Kulturkompasset | critics of culture events

Wonderful Natalie Dessay and Javier Camarena in La Somnambula

For the first time Opera Bastille presented the Vincenzo Bellini opera La Somnambula (1830) at Opera Bastille, premiere January 25th 2010. The history is based on a ballet vaudeville by Eugène Scribe and Delavigne
. Text by Felice Romani.

Natalie Dessay (Amina), foto: Julien Benhamou, Finale scene in La Somnambula by Vincenzo Bellini at Opera Bastille in aus 2010.

Natalie Dessay (Amina), foto: Julien Benhamou, Finale scene in La Somnambula by Vincenzo Bellini at Opera Bastille in aus 2010.

The work is a pure pastoral fantasy, Bellinis sensitivity fully expressed in the music. Far from the battles, royal quarrels and the grand figures of tragedy, Bellini this time places his heroine in a small Swiss village.  We meet the modest and charming Amina. In this version presented as a maid at the elegant hotel. She is the sleepwalker who escapes from her bedroom, becomes another person and wanders through the night.  In the title role, Amina, we enjoyed the brilliant coloratura soprano Natalia Dessay, The celestial score conjures a waking dream; the vocal lines are suspended in the heavens and the heroine’s very soul seems to shine through, while the instruments take on transparent watercolor hues. Elegy is omnipresent, including one of the repertoire´s most beautiful arias, “Ah non credea mirarti”, a miracle of astral poetry. As her bellowed Elvino the wonderful tenor Javiar Camarena, which was a great pleasure to enjoy in this beautiful opera, happily they are being married in the very end, after having passed a lot of entertaining difficulties. As Count Rodolfo, another guesting star, the great baritone Michele Pertussi.

As the mother of Amina we enjoyed the good mezzo-soprano Cornelia Oncioiu, and the jealous in owner Lisa was good performed and sung by the soprano Marie-Adeline Henry 

The performance was directed by Evelino Pidò. Who did a good job with the outstanding orchestra and choir from the French National Opera.

Natalie Dessay (Amina) and Javier Camarena (Elvino). foto Julien Benhamou.

The setting was made to a stylish high mountain hotel in Chamonix in the 1930, all of it was going on in the big dining room, from where we had a beautiful view to Mont Blanc, a good idea, as we could follow the moon, the snow storms, and the fantastic changing light in the high mountains.



The setting, décor and lighting by Marco Arturo Marelli was functioning splendid, he created very atmospheric scenes, and we understood it all. Dagmar Niefind has created costumes in the right style, the staff, the local people and the elegant guests at the society hotel. Patrick Marie Aubert has prepared his choir well for the many beautiful and big choir parts. We enjoyed it, and hope that this production can be at the Paris Opera repertoire for a long time.

The actual production was first produced for The State Opera in Vienna in 2001.   

Tagged as: , ,