Fidelio, Salzburg Festival 2015

I finally saw, thanks to Medici.tv  Ludwig van Beethoven’s masterpiece (and only opera) “Fidelio”,and oh dear I don’t know how to start…..
To be really honest… I still don’t know if I liked it or not. Maybe I loved it and hated it at the same time. Maybe I dislike it now but I will love it years later? I don’t know…..
This Fidelio production is controversial, and I was not surprised that Claus Guth got booed at the end.  I have many things to say about this… I also think that it was a huge mistake to perform Leonore No 3 Overture during the stage changing. (What they were thinking?!)
The giant monolite was distracting (I got a little bit dizzy!) for me and I actually I hated the multiple shadows of Don Pizarro, with the black costumes and the dark glasses, they reminded me to Agent Smith from “The Matrix” films and I wouldn’t be surprised if Claus Guth is a fan of those films. I think that Claus Guth’s intentions were interesting but unfortunately, it didn’t work for me, and look that I have a very open mind for different or modern staging. As a matter of fact, the modern La Traviata with the Clock and Red dress is more interesting for me.
Definitely this Fidelio production is not “easy” and not for everyone. Which I did love was the orchestra and singing… specially Jonas Kaufmann’s “Gott” which is for history.
Yes, while I found the production, a little bit interesting and at the same time annoying, the performances and singing were, in the other hand, terrific!
BRAVO Jonas Kaufmann, his Florestan is for history and his performance is incredible (The performance of Jonas is probably the only thing that is very worth to see and to recommend about this Fidelio Production)
Adrianne Pieczonka was also marvelous as Leonore/Fidelio… BRAVA!
I liked the idea of Leonore’s shadow, but why with sign language? NOW I found that interesting though… A friend of mine in a Jonas group in which I am also a member made an interesting reference of Beethoven’s deafness and Leonore’s character. I read her review before watching this production… My friend saw Fidelio as a Theater of Shadows… and a Theater of silence… and isolation… maybe that is why the stage is like that… maybe that is why we had those annoying shadows… because it spoke of Beethoven’s isolation, deafness, love for freedom, and what we, all, the human beings are now, prisoners not only physically but also in our interiors. And I ask myself… the many shadows of Don Pizarro are metaphors of the many cruel killers and all the evils of this world? Maybe that was the new point of view in which Guth’s intensions were. Interesting idea…But, in my opinon, it was a mistake doing those shadows dressed up like Agent Smith from the Matrix.
I was dissapointed that Jacquino & Marzelline had a shorter time than in the other (normal) Fidelio productions…
Hans Peter König was marvelous as Rocco and Tomasz Konieczny (sp?!) was also very good as Don Pizarro.
I think that this production was an intellectual (challenge?!) but… unfortunatelly, it failed for me. But what I found interesting is that my European friends loved this producion while my American and also Argentinian friends disliked it.
And I also agree that it was a mistake to cut off the dialogue, which is essential for Fidelio.
I hope that I do not confuse everyone with my comment… I quite like and disliked this Fidelio at the same time… but definitely I do not recommend it to new Opera fans.

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Remembering Robert Shaw

Today is August 9th and it is the Birthday Anniversary of the extraordinary British Actor Robert Shaw.

Robert Shaw was one of the greatest actors of cinema and the world lost an amazing talent when he passed away on August 28th.

But luckily, the new generations know the extraordinary acting talent of Robert Shaw, thanks to Four classic films, “The Sting”, “A Man for all Seasons”, “From Russia with Love” and of course, “Jaws”.

His Indianapolis Speech in “Jaws” is the most amazing monologue in history of cinema and I think that Robert Shaw should have won an Academy Award for his amazing performance as Quint.  Until these days, people can not forget his impressive performance as Quint.

Remembering the magnificent Robert Shaw.

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The Birthday Anniversary of Ingmar Bergman!

Yesterday was the Birthday anniversary of the greatest Film Director of all time (along with Andrei Tarkovsky)… Ingmar Bergman.

“The Seventh Seal”, “Wild Strawberries”, “Persona”, “Winter Light”, “Through a Glass Darkly”, “Cries and Whispers”, “Fanny and Alexander”, “The Virgin Spring”, “Shame”, “The Silence”, “The Hour of the Wolf”, “The Passion of Anna” are many of his film mastepieces.
His films are shown in mostly all Art movie Houses in the world and he became a grand influence in many other fine film Directors such as Andrei Tarkovsky and Woody Allen, just to name a few.
 Gunnar Björnstrand, Max von Sydow, Liv Ullmann, Bibi Andersson, Harriet Andersson, and Ingrid Thulin, just to name a few, are many of the great actors and actresses that worked, in many times with Bergman.

Celebrating the Art of Ingmar Bergman!

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Jacobo Zabludovzky (1928-2015)

Este Jueves, 2 de Julio, fallecio el periodista más famoso de México, Jacobo Zabludovsky a los 87 años de edad.

 

Descanse en paz, Jacobo Zabludovzky.
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Christopher Lee (1922-2015)

Christopher Lee (1922-2015).

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Christopher Lee (1922-2015)

Last Sunday, June 7th, the world of cinema lost one of its greatest legends and icons… Sir Christopher Lee. Christopher Lee passed away at age 93, just one week after his Birthday.

Christopher Lee was the only actor  who has portrayed three different Sherlock Holmes characters: Sherlock Holmes, Mycroft Holmes and Sir Henry Baskerville.

Christopher Lee held the record for number of film roles by an actor. (More of 270 films!)

Christopher Lee appeared on the cover of Paul McCartney’s 1973 album “Band on the Run”.

Christopher Lee is listed as the Center of the Hollywood Universe by the Oracle of Kevin Bacon website at the University of Virginia, because he can be linked to any one in Hollywood on average in 2.59 steps. That is less than either Charlton Heston or Kevin Bacon himself.

Christopher Lee was voted No. 31 on the recent British televised poll “The Greatest Movie Stars of All Time” above the likes of John Wayne, Michael Caine and Humphrey Bogart.

And also, he was a very cultivated man… he knew French, German, Italian, Spanish, Greek, Russian and Swedish. Plus he learned how to speak German by listening to Richard Wagner records. And early in his career, Christopher Lee dubbed foreign films into English and other languages including Jacques Tat’s “Mr. Hulot’s Holiday”. Sometimes he dubbed all the voices including women’s parts. Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., recalled that Lee could do any kind of accent: “foreign, domestic, North, South, Middle, young, old, everything. He’s a great character actor”.

From an acting dynasty, his great-grandparents founded the first Australian opera company.

His mother was an Italian contessa, and through her Lee descended from the Emperor Charlemagne of the Holy Roman Empire.

In addition to his impossibly prolific film career, Lee was a world champion fencer, an opera singer, spoke six languages, and was a hell of a golfer.

Christopher Lee met Prince Yusupov and Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich, the assassins of the Russian monk Rasputin. He didn’t do this as research for his later film role as Rasputin (in the 1966 Hammer film Rasputin the Mad Monk), but just as a child in the 1920s.

At age 17, he saw the death of the murderer Eugen Weidmann in Paris, the last person in France to be publicly executed by guillotine.

He was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2001 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his services to drama.

He was awarded Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters by French culture minister Frederic Mitterrand in 2011.

He was awarded Knight Bachelor of the Order of the British Empire in the 2009 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his services to drama and charity. The ceremony took place at Buckingham Palace on October 30, 2009, and was carried out by HRH ‘Prince Charles’, The Prince of Wales.

He is possibly the only actor in cinematic history to have achieved a unique trifecta. He has played a Star Wars villain (Count Dooku), a James Bond villain (Francisco Scaramanga), and a classic horror movie monster (Dracula, the Mummy and Frankenstein’s Monster).

He was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records in 2007 for most screen credits, having appeared in 244 film and TV movies by that point in his career— at which point he made 14 more movies, with a 15th due later this year (titled Angels in Notting Hill). He also holds the record for the tallest leading actor — he stood 6’ 5” — but also for starring in the “most films with a sword fight” with 17.

Vincent Price and Christopher Lee were born on the same day (27th May) and Peter Cushing was born on the 26th.

Remembering Christopher Lee in images.. in his many different roles.

As Scarmanga in 007, The Man with the Golden Gun
As Dracula
As Rochefort in “The Three Musketeers”
As Count Dooku in Star Wars
As Saruman in the majestic “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy
Rest in peace, Sir Christopher Lee. We will never forget you.
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Christopher Lee and Ron Moody

Christopher Lee and Ron Moody.

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