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Xavier Pujol





Chroniqueur depuis le 20 April 2015

Toutes ses chroniques . 25

Gran Teatre del Liceu: That old dear Elisir

Xavier Pujol

At times, opera can also be the art of nostalgia and of longing, referring not just to the voices. Liceu has once again restaged in its scene its own production of L’elisir d’amore, one of the most successful productions of the theatre, which has toured around bringing dignity to Liceu’s name.  The staging is signed by Mario Gas as stage director, who started his relationship with this title over 30 years ago. That production was the grandmother of the one...

Once again, the brillant excess of Tristan

Xavier Pujol

Excessive in every material and conceptual aspect, hypertrophic, beyond the limits of anything reasonable, redundant in the text to desperation, with a minimal dramatic action that tests the ingenuity and patience of stage directors, with terrible vocal demands, inhumane for the protagonists. Exhausting for everyone, audience included, the Wagnerian Tristan und Isolde is in its overflow one of the most sublime and genius excesses created by Western culture. Once again we have been put...

An ugly, disoriented and only half well sung Ballo

Xavier Pujol

The overall result of the Un ballo in maschera’s opening at Liceu – presented as the official opening of the season, although the season had de facto already started last month with Il viaggio a Reims – is clear: the men and choir were good, less so the women, passable the conductor and orchestra, ugly and dark the production and very poor the stage direction. Let’s start with what went well. Carlos Álvarez is at the best moment of his career, already...

Il viaggio a Reims at the Liceu: A light and easy appetiser

Xavier Pujol

Liceu has resumed its activity with Il viaggio a Reims, an unusual title for a season opening. We need to consider however that these performances, despite being the first ones, do not have the ‘official’ opening character that will arrive at the beginning of October with Un ballo in maschera.  But why is Il viaggio a Reims not an appropriate title to open the season? Because, to start with, dramatically it isn’t a proper opera but rather a sort of scenic cantata...

Il Trovatore at the Liceu: The best was the bad guy

Xavier Pujol

Yet another title from Verdi’s “popular trilogy” at Liceu. We had Rigoletto in March and now, to close the season, Il Trovatore. Betting repeatedlyfor the most popular operas can be dangerous: whilst it is true that they bring with them a full house, they also generate disproportionate expectations in an audience that know them (of thinks to know them) by heart and who wish – often in vain – to listen on stage to the results that tend to belongmore to the...

Don Giovanni at the Liceu: an impossible opera?

Xavier Pujol

It has often been said, in a variety of ways and with a range of argumentations, that Don Giovanni belongs to the limited group of ‘impossible operas’ or ‘trap operas’ in the sense that they are so big, perfect and powerful, and their deep subject – rather than their superficial plot – is so transcendental that, on one hand they are almost always bigger than their performers, and on the other hand they also generate such perfection expectations in the...