Barber’s Vanessa in Magdeburg: aunt, the pretty guy is for you


    snow is currently a popular symbol for disasters, whether climatic or psychological in nature. The outer icing of the interior corresponds to be Included, hopelessness, everything is in pretty images of flowing flakes or sharp icicle pack. “Is it snowing yet?”, also Gian Carlo Menotti Vanessa’s is because niece Erika questions as she pulls back, all alone in the top floor of the huge house.

    The, at times, a very popular Opera composer, wrote to his life companion Samuel Barber the Libretto for his first Opera, “Vanessa”, a bleak chamber play Strindberg or Ibsen-style, inspired by the “Seven Gothic Tales” by the Danish author Karen Blixen.

    In the head was the Librettist for work, but also Chekhov’s “cherry orchard”, the favorite piece of his friend. In the high North, Vanessa’s is deported to a lonely house, where for twenty years the return of her Lover Anatol. As in Oscar Wilde’s “picture of Dorian Gray” she has preserved her youth and beauty, as in Lorca’s “the house of Bernarda Alba” takes you on an iron Regiment, under the women of three generations, as in PoE’s “fall of the house of Usher”, in the case of a complete loss of reality, to the disintegration of a family.

    The Ensemble in the snow globe

    incentive enough for Karen Stone, Director of the Opera of Magdeburg, the rarely played work to accept that the two versions came in 1958, and in 1965 at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and held as a conservative in the young American Opera scene have often offended, but, especially in Europe, not more. Only in recent times we seem to discover the rarity (again). Substance enough for you but also for surreal fantasies, the dimensions of the Uncanny and Inexplicable. Not so in Magdeburg.

    Only the stage designer, Ulrich Schulz tries, in Symbol, by the whole is Done in a giant snow globe to play, and over-sized Windows, the views of iced, rough mountains permitted. And finally, it’s snowing, as I said, then. This could come in addition to the Unreality of the action under stress, a little tired insinuations. Otherwise, the Scenery is as bright as day, with a touch of luxury suitable for the stage of curved stairs and Plateaus, only a few lighting tricks to give her a little Frosty.

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    In such This-worldliness Stone proves to be a skillful, psychologically detail exactly ausdeutende people leader. The exquisite ensemble of Singers following her dramatic convincing. Noa Danon is the Vanessa the cooling-elegant, at the same time, hysterical-imperious stature with the inside glowing a high soprano.