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Xavier Pujol





Chroniqueur depuis le 20 April 2015

Toutes ses chroniques . 37

Anna Pirozzi saves La Gioconda that Irène Theorin didn't sing

Xavier Pujol

The debut of Iréne Theorin, one of the greatest Wagnerian sopranos of our time, on the title role was the main feature of the restaging of La Gioconda at Liceu. The opera by Amilcare Ponchielli – the only one by him remaining in the repertoire – moves very awkwardly, as it doesn’t fit anywhere, in the space in between post Verdi and Verism. This wasn’t possible. A few hours before the opening, the theatre announced that Iréne Theorin, still...

Rodelinda at the Liceu: Hell at Home

Xavier Pujol

With some notable exceptions, the most eminent of which is Beethoven’s Fidelio, the theme of maintaining marital loyalty, whilst morally so commendable, is theatrically utterly boring. Its opposite, instead, always affords interesting theatrical shambles which can range from the vaudeville to tragedy and everything in between. If Händel’s Rodelinda, a story about staunch marital loyalty, theatrically is not only tolerable but works rather well is because deep down it...

A New Opera: l'Enigma di Lea

Xavier Pujol

Finally, after many years, Liceu has hosted the world premiere of an opera, L’enigma di Lea by Benet Casablancas with text by Rafael Argullol. Casablancas, born in 1956, is one of the main current Catalan composers. Although his catalogue is long and varied this is his first opera. Rafael Argullol, born in 1949, is a poet, novelist, philosopher, essay writer and university professor in aesthetics and art theory. The piece, described by the librettist as a ‘mythical...

The Three Butterfly by Lianna Haroutounian

Xavier Pujol

Tradition states that Puccini is the operatic composer who better expressed the complexities of the feminine soul. Feminism might have something to say about this and might not agree much. What is true, however, is that the Puccinian female characters have a musical depth and theatrical density far greater than the masculine ones, who often tend to be more schematic and stereotypical. The dramatic weight difference between the feminine and the masculine characters, which starts...

L’italiana in Algeri at the Liceu: The Craziest Rossini

Xavier Pujol

Liceu has chosen L’italiana in Algeri by Rossini to close the year, an opera premiered in 1813 in Venice, which therefore precedes Il barbiere di Siviglia, La Cenerentola and Il Turco in Italia. This is and opera that reached Barcelona quickly, in 1815, but of which in two centuries only 13 performances have taken place. The last ones were in 1982 in a memorable production directed by the late Jean-Pierre Ponnelle. This work, with a libretto by Angelo Anelli, consists essentially...

The tragic, dark and terrible beauty of Kàtia Kabànova

Xavier Pujol

Kàtia Kabànova is an opera of a tragic, dark and terrible beauty: a woman trapped in a marriage that is unsatisfactory from all angles tries to find an exit to the vital suffocation she is feeling in the arms of a lover who is even weaker than her husband. The feelings of guilt and, above all, a tyrant perverse and dominating mother-in-law summarising an oppressing and asphyxiating social entourage, will be make sure to make impossible any other solution but the suicide...