, September 2012
This production, directed with algebraic clarity by Christian Pade for Oper Frankfurt, in cooperation with the Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte di Montepulciano (where it was filmed live in 2010), is Sciarrino’s acknowledged favorite. Working with light and vertical slats, designer Alexander Lintl conjures up an abstract space that is part cage, part labyrinth. Contemporary clothes for the Guest and Servant contrast but do not war with the mixed Renaissance and samurai finery for the Malaspinas. Props are minimal — roses, a pair of fans (one red, one black), a sacrificial sword, a dagger. Blood flows sparingly, yet the scenes of carnage strike home.
Acting at arm’s length, even eye to eye, the singers convey a sometimes baffled yet mesmerizing complicity. Christian Miedl imbues the skittish, insinuating baritone lines of the jealous husband with febrile self-doubt. Nina Tarandek — her mezzo sound fresh and smooth, her face a sphinx’s mask of fathomless ingenue radiance — transports the errant wife beyond guilt and innocence. As the Guest, Roland Schneider, a countertenor, begins in the tessitura of a tenor before levitating to heights of mellifluous ecstasy. In the tiny tenor part of the Servant, Simon Bode makes every note count. So do the instrumentalists of the superb Ensemble Algoritmo, under the exacting direction of Marco Angius. © 2012 Opera News Read complete review