Friday, May 02, 2008

Male Altos don't grow on trees

..especially in Lithuania. Would they need a specialist teacher in their education? Tonight's Orfeo (reviewed here before) had at least two different vocal soloists and a dance soloist.

Strangely, Yaniv D'Or is also an Israeli, like Alon Harari, who sang the role last time. He describes himself as a countertenor, but gee, he hit the high spots (did Gluck really write so high in the first act?). Is it something in the water in Israel? I thought the famous aria could have done with a bit more 'sobbing' during the aria rather than afterwards. On the whole he could have acted with more emotion; on the other hand, he does have a beautiful voice, was clearly audible, and was generally spot on (one aria seemed to have a surfeit of suspensions, but looking at the score, these were written. So that's all right.)

Regina Silinskaite was Euridice was all right; nothing to set the heather alight, but sound. Poor Jurgita Lopetaite as Amor did all her singing suspended from the ceiling, and it seemed that at the end she was not removed from the stage as early as she would have preferred.

Strange stuff, though, about Egle Spokaite. Formerly (still?) the Prima Ballerina, almost the Assoluta of Lithuanian Ballet, she was advertised as the dancer. (In the January performance, the dancer, a different person, was advertised as 'participating'. Bit of a difference there). Egle wafted all over the stage all the time; mostly representing the feeling of Euridice that still was with Orfeo; though she was also the one blessed spirit (with four apprentices following her). I'm sorry to say that, although Ms Spokaite is/was a fabulous dancer, often her dances are much of a muchness. She always does some thing pointing her left index finger in the air, when she dances people who go mad, the hair is let out, and there are a lot of other movements by which you recognise her. I don't like this. The dancing, if it has to be, should be about the piece being performed and not about the dancer. There's also the applause discrepancy - the singers bow, the dancer takes forever waving arms through the air, bending knees, getting back up, waving a bit more - It's a bit off. I honest can't remember a dancer being so involved in this show before. Strange.

The orchestra did not bad, apart from the oboist losing a beautiful legato moment in the overture (this is classical music, forget the 'one affekt per piece' of baroque music), and the flautist doing likewise during the dance of the blessed spirit bit. There was also some ineffectual rattling of tambourins at the end of the piece, but never mind.

But why was the interval in the middle of the second act, between the furies and the blessed spirits?