Giacomo Puccini: “Suor Angelica”

That doesn't happen too often: opera in the Berlin Philharmonie! Puccini's one-act opera "Suor Angelica" was performed twice this weekend. Kirill Petrenko, the head of the orchestra, was at the podium. The vocal ensemble consisted mainly of students from the two Berlin music academies. Young people from Berlin schools sang in the chorus and the scholarship holders of the Karajan Academy sat in the orchestra. Nicola Hümpel staged Puccini's one-act opera with her directing troupe "Nico and the Navigators." The Japanese Yui Kawaguchi was also an outstanding expressive dancer. And there was an improvised stage: Oliver Proske, Nico Hümpel's partner in art and in life, did an excellent job. The opera "Suor Angelica" is set in a nunnery, and the singers are all women. Oliver Proske has virtually conceived the choir stalls of a convent and transformed them into a modern, reduced design. Two elongated white seating blocks, on which the nuns' seats were virtually designated, with a locked cabinet door under each seat for their belongings. Around these two rows of seats, the scenery played out ... Intensive guidance of the characters Director Nico Hümpel's character direction was quite intense. The nuns were very busy, all of them were constantly doing something with their hands, it was not always obvious what they were doing, sorting scraps of cloth, some of them were also doing gymnastic exercises on the floor, the meaning of which was not always clear. But in any case, there was always something going on and it was not boring. Visualization of the action Nicola Hümpel and Oliver Proske have brought the story, which is set in the 19th century in a convent near Siena, into our time. The title character is a noblewoman who has been disowned by her family and forced into a convent because she gave birth to a child out of wedlock. During a visit to the convent by the Principessa, her aunt, she learns that this child is dead. Suor Angelica is then so shocked that she ends up taking her own life. The aunt - embodied, by the way, by the Swedish soprano Katarina Dalayman, the only seasoned singer in this production - is the only protagonist to wear a black dress, the nuns all wear white robes. And after Angelika's suicide, the aunt is seen at the end via video projection sitting in a fancy restaurant (i.e. foyer of the Philharmonic Hall) drinking prosecco. So she is a person who deliberately plunges others into misfortune and then celebrates this as a triumph, which is also said to exist today. So a comprehensible realization of the plot. Great vocal potential - Ann Toomey in the title role The young singers mastered the task excellently, even though they had to do a lot of acting while singing. Here, the "education idea" has really been exhausted, because the young people had to do everything here that they will have to do later in an opera ensemble. The chorus was also excellent! Most impressive, however, was the protagonist, US soprano Ann Toomey in the role of Suor Angelica. An absolutely great voice, one can still hear her youthfulness, but she is aware of her potential and works with it magnificently. She received minutes of applause. She was also the discovery of the evening because one could totally believe the emotions she embodied on the improvised stage - from the shock when she learns of the death of her son to the abysmal despair with which she then goes to her death - this was also great art in terms of acting! The orchestra - in places like the "real" Berliner Philharmoniker The 40 or so Karajan-Akademisten played so homogeneously that one could have thought, if one had closed one's eyes, that the "real" Berliner Philharmoniker were sitting there. A warm, at some points spherical string sound that did absolute justice to Puccini's lyrical music. Although a version for reduced orchestra had been chosen. Kirill Petrenko evoked moments that were very touching, that went under the skin. This showed once again what a brilliant sound magician he is! An absolutely great evening! The never-ending applause at the end spoke volumes.

<< Back to press overview

Date Notification

Tickets for this date are not available yet. Leave your mail adress to get notified when tickets are available.