Posts Tagged ‘Hrachuhí Bassénz’

Les Huguenots de Nuremberg

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

Martin Berner as the Comte de Nevers in Les Huguenots in Nuremberg

Published: July 5, 2014

NUREMBERG — In Tobias Kratzer’s new staging here of Les Huguenots, the Catholic Comte de Nevers is an artist, ostensibly a portraitist but reduced through wild daydreams to paint-hurling abstract expressionism. His subjects include other characters in Meyerbeer’s grand opéra, one result being that we are confined for the five acts to his studio, a Paris loft. No Chenonceaux, no bathing scene, no Cher, no Seine. As imagined by Nevers, Notre Dame’s gargoyles stir to life and religious carnage ensues. When the curtain falls on Act V, we glimpse his latest work, a depiction of the 1572 Massacre de la Saint-Barthélemy: thrown red paint on a white base. Social standings inevitably blur in this remix of librettist Scribe’s plan, not least that of Marguerite de Valois, would-be architect of Protestant-Catholic entente but now also patrone and farcical subject for the painter.

Guido Johannes Rumstadt led a trimmed version of the 1835 score Wednesday (July 2) at the genial 1,400-seat Staatstheater Nürnberg. He stressed momentum over Gallic refinement but accompanied attentively and built solid climaxes. The Staatsphilharmonie Nürnberg cooperated, with enthusiasm offset by some lapses in ensemble. The Chor des Staatstheaters marshalled discipline for its varied, tuneful duties, even when the staging undermined the effort — for instance during Jeunes beautés, the choeur dansé des baigneuses, which made no sense delivered with the ladies plonked on Nevers’ loft floor. Three of the seven principal roles were cast with singers of promise. Mezzo-soprano Judita Nagyová, as Urbain, brought firm focused sound and phrased elegantly, but her part was shortened. Hrachuhí Bassénz, a lustrous soprano (Valentine), and Uwe Stickert, a clarion high tenor (the Huguenot Raoul de Nangis), conveyed romantic urgency. The production moves to Nuremberg sister city Nice in a future season.

Photo © Jutta Missbach

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