(Quebec) One recognizes without difficulty the button Robert Lepage in the originality and ingenuity of the staging of the opera “L’amour de loin” by Kaija Saarihao the work presented yesterday headlining 5th Festival Opera de Québec.
The beginning of the show has something magical in its simplicity. Small flashes come and thrust the scene of darkness on a pace that is synchronized with the vibraphone. A few in the beginning, these bright points become thousands who eventually create a impression of immensity. Abstraction and illusion born of the sea. The device is perfectly mastered. It reflects the shimmer of water in an almost infinite scale of nuance and shades. To ensure a clear understanding of what it is, a puppet through the backdrop by simulating the passage of the Pilgrim on his boat.
The set design fits perfectly with the musical intention and respecting its finest punctuation, she just lay on the partition new light, it seems. The work of Kaija Saarihao never seemed so captivating that opening night.
A motorized gateway enables soloists to move vertically and horizontally above the LED Sea. You could say they are sailing well inside the proscenium. This mechanical funny has an obvious quality, that of bringing singers of the room. The sound balance between the tray and the pit is perfectly respected.
The baritone Phillip Addis truly embodies the troubadour Rudel Jaufré. The quality of his game is superb and his voice goes up spectators without any apparent effort.
Tamara Mumford slips into the skin of the Pilgrim with equal credibility. The second table of Act II, the one where the Pilgrim sings the songs Jaufré Clemence, is the most successful time musically and dramatically speaking. The participation of the choir here, adds a note of wonderful quite stunning. Erin Wall lent her beautiful round brilliant highs and the character of Clémence.
Under the strong leadership of Chief Ernest Martinez Izquierdo, the Quebec Symphony Orchestra plays with firmness, without any heaviness, yet the thick partition Kaija Saariaho. Often believed hear chamber music that is so transparent. The choir of the Opéra de Québec has also delivered an impressive performance considering the technical challenge that the company represented.
QUEBEC FESTIVAL OPERA. “L’amour de loin”, opera in five acts by Kaija Saariaho. Booklet: Amin Maalouf. Director: Robert Lepage. Assistant to the director: Sybille Wilson. Designer of sets, costumes and accessories: Michael Curry. Lighting Designer: Kevin Adams. Designer pictures: Lionel Arnould. Conductor: Ernest Martinez-Izquierdo. Jaufré Rudel: Phillip Addis, baritone. Clemence: Erin Wall, soprano. The Pilgrim: Tamara Mumford, mezzo-soprano. With the Opera Choir of Quebec and the Quebec Symphony Orchestra. Last night at the Salle Louis-Fréchette. Presented again tomorrow, Monday and Wednesday at 20h.