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Xavier Pujol





Chroniqueur depuis le 20 April 2015

Toutes ses chroniques . 44

The Return of the Old Paper Aida at Gran Teatre del Liceu

Xavier Pujol

Aida - the opera which with over 450 performances is by large the most performed at Liceu - has come back once more to the Barcelonan theatre in a unique staging that belongs to the history of the theatre: the old paper set by stage designer Josep Mestres Cabanes (1898-1990). Aida (c) A. Bofill Aida (c) A. Bofill Mestres Cabanes, master of perspective and scenography trompe-l’oeil, spent 8 years painting this set. This was premiered in 1945 and was used regularly...

Cavalleria - Pagliacci: Alagna's Great Tour de Force

Xavier Pujol

Christmas is coming and Liceu, like many other theatres, has decided once again to offer an attractive programme for the non-specialised audiences, who on these festive dates decide, perhaps for the only time in the season, to go for one night at the opera. On this occasion, the offer has consisted in the traditional double act integrated by Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci, the famous pair of short verismo operas, which tradition has transformed into an unbreakable matrimony. In...

Liceu: Rescuing Doña Francisquita

Xavier Pujol

It is not easy to explain what Doña Francisquita is, what it represents, or bring some clarity to the huge weight of the various connotations hanging on this title to the extreme of almost crashing it and making it impossible. To begin with, Doña Francisquita – premiered in Madrid in 1923 – is not an opera but a zarzuela, meaning a musical piece which, as in the German signspiel, combines spoken and sung parts. Moreover, Doña Francisquita, is Catalan...

Liceu: Turandot, a Symbol

Xavier Pujol

Turandot was the opera that would have been going on stage when the theatre was destroyed in a fire in January 1994. Embodying a spirit of continuity, Turandot was chosen to inaugurate the new theatre rebuilt in 1999. Now, on the 20th anniversary of Liceu’s re-inauguration, Puccini’s last opera was again the title selected to open the new season. Turandot, an opera which historically did not have any particularly significant relationship with the theatre has become, due to the...

Radvanovsky and Beczala shine in Luisa Miller at Liceu

Xavier Pujol

Once again, the season at Liceu comes to a close and, very importantly, Christina Scheppelmann’s era as artistic director of the Barcelonan theatre ends as well. She will be the new artistic director at the Seattle Opera from August. Having been leading Liceu for the last five years and having had to face grave economic limitations, she has nevertheless left important landmarks for Liceu’s artistic history such as Benvenuto Cellini, the celebrated Andrea Chénier with...

Schrott: Ideal Scarpia in Tosca at Liceu

Xavier Pujol

The musical power and dramatic efficacy of Tosca are such that it survives almost all the productions that have been made of it – not always with the same success. The restaging of the Tosca co-production by Liceu and Teatro de la Maestranza from Sevilla, which was already seen in 2014, wasn’t a good idea. The production – dramatically conventional and visually extravagant – was ugly and sad back then and continues to be so despite the changes that have been...