mardi 6 novembre 2012

Ranting about Samson and Delila

I attended yesterday's dress rehearsal of Samson and Delila at the Geneva Grand Théatre. This was below what this place has produced in the past.

French dignitary conductor Michel Plasson's tempis were slow and untheatrical and his beat was quite imprecise. This is indeed a dress rehearsal but the overall level was not where the OSR normally played. I was really sorry for the poor Mezzo Malgorzata Walewska who did as fine a job as it is possible in the circumstances. 

The producer Patrick Kinmonth joins the huge group of people who have designed costumes and scenery and cannot graduate as producers. His main concept was to stage Samson at the time where the work was written. Nothing wrong with the idea but Personen Regie was inexistant and the overall scenes were confused and without real meaning.

As always, the Geneva chorus comes out strongly. Let us not forget that the beginning of the work allows them to sing some of the finest music in the piece. But the highlight was Latvian Tenor
Aleksandrs Antonenko. He is the strongest dramatic tenor I have heard since say a Domingo. The tone is big yet there are no tensions. His phrasing is musical and his stage presence quite effective. Catch him whenever you can and let us hope he does not oversing.