lunes, 29 de octubre de 2018
Mariella Devia in Teatro Real, Madrid. October 28, 2018.
After her successful 2015 performances as Elisabetta in Roberto Devereux and an splendid 2016 performance as Norma, and very close to the end of her career, Mariella Devia has sung her farewell concert to Teatro Real in a Donizetti Tudor Queens Gala. This Gala featured both the Overture and Finale to the operas Anna Bolena in the first part and Maria Stuarda in the second part.
Devia is the last italian belcantist soprano, and with Edita Gruberova, the last of some brave sopranos who sang Donizetti's Tudor Trilogy and succeded: Gencer, Caballé, Sills and both Devia and Gruberova, among few others.
At age 70, the grade of accomplishment still in her voice and style are simply astonishing. The pianissimo is still charming, her old style belcantism, her still amazing high notes (despite sometimes being just a bit troubled, a consequence of age) are just some of her vocal merits. Not every great artist is able to succeed singing main roles in his or her seventies.
Many of us were surprised to know the program. In many recitals, she has sung the three finales, including Roberto Devereux, but maybe because she had already sing it complete, it was excluded. However, we also know that a night of high-level belcanto was waiting for us.
Along with her, José Miguel Pérez-Sierra conducted the Teatro Real Orchestra and Chorus, improving as the show went by. For the finales, some soloists were brought: the bass Javier Franco (splendid Talbot), the tenor Alejandro del Cerro (a great Leicester), the mezzo-soprano Sandra Fernández (with a beautiful voice both for Smeton and Anna Kennedy), the baritone Gerardo Bullón and the tenor Emmanuel Faraldo.
The show, as well as the first part, started with the Overture to Anna Bolena. The orchestra got ready for the next scene. After the chorus sang, Devia entered and her first words Piangete voi? were sung with tenderness, to be followed by an unforgettable Al dolce guidami sung in pianissimo. The ending cabaletta Coppia Iniqua was sung with her great technique and her typical high notes in ei m'acquisti, giving a dramatic effect. She didn't give the final high note here, but it didn't matter.
The second part opened with a larger overture to Maria Stuarda, longer than the more known gallop-like prelude. After a chorus and a brief scene, Devia entered again to sing Di un cor che muore, and later with harp, in an ethereal singing. The final cabaletta Ah se un giorno da queste ritorte was the best moment in all the show, specially with the high notes in il flagello di un dio punitor, remarking the sadness and tragical destiny of Mary Stuart. She closed her scene with an amazing and powerful high note echoing in the hall. It is always a pleasure to hear her artistry on high register.
After this intense finale, the hall went into an outstanding ovation for Devia, and despite being called for many bows, she didn't sing any encore, probably due to the tireness after such scenes.
Anyway, this recital has been really at a high level, and Devia showed us that a timely retreat, with her voice still in good shape at 70, is a victory. For such wonderful opera nights and for being (with Gruberova) the latter exponent of a style of singing bel canto, we will always remember and miss her, as well as her artistry.
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