Monday, 30 December 2019

Merry is the widow

I went to a 'concert performance' of Franz Lehár's Die lustige Witwe by the NSO. 
When Vienna meets Taipei... Hsueh-min had bought a ticket for me weeks ago, although I admit I went with some predjudice.
Two hours earlier, I had totally forgotten about it, occupied as I was with all the composing. A message from Hsueh-min woke up me. I nearly didn't go. Yes, what, or how could the NSO 'get' the Viennese style and not turn that poor - well, she's not poor, widow into am indigestible cream puff.
Some predjudices are made to be crushed. No regret at all. I was more than pleasantly surprised. Although just a concert performance, it was very cleverly staged by Jean-Michel Criqui with minimal prop and setting, a smart use of video projection to create the atmosphere and optimal use of the space on stage. The orchestra was beautifully conducted by Yin-Fang Chang who avoided the trap of indulging in sentimentality but instead brought out the sensuality and luxuriousness of the score with a hint of melancholy and yearning during the more intimate scenes and lost of gusto and peps for the comedic parts.
The singers rose up to the challenge and delivered a nuanced performance. Kudo in particular to Chan-Yu Yeh as Count Danillo. He's is as good a singer as he is a good actor. I remember seeing him in Richard Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos in a little role several years ago, and he already did impress me then. Glad that he's been given the lead part now. 
It was a delightful good evening and I'm glad I took the time off work to enjoy this evening full of wit, charm and beautiful music.

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