Pappano`s Norma it certainly was tonight as a very flat,bland and meaningless direction from La Fura dels Baus put a damp squid on this Pappano’s first Bellini performance in London.
Thank God (see all those crucifixes) for Pappano’s music that gave a very static production at least some musical impulse from the pit.
A wondrous sounding Norma in Sonya Yoncheva replacing the originally proposed Anna Nebtrenko who just did not feel up to this monstrous role.
But oh how we yearned for some real dramatic partecipation alla Callas or even at this point alla Caballe.
An admirable Pollione was Joseph Calleja who also seemed oh so static.
Adalgisa was,on the other hand an excellent and much experienced Sonia Ganassi.
I remember going to the first festival of the” Valle d`Itria “in the wonderful town of Martina Franca in Puglia (the boot of Italy!).
I was invited by the British Council in the 1970`s to hear Grace Bumbry sing the role of Norma for the first time . I well remember the piano rehearsal in the courtyard of the Palazzo Ducale where the choir from Cambridge(the reason I had been invited ) had been engaged to take part.
The organisers I remember well for their unforgettable names of Archangelo and Messiah as befits the superstitious people of those parts in the depth of Italy.
La Bumbry was preparing the part of Norma because she had always sang the part of Adalgisa the mezzo.
However she had been engaged at Covent Garden,where I was tonight, to alternate with Montserrat Caballe in the title role of Norma.The genial but totally impractical idea was that they would alternate the two roles of Adalgisa and Norma ..
Of course in the end la Caballe had no intention of learning the secondary part and stuck to the title role as befits a real diva!
Wonderful orchestral playing tonight under Pappano that was the real motor that kept the train in motion from the pit as on stage it was painfully obvious that they had not much of a clue what they were doing and why they were doing it!
I read your remark about the piece I wrote about Destounis.
Many thanks for your offer to use your wonderful piano.
I just aim to give these very talented”kids” my opinion.
I have been going to as many concerts as possible since I was a schoolboy almost 60 years ago- can it really be !
I have also got to know some remarkable artists having invited many to play in my theatre in Rome over the past 30 years or more: Perlemuter,Cherkassky,Tureck,Nikolaeva,Annie Fischer,DeLarrocha ,Fou Ts’ong,Lympany,Katin,Foldes,Freire,Fialkowska etc ,some amazingly for the first time.
The Ghione theatre just by St Peter’s Square built and run by me and my remarkable actress wife Ileana Ghione for over thirty years .
There is no secret path but as Curzon would say the road to a successful performance is 90%work and 10% talent…….
How they do it is of almost no importance to me.
Today a real treat Pappano’s Norma at Covent Garden on their splendid Friday Rush tickets.
Fine della conversazione in chat
Digita un messaggio… had received a very complimentary comment that suggested I might like to show a young pianist Destounis the way.This was my reply:
Iyad Sughayer at St James`s Piccadilly.
Some remarkable piano playing from this young Jordanian Palestinian pianist student of that remarkable pianist/ teacher Murray McLachlan at the Royal Northern College of Music and at Chethams from a very early age.
Having taken his first lessons at they age of five with Mohammad Sidiq in Amman.
Now just arrived in London to perfect his notable talents with Martino Tirimo for a Masters Degree at Trinity Laban.
A real “lion of the keyboard” made his London entrance today with a programme of Mozart,Liszt and Khachaturian.
A born pianist as was apparent from the moment he sat at the piano .
His poise and elegance in the beautiful early Mozart sonata K.282 was enviable.
The cantabile sound right from the first note showed his musicianly credentials to the full
With this very difficult acoustic though it was difficult to enjoy the intricate details of which the seemingly sparse notes are full.
A slower ,more measured tempo would have allowed us to savour this early masterpiece in more detail.
In fact it was the sound world of Liszt on this very powerful Fazioli ,that allowed Iyad I. Sughayer to demonstrate his notable musicianship.
La Chapelle de Guillaume Tell was given a very majestic performance tightly kept under control.The beautiful Au Lac de Wallenstadt was played with an exquisite cantabile- I just wished we could have heard more of the rippling waves that accompanied the beautiful nocturne like melody.
The Pastorale was played with all the musicianly charm and sense of colour that rarely in Liszt we are treated too.
Let me say immediately that the highlight of the concert for me was undoubtedly the Andante tranquillo second movement of the Khachaturian Sonata.
Such exquisite sounds and sense of balance savoured by the pianist ,one could sense his total identification with this sound world.
The outer movements where his enviable virtuosity did not let us get more than a glance at the real detail of which this work abounds.
More than an enviable impression was not possible at this velocity with the St James `s notorious acoustic against him.
However it was a very impressive visiting card from this young virtuoso that I am sure we will be hearing a lot about in the future