It is exhausting to watch this overload back and forth, but it is so captivating, especially since the conductor Vladimir Yurovsky gestured extensively with his hands as if he was playing the famous theremin for “The Bride of Frankenstein”. As is known, this is an electronic device that reacts to movements. Wonderful how Jurowski allowed this vocal vortex to sway and screech, literally bathing in a blaring violin. This had the highest antique potential and retro charm.
If necessary, talking in buckets and cans helps
Perhaps this opera couldn’t be made better than what Simon Stone made clear: those who decided to do it should not be afraid of scattered film elements and distorted bass sounds from the afterlife. If necessary, talking in buckets or cans helps.
Among the soloists, Lithuanian soprano Usrinyi Stundito was primarily Hu Jin, whose ecstasy convinced her, but also Martin Winkler as the exorcist Barry Wolfgang Applinger Sperhake as the cunning commissioner of the King did their job very well, especially since speaking. The texts were sometimes long. Actor Robert Dole spoke of the prestigious, unfortunate, and lovable Grandiere, and Jordan Shanahan sang the role out of an orchestra pit, an emergency solution as actor Wolfgang Koch fell ill in no time. However, it was as intense as it was credible, also because of the well-trained choir, which was allowed to provide a Gregorian atmosphere.
All in all, it’s not a musical theater for the connoisseur at all, but for the curious and nostalgic. There is something to be said for old-fashioned shivering.
Again on 3 and 7 July 2022, as well as in March 2023 at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich.