Nelsons, Calleja, Opolais, and the BRSO go Italian

I went to what sounded like it was going to be a fun summer concert and wrote about it for Bachtrack.

An old proverb names Munich as the northernmost city in Italy. As odd as this may seem, it makes some sense when considering the arches of the mock-Italian loggia in Odeonsplatz, modeled after the one in the Piazza della Signoria in Florence. It was fitting that this was the setting for the Klassik am Odeonsplatz’s final concert, a so-called “Notte Italiana” (“Italian night”), featuring the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks (BRSO) conducted by Andris Nelsons, along with soprano Kristine Opolais and tenor Joseph Calleja.

You can read the whole thing here. (Note: no actual Italians were involved in the performance of this concert, except if there are any in the orchestra or chorus.) Had this been in a proper concert hall I would have been pickier about the orchestral portion but for an open-air quasi-pops gig I thought it was pretty good. Also, in contrast to the singers. Opolais can be good, but this was an unfortunate outing made worse by a bad choice of repertoire, and Calleja looked and sounded a bit out of it. He seems to admit it:

You could tell. I’m approaching what I am calling Tenorama week (Calleja/Villazon/Kaufmann) and on that occasion will write something about the perils of this high-pressured fach.

I’m going to be in Munich for the next few weeks and frequenting various Festspiele events, starting with Cenerentola tonight and the Ring tomorrow. Odd combination but I suspect there is a very logical explanation having to do with set storage space or rehearsal time or something.

Photo copyright Michael Heeg.

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1 Comment

  1. I've never found Calleja dramatically engaging at the best of times although he does have a beautiful voice.

    Looking forward to your report on Tenorama week – I do have a soft spot for the species!