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8 may. 2011


Hoy, a las 25 h, tendrá lugar la segunda función del Werther de la ROH, con Rolando Villazón en el papel del desesperado protagonista. Espero mucho de esta tarde, porque la podré saborear con más tranquilidad, y porque estoy segura que Rolando saldrá aún con más seguridad y poderío que en el estreno, donde se sabia en el punto de mira de todo el mundo operístico. En el que, desde hacia muchos meses, circulaban insistentes rumores, siempre de "fuentes muy fiables", de que Rolando jamás cantaria ese Werther e incluso aventuraban el nombre de su sustituto. Ahora, esas mismas fuentes, han coincidido unánimemente en la brillantez y la calidad del Werther de Rolando.

Quiero aclarar que, si bien alguna crítica hace referencia a que Rolando tiene la voz más pequeña, a mi no me lo pareció en absoluto, más bien opino que se trata de esos tópicos que se difunden y se citan casi por costumbre. Al contrario, a diferencia de su Werther de La Bastille, con Susan Graham, semanas antes de saber que su problemas provenian de un quiste, esta vez la voz de Rolando sonó con volumen , y así llegó tambien hasta las filas superiores del teatro. Cierto es que tiene más control, pero no menos potencia, de la suya habitual, claro está.

La premiere del dia 5 ha tenido unas críticas excelentes, que os enlazo a continuación, junto con fotos publicadas en diversos medios. (link a la crítica entera después del cada párrafo)

Well, we underestimated his determination: Villazón not only got through a tense first night without mishap, he passed it with credit, and by the end of the evening we were reminded why this Mexican tenor caused such a sensation when he appeared on the scene seven years ago.

“Sun, flood me with your radiance”, he sings, the voice opening to its embrace, the sound melting away to rapturous effect. There is a childlike wonder to his singing which works like a charm here but one should never underestimate the vocal skill which enables him to achieve those affecting dynamic nuances, those subito piano effects achieved on the portamento. Or indeed the big-hearted intensity of feeling which finds release in the top C of act two’s thrilling climax.

Rolando Villazon made what I think it's fair to call a triumphant post-surgery return to Covent Garden tonight. In the title role of Werther, he displayed no worrying strain or cracks. He once described his voice as a horse that wanted to be ridden by a man - well tonight it was a perfectly-schooled prize dressage pony, with a glossy sheen.

The Mexican tenor, Rolando Villazon, came to this role fresh from throat surgery which had left his career in doubt, and he was nothing short of magnificent. His big, sad dog eyes and expressive eyebrows are perfect for the part, and his previous tendency to overact actually worked to his advantage as Werther's anguish grew.  He seemed to start a little tentatively, but as he warmed up and his confidence grew, his performance became more assured, his voice stronger, and the raw emotion in his singing was quite wondrous.

In the final act, when Werther and Charlotte – the perceptive, ardent-voiced French mezzo Sophie Koch – enjoy their desperate embrace, Villazón at last showed that sinewy excitement which first won him praise more than a decade ago. As the young Werther expired, hopeless and despairing, you felt Villazón could, with extreme caution, rise again and make quite a good recovery. All the cast, including Audun Iversen and Eri Nakamura, sang well but this was Villazón's night. He won lusty whoops, cheers and curtain calls. He certainly makes the operatic 

As demonstrated by the ovation that greeted his performance in the title-role, Mexican tenor Rolando Villazon (also a mentor in last year’s ITV series Popstar to Operastar) was the main draw in this first revival of the Royal Opera’s Werther, new in 2004. And the roaring applause was, mostly, richly deserved. Villazon may perhaps not be back at full vocal power, following the removal of a cyst from his vocal cords two years ago, but there’s plenty of expressive shading. This doesn’t always go for the acting, which - though he can tense and relax his entire body at the drop of a hat - sometimes turns towards the hammy.

In his romantic longings, Werther is a little too far along the continuum between mental health and insanity but Villazón just seems a bit sad most of the time. His familiar puppy-dog, lost boy charm lead to a very different sort of characterization, petulant and melancholy rather than imbued with any real tragic stature, but he’s affecting nonetheless.  It’s a careful and controlled performance, and it’s good to report that the voice seems in pretty good shape after recent troubles, if not the size it once was. 

El tenor, que sufrió una operación en las cuerdas vocales que hizo temer por su carrera, demostró en su debut en ese papel en Covent Garden un completo control de su instrumento, aunque no tenga el poder desbocado de antes. Villazón es claramente consciente de que debe cuidar su voz sin extralimitarse, recurriendo más a la técnica, y el resultado la noche del estreno fue una actuación a la vez mesurada y brillante.

Fotos: Catherine Ashmore

9 comentarios:

  1. i am so happy for rolando, he has had so many good reviews, and the uk press have been kind to him, i noticed before they were quick to put him down and kept refering back to his vocal problems, i hope he continues, to show the world, that he is back, and on top form xxxx

  2. Excelentes noticias nos envías Teresa y con unas muy hermosas fotos, ahora a esperar la crónica final, escrita por tu talento periodístico.

    Comentario aparte: me gustaría que los críticos dejaran de mencionar cada y una vez la famosa operación, el quiste, y etc. etc.
    Que hablen de su actuación, de su técnica, no es necesario remitirse al pasado evaluando un antes y un después.
    Este es Rolando hoy y como tal, hagan sus críticas.

  3. Wow, what amazing reviews. I am very proud of our Rolando to prove all those critics wrong, who were putting him down in the past. You go on like this, Rolando . Take good care of your horse. Thanks Teresa. Viva Mexicooooo!

  4. Ahí estamos, Rolando, en la cresta de la ola, gozando contigo tus bien ganados éxitos.

  5. Bueno, no sé si voy a escribir una crónica demasiado larga, pero, en todo caso, será ya desde Barcelona. El segundo Werther del domingo ha revalidado el éxito del primero, y espero poderos ofrecer algo interesante mañana.

  6. Bonnes critiques dans l'ensemble,pourquoi encore parler de l'opération !
    Rolando revient magnifique et c'est cela qui compte.

  7. Merci de tout ce que vous dites à propos de Rolando Villazon, Cet HOMME est extraordinaire et sa voix sublime et je pense avec de plus en plus de richesse. Françoise

  8. I remember me on a detail in a newspaper interview with BBC News in September 2010:
    …"Let me explain with emphasis", says Villazón, and his eyes burn. "The best years of my career are still ahead for me! My doctors confirming it, and my bodyfeeling as well. No matter what is being said, I have video footage of my surgery from my vocal cords, as they are now. The hard facts allow a very good prognosis."...

    The time has now come when at last the journalists and "anonymous writer" in a few obscure Internet forums have to accept that the time is over, to criticize and blaspheme over Rolando. If they does not like Rolando and his voice, they needs not to publish their opinion too!

    I think the best years are already there: highlights such as "L'Elisir" Vienna and Milano, Eugene Onegin in Berlin, Mexico tour, Mozart concert in Salzburg in January 2011 and now GTL concert in Barcelona and Werther in London !!!

    Dear Rolando, we wish you best healthy, much success! And send you our positive thoughts, our love and warmth and a big hug!

    Thank you, dear Teresa, for your big work, your excellent reports and your tireless activity around our beloved rolando and the blog.

    Cordial greetings from Vienna, Edith

  9. merci theresa pour tous ces documents sur la représentation , suis impatiente d'entendre mardi notre cher ténor !
    un remerciement à nathalie manfrino ,très belle sopran, amie de rolando , pour sa prestation samedi au tce dans "tous à l'opéra "! tout le tce chantait verdi à la fin !