Fasten your seat belt, 'cause it's Netrebko time...!
Let's set aside the bad stuffs, and concentrate on this: the very fact that Netrebko herself came to Berlin to do a concert of this wonderful piece of opera, too often fall out of most opera houses' program due to its short length, is a dream came true. Back in 2005, her version of Iolanta's aria as the opening track of "Russian Album" with Gergiev mesmerized us - an early prophecy? Anyway, the Russian repertoire is definitely safe in the hands of Netrebko for its long long legacy to be preserved.
Netrebko did fantastic that night. Brave, grand voice - soft and touching on sad moments. Viva Netrebko! Viva! Brava! Unstoppable...
Some of the cast that night (and of this whole 'Iolanta' tour across Europe) are good, some are not eligible enough to stand beside Netrebko. Vitalij Kowaljow is no question superb and suits his role. We got a clumsy Vaudemont , Sergey Skorokhodov, who almost tripped on one of the stairs on stage - yes, it shows. Vassily Savenko as Ebn-Hakia are very convincing. The rest are well, well, well...
In Philharmonie am Gasteig, Munich - after 'Iolanta' concert
The Slovenia Philarmonics, despite its "trials and tribulations" are indeed good. Villaume was definitely successful in delivering this play of emotion, from darkness to light, from blindness to a bright world - an adoration to God, just as the closing aria emplies, is what I felt the most.
Good news - this tour is a start of Netrebko's project portraying many (all?) roles in Russian operas, later released by the yellow label. Yes, I'm gonna grab one of those.