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HomeOperaThe Opera Tattler: SF Symphony's Adriana Mater

The Opera Tattler: SF Symphony’s Adriana Mater


Saariho* Notes *
Composer Kaija Saariaho (pictured) died ultimate Friday on June 2, and San Francisco Symphony‘s presentation of her 2005 opera Adriana Mater ultimate night time confirmed what a profound loss that is. Her tune is wholly distinctive and could be very a lot a case for are living efficiency.

Saariaho grew to become Davies Corridor into an software, her sluggish transferring tune has a physicality this is like being surrounded by way of a huge sculpture that progressively seems after which dissipates. Maestro Esa-Pekka Salonen stored the orchestra very even and constant.  The piece has numerous percussion, greater than two dozen tools, which surely lend a hand create the soundscape that feels so cast and palpable. The brass sounded very transparent and the strings shimmered.

The opera, with libretto in French by way of Amin Maalouf, is about in provide day, in an unnamed nation at the precipice of battle. Adriana, a tender lady, rebuffs the advances of a tender ne’er-do-well Tsargo, and is later raped by way of him at house when her sister Refka is out. She turns into pregnant and helps to keep the kid, a son she names Yonas, however is tormented by way of fears that he’ll be like his father. When Yonas discovers his true paternity, he seeks revenge by way of taking Tsargo’s existence, however unearths he can not and thus proves to Adriana that he’s certainly her son, and her fears have been unfounded.

20230608_AdrianaMater_bhs_059Saariaho devoted this opera to Peter Sellars, who directed the sector premiere seventeen years in the past at Opéra Bastille in Paris with Salonen engaging in. Sellars is midway thru a 4 opera collection at San Francisco Symphony that can proceed subsequent yr with Arnold Schoenberg’s Erwartung. This new staging for Adriana Mater (Act II pictured, {photograph} by way of Brittany Hosea-Small) incorporated 4 platforms for the 4 important vocalists, two downstage, and two upstage. The orchestra is organized in a diagonal dividing the platforms in part, and the refrain is above however continues the diagonal by way of being degree proper. The lighting fixtures switches up from number one colours on other platforms, to completely inexperienced or purple relying at the tableau. The singers are all tremendous actors, I used to be particularly inspired how effectively mezzo-soprano Fleur Barron (Adriana) used to be ready to carry her frame in position for such lengthy classes and the way reworked she used to be from Act I the place she is a tender grownup to Act II when she has a completely grown son. The staging does come with 4 iPads with the tune for the singers, and I discovered this may once in a while take me out of the drama and the tune as a singer would flip the web page or raise the instrument to the ground if the choreograph demanded it.

The making a song used to be all very stunning, a fascinating distinction to the darkish and demanding content material of the opera. Baritone Christopher Purves is terrifying because the violent Tsargo, however his voice does have.a beautiful heat to it. Tenor Nicholas Phan is wrenching as son Yonas, his candy, shiny sound conveys numerous emotion. Soprano Axelle Fanyo additionally has a candy, complete tone and gave a centered efficiency as Adriana’s sister Refka. Barron is devastating within the name position, her deeply burnished mezzo embodied the ache of Adriana and her redemption.

* Tattling *
There used to be some mild speaking during the efficiency, which totally did not make sense to me, as this revel in used to be intense and immersive. An individual in Row T Seat 3 of Premier Orchestra stored having a look at her telephone in the second one act.

It appeared like virtually everybody I knew who loves opera used to be at this efficiency. Even soprano Nina Stemme and baritone Johan Reuter, who’re each in Die Frau Ohne Schatten over at San Francisco Opera have been in attendance.

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