Sunday, January 13, 2013

Lakmé is an opera in three acts by the French composer Léo Delibes libretto by Edmond Gondinet and Philippe Gille, based on the novella of 1880 rarahu ou Le Mariage de Loti of Pierre Loti. Delibes wrote the music between 1881 and 1883 . Like many other French works from that period, also Lakmé captures the oriental atmosphere in vogue at the time: the work, in fact, is set in India during the period of domination of English.

The first performance took place at the Opéra-Comique in Paris on April 14 1883 with the soprano Marie van Zandt. In the UK the premiere was 6 June 1885 at the Gaiety Theatre (London). At the Metropolitan Opera House of New York premiere was in 1892 with the van Zandt and Edouard de Reszke and until 1947 had 63 performances.

At the Wiener Staatsoper premiere it was in 1904 , directed by Bruno Walter and until 1925 had 58 performances. At the Opéra-Comique in 1909 he reached 500 performances. At the Royal Opera House , Covent Garden in London will be on stage in 1910 for the Grand Opera Syndicate Limited. At the Opéra-Comique in 1931 he reached 1,000 performances. At the San Francisco Opera it was staged in 1934 directed by Gaetano Merola with Ezio Pinza .

The Grand Theatre of Geneva was staged in 1945 .The duet Lakme-Mallika, known as the Flower Duet , is the page most famous work, also due to its repeated use in advertising and film. However, the air "Où va la jeune Hindoue?" notes as "air bells", the second act, is considered to be an excellent piece for soprano coloratura given the incredible difficulty of the song due not only to sopracuti but also agility. The opera is set in India under British rule, during which many Hindus were forced to practice their religion in secret and underground.

Hindus are going to perform their rituals in a temple by the high priest Nilakantha. Lakmé, the young daughter of Nilakantha, and her servant Mallika have lingered to go down to the river to collect flowers. Before entering the water, Lakmé takes off her jewels and their supporters on the riverbank. Two British officers, Frédéric and Gérald, coming close to a picnic along with two English girls and their governess. The girls see the Indian jewelry and Gérald makes some pencil drawings. Shortly after Gérald sees Lakme and Mallika back and hides.

Mallika leaves Lakmé alone for a while 'and Lakmé sees Gérald. For the fear of the stranger cries for help. However, it is curious about the man in uniform and thus leads via Lakmé Mallika when rushes to the screams. Lakmé and Gérald fall in love. Gérald enters home of Lakme when the father is away. When the high priest Nilakantha part, Lakme, to hide, he flees Gérald ago, but it was too late: his father saw him and decided to kill him.In a bazaar, Nilakantha forces Lakmé to sing the Air bells to attract the attention of the man who came into their home.

Gérald, not far, recognizes the voice of the beloved and approaches. Recognizing, Nilakantha stabs Gérald. Lakmé takes Gérald and takes him to a secret hideout in the forest to cure his injury.Lakme, and recovers the sacred water to confirm their vows as lovers, meets Frédéric, another British officer, who reminds her that Gerald should go back to the regiment. Desperate to have lost him, Lakme commits suicide by poisoning, while the beloved, weakened by injury, the coil in the arm.The duet Lakme-Mallika, popularly known as the Flower Duet , was often used as the soundtrack for TV commercials for example for the company British Airways.

A piano reduction of the Flower Duet is part of the soundtrack of the movie The Hunger by Tony Scott (1983). During the intro of an episode of The L Word is played the duet of flowers. The Lakmé duet Mallika, known as the Flower Duet, is the page most famous work, also thanks to its repeated use in advertising and film. The only time where the Lakmé by Léo Delibes was represented in Chile until now dates back to 1904, so its one hundred and ten years after the current opera season at the Teatro Municipal de Santiago has had almost the character of a debut and fed high expectations for the premiere of List Internacional, which was held Saturday, July 5 with the illusory presence in the room Plácido Domingo, who was on a visit to Chile for a recital demanding free, would be held two days later with the soprano Verónica Villarroel.

Created in Paris in 1883, Lakmé is the most famous work of Delibes, best known for his ballet Coppélia; However, with time only two numbers the air bells and especially the duet of flowers exceeded fame for the rest of the work, and although this relatively repertorio in French-speaking areas, it is not so frequent to see it at other latitudes, thing which increased more and more expectations.

Straightforward example of the Orientalist genre that reflected in the second half of the nineteenth century the interest and fascination for what at the time was considered exotic, the subject is rather conventional, with the forbidden relationship between a priestess and a British officer in the time domain British India. If the work still fascinates and captivates the audience is especially for the beauty of the music of Delibes, that in spite of the setting exotic, is unmistakably French in its combination of elegance and delicacy, passion and romance, its exuberance and its seductive and irresistible melodies.

Unfortunately, it was disappointed with the staging of the tested French director Jean-Louis Pichon, who in the past in Chile had distinguished himself especially in the repertoires of his country, as he had demonstrated the striking debut with the first local Les Dialogues des Carmelites in 2005 , and then with Les pêcheurs des perles and, last year, with Romeo et Juliette . In Italian titles as Rigoletto in 2010 or Lucrezia Borgia in 2012, however, the results were less convincing.

Today its production of Lakmé, dominated by shades of white and blue, seemed less inspired than we expected; directed flat and a little ingenuity, in particular as concerns the choir and the position of the protagonists. On this without doubt has influenced the unique scene symbolic and minimalist Jérôme Bourdin, who it turns out the director's notes in the program notes, would aura of the priestess. This remained the same for the three acts that make up the work, resulting in increasingly monotonous and repetitive, not to mention the limitations imposed especially the chorus.

However, thanks to the atmosphere created by the lights of Michel Theuil well-designed, the plant stage has known, however, some variant moments and also very beautiful and inspiring to behold as in air bells, for example and costumes even Bourdin were really beautiful, evocative and utterly appropriate. In the end, keeping in mind that this could easily slip into excess in overload and kitsch, we can say it was good to opt for a more sober style and minimalist the same one used in 2009 at the Municipal Pichon with Les pêcheurs des perles, but also recognize that the dramatic look both seemed a bit too much in shadow, while he distinguished himself above all a solid musical work.

The master Chilean Maximiano Valdés, former principal conductor of the Orquesta de Santiago Philharmonic between 2002 and 2006, he returned to Municipal on several occasions, but there ran a work from 2005, precisely by its local debut of Dialogues des Carmelites in which began im Chile also Pichon. His wand careful and has been a tremendous support for the singers and has been able to bring out all the beauty and romance of the score of the raffinalto Belibes which were made ​​some cuts, such as dances, stressing both the moments of passion, poetry and lyricism, such as those devoted to the local color of an India rich in tradition and charm.

When, in 2009, he won the first prize and the audience prize in the competition of Plácido Domingo, Operalia, the path of the Russian soprano Julia Novikova was constantly rising and led to some of the most prestigious opera houses and outcomes excellent as that of its Gilda's Rigoletto filmed in Mantua in 2010, with the legendary tenor in his discutibilissimo new face baritone as the protagonist, next to Vittorio Grigolo. Fortunately, his debut in Chile and for more playing for the first time in his career, protagonist of this work, the Novikova has not lived up to expectations, but above all it is confirmed a singer of enormous talent, possessing a beautiful voice and well-stamped that can handle very well; sensitive and believable actress, she was able to embody the fragility and mystery of Lakmé, and has triumphed over all the roughness of the voice role, first of all, the dreaded air bells, with all the vocal pyrotechnics of agility, acute and overtones, as in his three other solo delicate moments.

For its part, as Gérald the Canadian tenor Antonio Figueroa, also for the first time in Chile, not only exhibited a presence ideal for a romantic hero, but he also faced a role in terms of music much more demanding than it is might believe at first glance, shining for the property of the French style and security and the conviction demonstrated in acute and texture to the notes more difficult, the ideal partner for the Novikova, especially in the duets; only one drawback: this item is only small and not sufficiently projected in the room.

What strict Brahmin Nilakantha had that excellent baritone singer who is the Brazilian Leonardo Neiva, who sang in five other works of the Municipal season, including lead roles and secondary, and reiterated its indisputable quality of interpreter even in a part usually given to the most serious of its entries a captivating voice, good volume, very well stamped, easy in all the texture, an imposing presence and a secure actor.

The secondary roles were supported by local artists, except the French baritone Aimery Lefèvre and Frédéric as the Spanish mezzo-soprano Nerea Berraondo as a servant Mallika, both correct but not exceptional. Effective, then the content Rony Ancavil in the role of servant Hadji and the trio of amusing English ladies, the sopranos Madelene Vásquez (Ellen) and Daniela Ezquerra (Rose), with the mezzo-soprano Claudia Godoy (Lady Bentson). And as in this work, the chorus is not too this, by the way its actions are important, especially in the second act, and, as always, the Chorus of the Teatro Municipal, prepared by Jorge Klastornik, has behaved very well, so as the dancers involved in the choreography of Edymar Acevedo.

The second cast, the so-called List Estelar, began July 9 with the effective direction of José Luis Domínguez with good moments especially in the pages more lyrical at the head of the Philharmonic de Santiago. The main character was one of the most active and popular artists of the opera scene Chilean soprano Patricia Cifuentes, which this year celebrates the tenth anniversary of his debut at the Municipal, where he played more than ten titles, including  Lucia di Lammermoor and La fille du regiment or roles such as Leyla, Gilda and Norina; embodied today for the first time in his career as a character demanding Lakmé, offering arguably one of his best performances. Attractive and convincing in the scene, and projected perfectly gets to his vocal material, both in lyrical scenes as those in the most demanding coloratura in the air or overtones famous.

With the soprano of this company an alternative approach, highlighted in his debut Chilean excellent French tenor Christophe Berry as Gérald, who in addition to prove that they have more than the usual role of colleague list internacional, exhibited a beautiful voice, adequate volume and projection, treble safe and well written, and, as might be expected, the best style of the evening, subtle and refined passionate needed. especially in the duets with Lakmé.

As Nilakantha, the always solid baritone Chilean Ricardo Seguel has distinguished himself once more to his singing stopped and sound, although sometimes has less convinced than at other times. Even the minor roles were owned by Chilean artists, among which we mention the mezzo-soprano Gloria Rojas as Mallika.

Liv Malone (Laya Lewis) and Grace Blood (Jessica Sula) have been best friends since childhood. Mini is popular and Roundview Queen Bee, but she hides her own insecurities (such as body image, and her virginity), and is cruel to Franky and others. Of his two friends, Liv is more attached to Mini, is more mundane and sexually promiscuous. On the contrary, Grace is sweet, friendly and with a positive outlook, she begins to dissociate from Mini after watching treated Franky, and the first episode, befriends outsiders, Franky, Alo and Rich. The Mini's boyfriend Nick Levan (Sean Teale). Its popularity gives a kind of status symbol for Mini, but his feelings for her are shallow. His brother Matty ( Sebastian de Souza ) has strained relations with his family, so that the boy must live away from home after an altercation with his father. In season six, the group's friend Alex Henley (Sam Jackson), who is gay is made ​​and, in particular, form a close friendship with Liv.

Thomas returns as Doug Giles, deputy director of Roundview, and comedian Chris Addison as the director David Blood. Josie Long is back in season six, again as a counselor. In the last season of the hit British series, entitled Skins Redux , we see the return of previous seasons some stars, where we narrate their lives as adults, if finally able to fulfill their dreams or if instead their lives got worse told in three individual stories divided into two chapters, we again see Hannah Murray as Cassie in Skins Pure, Jack O'Connell as Cook in Skins Rise and Kaya Scodelario as Effy, Lily Loveless as Naomi and Kathryn Prescott as Emily in Skins Fire .

The writing team includes Dawson brothers Steve, Andrew and Tim (Balls of Steel), Jack Thorne, Josie Long and Ben Schiffer. There are also guest writers for certain events, such as Simon Amstell.

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