Israeli Opera on Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice
The opera was an arrogant attempt at improving on Gluck’s masterpiece.
ORFEO ED EURIDICE Photo: Yossi Zvecker
Orfeo ed Euridice, directed by Mariusz Trelinski with sets by Boris Kudlicka, at
the Israeli Opera, was an arrogant attempt at improving on Gluck’s
Such “improvement” is not what Gluck needs. What he needs is
a faithful transmission of his inspired score, Calzabigi’s libretto and their
original intent, without unjustifiable additions, omissions and distortions.
This is not what he got in this production.
This production’s central
mystery was that the action revolving around a cafe table, instead of the
Ambrosian Fields. Why? Because! The only apparent reason for this and other
scurrilous “strokes of genius” seemed to be the director’s need to have us
notice how original and sophisticated he is.
If modernity and
inventiveness are supposed to be symbolized by a cafe table and a personal
computer, one may as well let the primitive have its way.
The end of the
story was merely confusing. After Orfeo and Euridice had fervently embraced,
Euridice is then left to die because Orfeo, later, stole a forbidden glance at
her. Perhaps Trelinski preferred, for reasons of his own, to let his heroine rot
in hell, instead of restoring her to life and to her loving husband.
a pity for this talented and charming young singer who, left alive, could still
profitably have been used in future, more intelligent productions.
Orfeo, Yaniv d’Or seemed more concerned with displaying his admittedly appealing
bel canto countertenor than with expressing genuine grief. His aria Che faro
(“What shall I do without Euridice?”), the opera’s highlight, sounded too
theatrical to be credible.
Hila Baggio, as Euridice, represented the
perfect classical model of a “nudnik” spouse, which seemed to cost her no
special effort. No wonder that the weak-willed Orfeo/d’Or could not resist her
persuasive soprano and preferred to relieve himself of her oppressive presence
by returning her to hell where she belonged.
In the role of Amor, Dana
Marbach sounded – and looked – cute, but her listener- friendly soprano was
rather too weak for the opera hall.
One would like to hear her in a
chamber music recital.
In the Furies’ Choir, the Israeli Opera Chorus
sounded as though it was in an awful, indifferent hurry, instead of expressing
So did the Symphony Orchestra Rishon Lezion, conducted
with nonchalance by David Stern.