PUCCINI Suor Angelica. Kristine Opolais, Lioba Braun, Nadezhda Serdyuk, Mojca Erdmann, WDR Rundfunkchor Koln, WDR Sinfonieorchester Koln / Andris Nelsons. Orfeo

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Puccini Suor Angelica Kristine Opolais Mojca Erdmann Andris Nelsons Orfeo

PUCCINI

Suor Angelica

Kristine Opolais

Mojca Erdmann

Andris Nelsons

Puccini’s 'Suor Angelica' used to be seen as one of the composer’s ‘problem children’. As the central work of 'Il Trittico', it is sandwiched between two dramatically more effective pieces: a tale of life in a convent and of the suicide of a mother robbed of her child, it simply could not hold its own against its sister works at their world première in New York. Various cuts sanctioned by Puccini testify to his concessions to the conventions of the opera business. Uncut, 'Suor Angelica' lasts just about an hour, and one often hears it in the concert hall today. With its restrained melancholy and mystical ambience, a concert performance does not diminish the impact of the title heroine and her moving fate. On the contrary, when Kristine Opolais sings Angelica – one of our most exciting young Puccini sopranos (fêted at Covent Garden in Madama Butterfly and in this role) – even a concert hall audience is moved to tears, as we can read in the reviews of her concert performances with the WDR Symphony Orchestra Köln conducted by her husband, Andris Nelsons.

Kristine Opolais’s uniquely shaded timbre, her clear sense of line and her subtle characterisation make Angelica a woman of flesh and blood. Andris Nelsons, too, explores the full breadth of Puccini’s musical language in this one-acter, from its formulaic sacred elements to its uninhibited outbursts of emotion. This becomes especially clear when Opolais’s character meets her adversary, the Princess [Lioba Braun] whose dramatic mezzo offers an extreme authoritarian portrait. Angelica’s sisters in the convent offer several of the best women’s voices from the WDR Radio Chorus welcome solo opportunities. This superb cast includes the luxurious voices of the dark-toned mezzosoprano Nadezhda Serdyuk as the stern Sister Monitor and of Mojca Erdmann’s clear, graceful soprano as Sister Genovieffa, who brings the greatest

sympathy for the plight of Angelica.

"The evening became a real triumph for Kristine Opolais in the title role. The soprano voice of the young Latvian, which was silvery and dramatically attractive in the finest pianos and also in open outbursts, always remained cultivated and nonetheless permeated deep into the soul. It was not only the female portion of the audience who very quickly were searching for the rescuing handkerchiefs." Das Opernglas, July 2011

"Kristine Opolais performed her part with a immense emotional momentum and powerful presence on the stage. The Latvian singer has great, very flexible and a colourful soprano, which is the ideal accoutrement for bel canto and verismo. With her silent grief and longing she moved the audience almost to tears, and with her fervidly blazing presentation of highly dramatic suffering she shook the audience most deeply.'' Julia Gaß, Emsdettener Volkszeitung, 22nd May 2011

Orfeo C848121A

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Box sets - Depending on the product packaging, box sets are not charged at the full rate.
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