Pagliacci in Vienna
Today, (Februay 17, 2008), we had a remarkable Pagliacci performance at the Wiener Staatsoper - remarkable, but not exactly good.".
Cura sang Canio, and much to the surprise of the more knowledgeable part of the audience (the others didn't
of course realize anything), he also sang the Prologue instead of old, tired company pillar Georg Tichy (who
stepped in for equally old and tired Leo Nucci). Cura's remarkably intelligent rendition notwithstanding,
it was vocally inferior, not because it was too low for his voice (the low register is quite good) - but because
it was TOO HIGH for him. He was heavily booed. (Refer to for the prologue).
This was a little unfair (I think it's rewarding if one singer in a while DOES at least crazy & unusual things that were not so crazy and ususual in opera's better periods - Rosvaenge e.g. regularly sang the Prologue on stage), but not entirely unfair since the singing was so ugly. What was REALLY unfair, though, was the great excitement and applause at the end of the performance - his Canio was NOTHING better than his Prologue... I already heard Cura a couple of years ago as Canio, and he could barely be heard then. In the meantime, the voice has grown bigger, and he was being heard clearly except for the final. And well, I definitely preferred NOT to hear him (yes, also small voices have their benefits). What an ugly rattling, quivering and throaty sound he produces!
Turiddu was Peter Seiffert, and though his voice IS a wreck, he was much better than expected. He still produces,
much the opposite of Cura, a stunningly beautiful sound, and as long as the top register is not too heavily
involved, he still commands the art of being loud with a rather small voice but without forcing it.
And to my big surprise, his Italian is actually good, both pronounciation and musical style. On the other
hand, it's a pity to hear how he has ruined his voice - to the extent of being totally exhausted BEFORE this
very short role ends, the voice cracking every now and then from Viva il vino onwards, and with a terrible
wobble in the upper register.(Refer to No, no Turiddu & Mamma)
Ho-yoon Chung was Beppe. Definitely unremarkable. Nice timbre, but seems
trying hard to sound like Carreras, imitating all his faults.
HT note: H0-yoon Chung was praised as follows on the face book page of Grand-Tenori:
in ra format
Another name I would like considered is: Ho-yoon Chung. Mr. Chung has given some great performances as Rodolfo
and as the Italian Singer in Vienna. His technique is flawless and his voice is very nice to listen to. Thanks!
Brandon Gauby dixit
in ra format
in ra format
Cura, as a Baritone
I wish to thank Thomas Silverbörg for the recordings (Chenier, Samson).
I wish to thank Roberto Falcone for the recording (Trovatore) and the picture.