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7 may. 2014

ROLANDO VILLAZÓN, MOZART CONCERT - CADOGAN HALL LONDON 6/05/14

foto: Kyoko

Many thanks to Sarah, Kyoko and Anne



Cadogan Hall is a beautifully restored early twentieth century former church with exquisite stained glass windows.  The auditorium inside has white walls and lots of windows and the subtle lighting used on stage makes it a wonderfully light and uplifting place for a concert.  There are only 900 seats so it is very intimate and has fantastic acoustics.


All these attributes were matched and used to the full by Rolando and the Kammerorchester Basel yesterday evening.

Rolando began with a very sweet rendition of 'Si mostra la sorte' which he sang with a tender warmth that had people sighing at the end.  He then sang 'Per peita, non ricercate' with a sombre intensity that fluctuated between attempted resignation and anguished despair.  You really had a sense of listening to a character's thoughts as he tried and failed to think his way free of a torturous situation and struggled with the dark emotions that afflicted him.

The next aria was 'Misero! O sogno' and 'Aura che intorno spiri' - in the first , Rolando painted the infernal prison that the character suffers with such vividness that you feel the walls starting to close in and the second he sang of the lost beloved with a plaintive, breath-taking beauty that floated through the hall like a dream.  But Mozart does not allow you to dwell in the beauty as the aria ends with the character vehemently railing against his fate with no hope of rescue.  The emotional load that Rolando brings to this aria makes you feel that you had followed the character through a whole opera and it evokes such beauty and terror that you feel distressed the character will be forever left in the darkness.  There was a tiny silence before the thunderous applause for this aria.

 After the interval, was the show-stopping 'Va, dal fuor portata' with vocal fireworks from Rolando who blazed through the aria like a small sun supported by an orchestral solar system.  The interconnectedness between Rolando and the orchestra in this aria was total.  There was fantastic contrast in the tone and delivery of the repeated phrases where Massimus at first presents himself as a reasonable and loving father to an erring daughter but then gives way to full-throated fury!  It was a roller-coaster of an aria where Rolando seemed to ride the waves of orchestra like a fearless championship surfer.

The audience were allowed to calm down with the Andante movement of the Prague symphony which made me imagine beautiful bouquets of colour flowering one after the other.

Next came 'Dove mai trovar quel ciglio'.  Rolando singled out two violinists as his potential deluded spouses alternating praises of one to the other and confiding his real thoughts to the audience.  The aria was sung with an infectious, effervescent relish that made you want to join in with the 'Baciamani caricati'.  A definite crowd-pleaser.

The last aria of the official programme was 'Or che il dover ... Tali e cotanti sono'.  This aria is unusual as it if not about love, betrayal or death(!) but a panegyric to an Archbishop.  For that reason It is not to me as emotionally appealing but Rolando turned it into an exquisite jewel which he turned and polished before us to show all its iridescent beauty.  There was a hypnotic quality to it that held the audience spell-bound.

Of course, the audience demanded as many encores as Rolando could provide and we were spoilt with 'Con ossequio, con rispetto' where Rolando explained the aria to the audience and began with great gusto but had to give up half-way through and start again, sheepishly confessing that he had forgotten the words!  His confusion was so comically played that the audience roared with laughter and cheered him onto a word-perfect second try.  Following this was the very funny 'Clarice cara mio sposa' with interjections from members of the orchestra and Rolando peering at them in mock-outrage as if trying to discover the culprits and pin-point just how dissension has set into the ranks!  As a final delightful surprise he sang 'Il mio tesoro' with such astonishing breath control that the lines that seemed to go on forever.  He received a greatly deserved standing ovation from a delighted audience.  I think I will dream about this concert forever.

Sarah


A great review in The Guardian: "Yet if Rolando Villazón is no longer the new Domingo, he is perhaps the new Villazón



video: Kyoko

foto: Anne


foto: Anne
foto: Anne

foto: Kyoko
foto: Kyoko
foto: Kyoko
foto: Kyoko
foto: Kyoko
foto: Kyoko
foto: Kyoko
foto: Kyoko

foto: Anne
foto: Anne
foto: Anne
foto: Anne
foto: Anne

9 comentarios:

  1. Thank you, Sarah, for your exquisitely detailed and perceptive chronicle of Rolando's glorious night. Once again, he shows how he possesses a rare complicity with his audience who "forgive" him (with great good humor) even when he forgets his lyrics. If anything, it must have added a certain charm and sweetness to an altogether luminous performance. Many thanks to Kyoko and Anne for the splendid video and photos and to Teresa for a lovely post.

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  2. Thank you so much Sarah and Anne - for the excellent photos and the delightful commentary. As I listen to these arias on CD I get the same feelings as you, Sarah - so I can only imagine how much more powerful it would have been in live concert! Thank you for making me feel part of the experience. Best Regards from Shelley in Australia.

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  3. Eleonore8/5/14 10:23

    Thank you Sarah for this beautiful, rich and emotional chronicle of an evening which is difficult to write in words, and Kyoko and Anne for the photos!

    The London concert was my fourth in the Mozart series and after each one, I felt it was the best. As every time when I hear the first notes of Rolando, in London too, I had the impression that I have never heard such a beautiful voice. I can only repeat the words of Sarah, in ‘Si mostra la sorte’ (and not only in this aria, but in all nine pieces), Rolando sang with an extremely sweet voice and an endless warmth. Throughout the whole evening and in each note, his voice shone with a limitless beauty.

    In London, Rolando gave us a second CD Mozart, this time live.

    THANK YOU, ROLANDO!

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  4. Danièle8/5/14 10:30

    Thank you Sarah for this so delightful report, and thank you so much to Kyoko and Anne for their so beautiful photos.

    I like theses words " Yet if Rolando Villazón is no longer the new Domingo, he is perhaps the new Villazón"


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  5. My apologies - in my earlier comment I did not thank Kyoko for the excellent photos. I missed your name in the credits Kyoko. Sorry - and thank you for the pictures!

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  6. thank you Sarah for your report, your journalistic contribution enlightens us about the fantastic London evening of Rolando. I think it is very brave of Rolando to stop singing, admit that he forgot the lyrics and then just continue his concert, relaxed as ever. That proves his great personality and his surety about his art. I envy you that you have been there live to hear and see him. But your written impression gives us the full atmosphere and enthusiasm of the evening as if we were all present with you !
    Thanks also to Anne and Kyoko for the nice pictures, especially the ones of Rolando at his signing session ! He always looks so relaxed and happy after the concert !

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  7. Big hugs to all the Villazonistas and thank you to Anne and Kyoko for the brilliant photos. Sarahxx

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  8. Catherincita9/5/14 15:16

    Thanks a lot, dear Sarah !Your report is as great as Rolando is...and I am so happy that he ends his Mozart "tournée" with another glorious concert.

    Many thanks to Kyoko and Anne for their wonderful photos and videos.
    Certainly VILLAZON remains VILLAZON, and fortunately ROLANDO remains ROLANDO...

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    Respuestas
    1. As great as Rolando is! No puede ser :) but thank you and viva Rolando!!!

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