I was not going to write a third review of a performance of August Everding’s production of Die Zauberflöte for the Berlin Staatsoper (no1 and no2), but then the experience of seeing it in the Schiller Theater was new for me. It works surprisingly well in the more “modern” auditorium, where everybody can see the sets from the right perspective. I don’t know if they have been “retouched”, but this time I did not have the impression of decay that I had last time.
It is impossible to compare from memory Julien Salemkour’s conducting back in 2009 and this evening’s performance. Back then the I wrote of egg-timer approach; this evening, the fast speeds seem more coherent, even if some numbers seemed entirely devoid of charm in the oversprightly beat (Bei Männer, for example). Although she still has the occasional intonation lapse, this was the best Pamina I have ever heard from Adriane Queiroz. Her voice is still on the rich side for Pamina, but she was able to keep it focused and light throughout, sounding unusually creamy-, fruity-toned and youthful. Anna Siminska’s soprano was so shallow in her first aria that I feared for the worst in her second one. As with every “professional” Queen of the Night, she could probably sing Der Hölle Rache in her sleep – and it sounded like that. Joel Prieto was almost ideally cast, ardently sung in his firm, spontaneous tenor. He did have some excessively open-toned moments in an almost Neapolitan way, but all in all he was one of the best Taminos I have recently seen. Even if Roman Trekel’s Papageno sounds even rougher these days, I cannot resist his boorish approach for the role – I am afraid I would trade a smoother tone for his truly funny performance. Alexander Vinogradov is an ample-voiced, stylish Sarastro. His extreme low notes were reliable if lacking a bit of space and he lacks the nobility of tone of a René Pape – a very commendable performance in any case.