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The women are the real winners here
am 15. Juni 2006
The women are really excellent in this edition of the Marriage.
Eva Mei brings a heart-rending personal tone to her Countess-arias; Te Kanawa might have a more magnificant voice, but Mei brings tears to the eyes. She looks, also, like a Spanish Countess: one can understand people thinking that the Count should be interested in her, not Susanna. Also, her voice blends beautifully with Rey's - the "pine groves" duet is a true pleasure.
Von Magnus is an incredibly elegant and cool Marcellina. A very refreshing new interpretation of the role: and, again, what a voice!
The only modern Cherobino that can rival Nikiteanu is von Stade, especially when it comes to looks and presence. When I think of all the unconvincing small, unsexy women I have seen bounce about, singing with full, deep women's voices, in the part - but here we have a Cherobino who truly is seductive. She is very openly sexual around the Countess, too, which makes the various arias lots of fun to watch.
Vogel is very, very funny as Basilio: and again, cool and self-contained, a very new interpretation. Gilfry is very good, of course, although his comic talents are kept strictly under cover: I guess Flimm wanted to bring out the "serious, dark" side of the opera. - Chausson is weak, in my opinion. And too old for the part.
Staging: Of course, Flimm is, as always, perhaps a little hard to take: he sometimes overdoes it, adding slapstick when Mozart's own comedy is perfectly adequate. On the other hand, the actors move very, very well around the stage, sometimes dancing a few steps to the music which is (given, e.g., von Magnus's elegance) surprisingly appropriate and enjoyable.
Conductor, orchestration: Exquisite. And NOTE THIS! Marcellina's and Basilio's last arias are included, for once, and are very, very well done.  They are FUN.