Din jurnalul unui tenor eseist
Despre cum e sa canti “Don Giovanni” pentru un public format exclusiv din copii si adolescenti la Royal Opera House, in condeiul stralucit al lui Ian Bostridge (Don Ottavio). Un extras din cartea lui – “A Singer’s Notebook” pe care v-o recomand din toata inima. Intamlplari si experiente din cariera lui Bostridge, motive pentru reflexii mult mai profunde despre stilistica, istorie, maniere de interpretare etc. Intr-o scriitura excelenta. Un scriitor, categoric.
“…it was nice to perform “Don Giovanni” to a Royal Opera House full of children and teenagers a few Thursdays ago, and to find it the most enlivening and inspiring experience.
Instead of the normal general rehearsal in the morning – more or less thickly populated by relatives, friends of the house and so on – we played to a seething, cheering, booing, gobsmacked crowd of school children form sixty-eight different schools who filled the red-plush house to its rafters. Or so it seemed to me. That they should be amazed by the display of sophisticated pyrotechnics that Francesca Zambello’s production conjures up for Don Giovanni descent into hell was hardly surprising. That a sentimental (in the best sense) and understated masterpiece of stillness like the aria “Dalla sua pace” would be attentively listened to and enthusiastically received was, however, reinvigorating.
The innocence of an audience of children is at one and the same time a little threatening and an opportunity. Art is artifice: contrived, artificial, mannered and, very often, an aquired taste. Performing something as apparently highfalutin as a Mozart opera, a cannonical work, if ever there was one, you are protected by the reverence that it holds around itself as an aura.
And the worry with an audience that doesn’t bring that reverence is that the emperor will be found to have no clothes. Every sung performance in my experince has that quality of the best stand–up comedy – of teetering on the edge of daring to be almost but not quite ridiculous – and children will not be too polite to laugh or yawn or fidget. Grown-ups, as concert – and opera – goers well know, tend to cough instead: mostly just as evident a sign of boredom and drifting attention, but one that is (on the whole) graciously afforded a viral alibi.
At the same time, the children who came to schools matinees at the Royal Opera House are well prepared by their teachers – something we’d all love to do when we go to a show, but which we often forgo for lack of time – and they don’t come with the negative baggage of thinking that ‘something Great is something Boring’. They take it as it is , and if anyone singing and playing gives of their best, and gives generously and authentically, they will be drown into unselfcounscious enjoyment.”
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