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Review – Mercadante’s “Francesca da Rimini” at the Tyrolean Earl’s Festival: A Feast for Truffle Hunters |  News and criticism |  BR Classic

Review – Mercadante’s “Francesca da Rimini” at the Tyrolean Earl’s Festival: A Feast for Truffle Hunters | News and criticism | BR Classic

Review – “Francesca da Rimini” by Mercadante at the Tyrolean Festival Erl

A feast for truffle hunters

12/29/2022 By Jorn Florian Fuchs

“Francesca da Rimini” by Saverio Mercadante is extremely rare. Almost 200 years after its creation, the opera is now celebrating its premiere at the Earl’s Tyrolean Festival. Hans Walter Richter bases his production on a mixture of thriller and psychological study. This is how it works.

Photo credit: © Xiomara Bender / Tyrolean Festival Erl

Colleagues talk about the premiere

Saverio Mercadante, the central star of the so-called “Neapolitan school”, set an episode of Dante’s “Divine Comedy” to music: Francesca returns to the ugly Lanciotto for reasons of force tactics. For her approval, they show her his handsome brother Paolo before the wedding and – someone suspects it – the two fall in love and eventually must lose their lives.

Between sprawling bel canto and Verdi

A woman is singing in bed surrounded by many women who are looking at her.  |  Image credit: Xiomara Bender“Francesca da Rimini” at the Erl | Tyrolean Festival Image credit: Xiomara Bender

Known and appreciated by many opera lovers Riccardo Zandunay’s 100-year-old opera About this material Mercadante’s version was written in 1831 but premiered in Italy in 2016. There may have been a fight between the singers at the planned premiere and the work was gathering dust in the archives. Anyone who listens to an Erl Mercadante piece—it oscillates between sprawling bel canto and somber Verdi-driven vocal powers—will stay on the ball for a full three hours. Because the composer constantly brings back the orchestral dextrose immediately after the sugar candy songs of love and longing.

Exciting question marks

Giuliano Carella, who conducted the Tyrolean Festival Orchestra, did an outstanding job and became an advocate of the piece in more ways than one. He’s trying to forcefully convince us that audio masses have to be this way. You actually love listening, but you keep asking yourself why it takes about three hours of music for the rather short plot. Dramatically, some question marks remain here, especially since the second part of two acts stretches, just as the heroes and the play are about to die, but badly.

opera “Gothic novel”

A woman disguised as a man brings flowers to the bed of a sick woman.  |  Image credit: Xiomara BenderMezzo-soprano Carolina Macotta as Paolo | Image credit: Xiomara Bender

Hans Walter Richter In its presentation, it relies on a mixture of thriller and psychological study, with some sharp moments, but also a lot of stalemate and more decorative ideas such as dancing doubles. The stage designer, Johannes Layacker, created a predominantly black and white room, sometimes it snows in the back, then the fog rolls in again – a solid room Gothic novel. The mezzo-soprano Karolina Makuła is terrific as Paolo, a breeches role, Theo Lebow’s Lanciotto needs a little pre-heating in order to be both poignant and unsettling for its picturesque malice. Anna Nakhmis, who recently joined the troupe in Frankfurt, seems a little overwhelmed with the title role. Its charming and sweet tones are quite out of proportion to the large, suffering title character, and there are also problems with intonation.

More offers

Of course, it is not necessary to rewrite the history of music with the rediscovery of Francesca da Rimini, but a visit is a must for truffle hunters. In January there will be two more opportunities to see the play in Earl, and then in Frankfurt from the end of February.

Broadcasting: “Allegro” on December 29, 2022 From 6.05 am on BR-KLASSIK

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