Addition does not make the sum | Forum Opera

The staging of Daniel Benoin, familiar with the Nice scene, does not skimp on the means: luxury is the rule, down to the smallest detail, excess too, which can be justified by the drama. It is governed by the interlacing of two themes: the eminent place that women conquered a century ago, thanks to the war which deprived them of the presence of men, with the transposition of the action in the 1920s . Thus Macbeth and Banco return from war and discover that industrial and social power has escaped them. The witches, the central character, have become workers in a steelworks. Nicola Raab had already explored a related theme in Dijon last November (Ah! I don’t like the military). So let’s forget the witches, Birnam Forest, the castle. The director justifies his approach by writing that this period is “more apt to make the opera in question better understood”. Let’s accept the postulate, even if this mode of transposition according to the concerns of the moment raises questions. But then how to explain that the constant feast for the eyes

– apart from a few video effects – and that the beauty of the musical production does not succeed in fully convincing us? Addition does not add up. The project, coherent, is introduced, even before the prelude, by the obsessive hammering of a fine rain, which one will find regularly throughout the work (**). After the surprise, the effect seems free during repetitions. From the settlements framing the entrance to a foundry to the splendid Art Nouveau interior, the decorations are remarkable, fully enhanced by renewed and inventive lighting. There is little doubt that the author has ever seen a casting of cast iron and its reddening. Especially since the viscous mass looks more like slag, which the worker-witches handle… with a shovel. The beauty of the costumesNathalie Berard-Benoin

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, their variety, their very personalized research deserve to be underlined. From the outfits of Lady Macbeth to those of the guests at the banquet in the second act, the success is masterful.

Hallucinations of Macbeth © Dominique Joussein The director emphasizes the nightmarish aspect of the drift that affects the diabolical couple. To do this, the lighting and the video transport us into a fantastic, dreamlike world, the dramatic effectiveness of which is uncertain. More convincing are the projections, successful pastiches of films shot on the front lines during the Great War, which send us back to the horror that Ukraine is going through. The combination of these projections – realistic – with the decor, as with the videos, proves to be virtuoso. Until the end of the II (hallucination of Macbeth), one adheres. Next, the bias of the dramatic realization quickly finds its limits and it is difficult to follow.

As much as the obsessive multiplication of daggers falling from the sky is welcome, the reiteration of these vaporous trails, with the feeling of deja vu, alters the gait.

The desire to gratify us with the ballet (written for Paris) is appreciated, even if we are deprived of the pantomime of Hecate, and its artificial nature is obvious. The organized gesticulations of the worker-witches by way of choreography accentuate this unpleasant impression. Everything questions or dismays. There is no supernatural in this chorus of witches that opens III. The staging retains only the first verse (“Three times meows the cat in heat”) to justify the exhibition of the underwear worn by the worker witches under their blouses, before a lame man tries to remove them. get back to work, with the help of five guards whom they will master after having seduced them. Grotesque. We forget the musical and dramatic beauty of the voices of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in their great duet “Ora di morte”, so much does its visual translation run like a Grand Guignol, accompanied by the final shot fired by the impostor and criminal king.As soon as the curtain rises, the choir of witches, lively, powerful, clear, with exemplary articulation, frenzied in thebrilliant allegro , augured well for satisfaction. The musical promise will be fully kept. Men, messengers, assassins, will not be left out. The Nice Opera choir, prepared byGiulio Magnanini

, is worthy of the biggest stages. The “Patria oppressa” which opens the last act is still as expected as the “Va, pensiero”, by Nabucco. Even altered by the wanderings of men carrying shrouds who evacuate the corpses in front of the factory, the musical emotion is intense, where the orchestra and the singers are one. The distribution, luxurious too, has no weakness.Dalibor Jenis , recognized Verdian, gives us a nuanced, complex Macbeth. He finds the most accurate, sincere and moving accents for “Pietà, rispetto, onore”, the conduct of the line is admirable. Lady Macbeth is entrusted toSilvia Dalla Benetta , brave lyric soprano, familiar with the role. His brindisi (“If colmi il chalice”) imposes the character, even if the incarnation then finds its limits. The dramatic and vocal authority is undeniable, served by a solid instrument, with confident bass, comfortable in all registers, but insufficiently nuanced. If the great scene of somnambulism, which the doctor (a Geoffroy Buffiereimposing and placid) and the next (Marta Mari ), does not reach the expected emotion, neither the commitment nor the singing are in question.Giacomo Prestia , powerful bass, stands a magnificent Banco, the sacrificed friend. The timbre is dark like the unwavering legato. Macduff- Samuele Simoncini – is poignant, singsong a cappella his pain after the murder of his wife and children (“Ah, la paterna mano”). The other tenorDavid Astorga

, is Malcolm, son of Duncan. The voice, rounder, blends very well with that of the first, in their duet, vigorous, quivering with ardour. A beautiful moment. The theatricality of the orchestra, led by its principal conductor,Daniele Callegari

, is obvious from the prelude. It shows itself this evening in its best light: powerful, colorful, with a singular dynamic, ductile, finding the colors intimate as appalling. The raw steering reveals the slightest detail without ever sacrificing relentless dynamics. Just do we notice, here and there, a few imprecise attacks, linked to the tempi imposed by the conductor, trifles which will be swept away over the course of the performances, no doubt about it. His constant attention to singing results in an exemplary fusion of voices and orchestra.

Despite the pleasure of the senses, we feel a sense of incompleteness at the end of this luxurious production, where everyone has given the best of themselves, without the whole really finding its coherence.

punctually, in the scenes where the workers are grouped in front of the factory, one thinks of the Ringof Chéreau, to its tones and its lighting of


. (**) thus, the video that accompanies the final battle shows us a forest illuminated by a perfectly blue sky. However, the rain is dense, which is heard as a reminder.

We wish to say thanks to the writer of this write-up for this outstanding material

Addition does not make the sum | Forum Opera

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