Columns linked to Gran Teatre del Liceu

An only correct Bohème is always a certain triumph

Xavier Pujol

For his version of La Bohème, created in 2009 for the English National  Opera and now shown at Liceu, Sir Jonathan Miller chose Paris in the thirties as its visual referent, the Paris that Cartier Bresson and Brassaï immortalised through photography. This is not the first time that the British director turns to well-known iconographic referents to visually frame an opera title. In 1982 he presented an inspired “mafia” Rigolettoset in Manhattan that became one...


I Capuleti e i Montecchi, DiDonato and Ciofi’s great success a...

Xavier Pujol

The dramatic intensity at the heart of Romeo and Juliet’s theme is such that not only can it travel in the Western culture from Shakespeare to Bernstein being reborn in each generation, but it also survives, almost intact, the heavy bel canto rhetoric.  Build upon Felice Romani’s inflamed verses up to a cliché, which at no point come from the Shakespearian referent (we only wish they did), I Capuleti e i Montecchi is still an imperfect Bellini that, although...


Boccanegra with an unexpected debut

Xavier Pujol

Barcelona. Gran Teatre del Liceu. 12/04/2016. Verdi, Simon Boccanegra. Leo Nucci, baritone. Barbara Frittoli, soprano. Josep Bros, tenor. Vitalij Kowaljow, bass. Àngel Òdena, baritone. Damián del Castillo, baritone. Francisco Vas, tenor. Raquel Lucena, soprano. Symphonic Orchestra of Gran Teatre del Liceu. Choir of Gran Teatre del Liceu. Massimo Zanetti, conductor. José Luís Gómez, stage director. Susana Gómez, rerun of the staging....


Götterdämmerung at the Liceu: Theorin, ideal Brünnhilde

Xavier Pujol

Amongst the performers that took part at the Götterdämmerung premiere at the Liceu the great highlight was the immense, anthological and unforgettable Brünnhilde by Iréne Theorin. Voice, power, dramatic engagement and understanding of the character put the Swedish soprano in a place to be considered one of the best Brünnhilde in the world, if not the best. Her final scene will remain in the memory of all for many years to come. The other...


Otello sinks into mediocrity

Xavier Pujol

Bad singing and worse staging. Otello, Verdi’s masterpiece with a libretto by Arrigo Boito – another masterpiece – and based on Shakespeare’s masterpiece, sank clumsily in its return to Liceu’s stage, after 10 years of absence. It isn’t easy to ruin three masterpieces, but in this occasion it was achieved.   Locating the opera in a refugee camp, besides resulting awkwardly fashionable, alters seriously the relationship and the balance...


Lucia di Lammermoor at Liceu: Florez, a “Di Bella Morte” tenor

Xavier Pujol

The main attraction of this Lucia di Lammermoor presented at Liceu, with 14 performances lasting until after Christmas, was the world’s debut of Juan Diego Flórez as Edgardo, one of the greatest bel canto roles, which the celebrated Peruvian tenor had not yet tackled. Nowadays, this opera is considered a “soprano opera”, but it has not always been this way. Since its premiere in 1835, with the great Gilbert Duprez in the main male character, and until the...