minority. In considering which of his operas can be seen to be his greatest successes over the almost two hundred years since his death, Il pirata laid much of the groundwork in 1827, achieving very early recognition in comparison to Donizetti's having written thirty operas before his major 1830 triumph with Anna Bolena. Both I Capuleti ed i Montecchi at La Fenice in 1830 and La sonnambula in Milan in 1831 reached new triumphal heights, although initially Norma, given at La Scala in 1831 did not fare as well until later performances elsewhere. "The genuine triumph" of I puritani in January 1835 in Paris capped a significant career. Certainly, Capuleti, La sonnambula, Norma, and I puritani are regularly performed today. After his initial success in Naples, most of the rest of his short life was spent outside of both Sicily and Naples, those years being followed with his living and composing in Milan and Northern Italy, and—after a visit to London—then came his final masterpiece in Paris, I puritani. Only nine months later, Bellini died in Puteaux, France at the age of 33.

Timeline

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