So it was Adriana in Berlin

How should I put it? It was enchanting. The music, the voices, everything. It was that kind of performance that took my breath away. Literally. Even if it was opera in concert, the artists on stage knew how to deliver it. Adriana and Maurizio build up their love story, Michonnet suffers but supports Adriana, Principessa de Buillon interferes and ruins everything. The music is absolutely beautiful. All the four acts contain traces of the two important arias in act I, L’umile ancella and Dolicissima effigie. Sometimes she sings on his tune, in exchange he uses hers and sometimes else the orchestra plays them both as passage between the scenes.


L’umile ancella is Adriana’s first aria. As in Simon Boccanegra, the soprano enters the stage and has to sing a very difficult aria. It was so touching. Those soft, long…almost endlessles notes (by the way, where is all that air coming from? I have to breathe three times on one of Angela’s long notes) also broth the first tears in my eyes. Somebody gave me an idea today of how to define that voice. I’m quoting: “it’s like melting silk”. Those were soon followed by others when Jonas sung La Dolcissima effigie. And everything culminates with the their duet. Did I see sparks? Oh, YES. “See”, as the sparks were actually felt. With every note, movement, look. These two voices really match perfectly. And think that this was the first evening. The more they sing the opera, the better it will sound. I just listen to it and I started counting down the days to London. But going back to Adriana…

Act II allows the mezzo to show off. And Mrs Anna Smirnova made the audience cheer a lot after her first aria. What a deep and clear voice! The confrontation between Adriana and her, in the end of act II is very powerful. As if two strong wills, two women fight for the love of their lives. Here the orchestra has a great merit. The support is 100%. And think that the singers don’t actually move from their places. They all used scores, so they were standing in front their music racks.

The center piece in act III is Adriana’s monologue. Adriana uses the final lines of a fragment of Phaedra to make a headstrong attack on the Princess. The intensity rises with every word and Angela is soooo into what she’s saying there. You should have seen her. As she tends to move a lot (especially large gestures with her hands) and the space in between the conductor (she got the first rack on his left) and Jonas, most of the times she grabbed the crossbar that surrounds the conductor’s stage. Or she rose on her toes as she took the high notes. “Chedo in bonta di ritirarmi” she says and leaves the stage followed by the rest of the cast.

Act IV is the conclusion. First it’s Poveri fiori. Slow, melodious, gentle. The voice stresses on every word but with so much care and sadness at the same time. Adriana and Maurizio should have lived happily ever after, only that she dies. The moment Jonas entered the stage and they started singing my blood pressure went up and the tears came back. It was a normal reaction to what happened on the stage, both musically and visually. It was embroidery of love, sorrow, passion, concern. Those sounds in pianissimo are simply heart breaking. In a mixture of madness and lucidity Adriana declares her love … and dies. The orchestra has the difficult task to conclude this tragic moment. The sound stays low for a while, then raises and fades in the end. There were a few seconds of complete silence. Nobody moved in the hall. It was perfect. Lots of tears in the eyes of people around me. Which turned suddenly into very loud applauses. The entire cast came on stage again, and again. I wonder if at some point in time people will applaud so much that the opera could start from the beginning. Many times I had this feeling.. of not wanting to go back home, to be able to listen to it once again, right then.

A+ for Maestro Wizarmiliato and his orchestra. The concert master, the first cello, the dialogue between the flute and oboe and the solos of the bassoon were perfect. From time to time the music seemed too loud. I’d say it’s normal because they were on stage not in the pit. But take for example the end of the opera. Not a note above the voices when the voices were in piano. Also good interventions from the chorus, in the third act.

I only mentioned A&J so far. But all the others did a great job. Markus Brück as Michonnet, Stephen Bronk as the Prince, Burkhard Ulrich as Abbé de Chazeuil, Hulkar Sabirova as Mademoiselle Jouvenot and Katarina Bradic as Mademoiselle Dangeville. And of course, Anna Smirnova.

What else is there? Oh yes, Angela's outfits. A long, grey dress for the first two acts and a dark cherry, medium length one for the second part. You’ll see the photos 🙂

In the end I found myself unable to talk/think clearly and do things normally. And when I was supposed to say something, I couldn’t. Well, if I remember well, I said just “thank you”. Sorry L It’s my reaction to a performance like this one and to a certain voice. But all above is what I would have said. If I sit in a chair and I feel my heart beating faster and faster, it means that people on stage do a perfect job; that they believe in music and make us believe too.

So this is what I heard. I lived, loved and died with Adriana. And I tried to put the feelings into words for all those that would have like to be there but couldn't make it.

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