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Operarecension: Suffering creates real splash of Italy at Göteborgoperan

When Lev Tolstoy already at the end of the 1860s ridiculed opera in ”War and peace” by setting operascenens the artful passions against the real that is going on in the salon, it was a signal of an upcoming and very successful realistic and naturalistic wave in literature and theatre. A new style in all the ideals which eventually reached even to the opera several decades later with the veristiska pionjärverken – mascagni's ”Cavalleria rusticana” (1890) and leoncavallo's ”Pagliacci” (1892), which immediately became international jättesuccéer.

Verismen (of the Italian word for truth) was, however, not a matter of course for the opera whose essence the based on a genuinely unrealistic elevation of the means of expression. What verism in the opera actually stands for is still not easy to call in if you are not satisfied with the wanted no omaskerat and genuine.

on how vague the concept is still to be found in the Göteborg opera's current motherland, where director Damiano Michieletto and conductor Pier Giorgio Morandi, both deeply rooted within the Italian operatraditionen, totally disagree on whether it veristiska living in the story itself or in the music.

Myself, I understand verismen on the basis of how it wants to unveil the illusory on both a dramatic and musical level. How to get the superscript to crack through the moment when a mask is torn off or a vowel melodilinje culminating in a vocalization, beyond the music. An almost animalistic cry, whose heart-rending effect even can get us to break together. As in ”the Godfather 3” where the film's tragic climax, accompanied by the right mascagni's music.

”Pagliacci”. Tomas Lind as Canio. Photo: Lennart Sjöberg

It helitalienska team that now presents mascagni's and leoncavallo's two one-acts at the göteborg opera, do it in a naturalistic scenmiljö where the church bells, fresh bread, holiday with angel wings and grown men crying after the mother evokes the atmosphere of a south Italian village which shall come to detonate of passion, jealousy and sudden death. A peaceful but also fateful atmosphere that prepares a to the first just lightly vibrates, it shall turn over in the most violent tremors.

also do their utmost to bring about these feelings. In the ”Cavalleria rusticana” is a gripping Annalena Persson as Santuzza, a wonderfully challenging Joachim Bäckström, a fine print to furious Åke Zetterström as Alfio and veteran Rosalind Plowright, who embodies the motherly avgrundskriet. The boundless grief.

When the after break is time for ”Pagliacci” is the incentive, so to speak, krattad of Tomas lind's sovereign design of Canios deliriska jealousy. And for a rock-solid Mats Persson in the role of the abomination's spineless Tonio. But perhaps most of all for the short notice inhoppande Carolina Sandgren to make his strongest film role ever as the desperate lovers but also terribly vulnerable Nedda. A truly great deeds!

the orchestra then gave the always magnifike maestro Morandi a touche was extremely well grounded. It really splashed all of Italy this opening night.

Read more texts by Martin Nyström, for example, if the ”rake's progress” at the Gothenburg concert hall.

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