As well as spending time in Vienna, Classicalify crew also spent a weekend in Copenhagen. Main reason was to see Strauss' monumental and magic opera "Die Frau ohne schatten". And as we also like good combos, we spent a night with Irene Théorin as ice princess Turandot.
Two big operas, with big music, with big sopranos... Well, Die Frau was something extraordinary with star singers in the main roles and a production worthy any of the biggest houses or festivals in the world. Linda Watson as the Dyer's wife and James Johnson as the Dyer impressed us most. The Kaiser, Kaiserinn and Amme tried to do their best, but to Classicalify felt wrong-casted. Michael Schönwandt conducted with power and great feeling.
This production is the farewell to Copenhagen for Kasper Holten and Michael Schönwandt. Holten is taking over Covent Garden and Schönwandt is going to Amsterdam. Classicalify is looking forward to new and exciting performances in Copenhagen with new management.
Irene Théorin is known for roles of great magnitude like Brünnhilde and Isolde. Classicalify heard her as Turandot in Essen some years ago, and back then as well as now, she is no ideal Turandot. Her high notes (and there are some in Turandot as you know) tends to be on the sharper, shriekier side, and there is also a vobble we don't like. Her Calaf was Frank Porretta... just another tenor! The production is done with the Berio ending, which is a bore...
BUT, we did enjoy ONE singer in this "Turandot" performance, tenor Gert Henning-Jensen as Pang. His singing and acting made the night. When he went down in a split... we just adored him! What a guy!