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Your reaction: La rondine

A selection of audience tweets from the first night of Nicolas Joël’s production of Puccini's tender opera.

By Ellen West (Head of Online Content)

6 July 2013 at 2.49pm | 11 Comments

La rondine runs from 5 – 21 July. Tickets are on sale now. The production is sponsored by Coutts. Generous philanthropic support was given by Mr and Mrs Christopher W.T. Johnston and The American Friends of Covent Garden.

By Ellen West (Head of Online Content)

6 July 2013 at 2.49pm

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged Angela Gheorghiu, by Nicolas Joël, Charles Castronovo, La Rondine, opening night, opera, Production, review, Storify, your reaction

This article has 11 comments

  1. George responded on 6 July 2013 at 4:45pm Reply

    Just was there for the premiere and felt totally disappointed. Couldn't feel the real power in Gheorghiu's voice as she used to. It was a pitty...

  2. John M responded on 6 July 2013 at 11:04pm Reply

    A lovely but not great evening at La Rondine. The sets and costumes look wonderful, even better than I remember them, and the direction lets the story tell itself, almost a luxury at CG these days. My problem with Ms Gheorghiu is that I find it difficult to hear her, although I have no problem hearing the other singers. I frequently find her singing underpowered and not just in this role. I certainly think a lower ticket price range would have been more appropriate, without wishing to open up that can of worms again.

  3. Marvellous performance from Princess Angela! The production's gorgeous art deco chic compliments this unusual if slightly shimmery Puccini gem to excellent effect. Supporting cast rather bland, and the repetition of set style for the cafe scene in act 2 was somewhat uninteresting. Nevertheless La Rondine deserved a more enthusiastic response from critics (and more applause for Angela).

  4. John responded on 7 July 2013 at 4:24pm Reply

    A lovely opera in a fine staging and a good supporting cast - but Gheorghiu let everybody down with her ungenerous, hardly audible performance. All of the reviews published so far have commented upon her limitations so I hope the management make it clear to her that simply turning up isn't enough - you can't mark half the show before a paying audience. A major disappointment.

  5. Peter Erdos responded on 8 July 2013 at 9:40am Reply

    Interesting to read the previous comments. I did go to the open rehearsal and thought "princess" Angela let the performance down. She only put "sound" in the voice when in ensemble. I found it so infuriating that I left in the interval. La rondine is really a very weak opera as it is a generally established fact and needs a bit more from the cast than what we had. The set and production is sumptious, wonderful to look at, but it is in this instance not enough. I appreciated Mr Armiliato for conducting without a score!

  6. Deborah responded on 8 July 2013 at 4:38pm Reply

    Loved every second of La Rondine,and thought Angela was wonderful and beautiful in a role that was made for her. Am looking forward to seeing it again on Thursday, but this time live in the open air from Manchester. Thanks ROH!

  7. stephen ratcliffe responded on 9 July 2013 at 2:52pm Reply

    I agree that Angela was a big disappointment in Acts 1 and 2 last night - you could hardly hear her in the amphitheatre but Act 3 was much better and she still has a gorgeous voice. It just took her two acts to warm up!!

  8. Peter Hadden responded on 15 July 2013 at 8:05pm Reply

    Came direct from Opera North's fabulous Siegfried and was very disappointed.
    Act one was flat, Act 2 saved by the chorus who at last made the principles step up a gear.
    Act 3 was better but a poor shadow of the 2002 and 2004 productions.
    Time to review your star billing ticket prices if this is the standard we are to expect from your once favourite soprano.

  9. Peter Erdos responded on 20 July 2013 at 12:01pm Reply

    I completely agree with Peter Hadden. Having attended the performance of Renee Fleming in Capriccio, it really showed the difference between the two of leading sopranos of the day. Fleming sings as an artist, Gheorghiu as a prima donna.
    Give me the artists any time!

    • Barbara Younis responded on 22 July 2013 at 10:00am

      Totally agree re. Ms Ghiorghiu vs Renee Fleming.
      I attended yesterday’s performance of La Rondine. No announcement was made beforehand that Ms Ghiorghiu was unwell, so I can be forgiven for expecting a performance of a high standard. I used to be a huge fan hers, but her performance was TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE.
      If ROH consider booking Ms Ghiorghui ever again, they must ensure that she is contracted to actually SING.
      MARKING does not count as singing!!
      I was sitting YARDS away from the stage, but could barely hear her. I feel very short-changed, given the above-average cost of this performance.
      I know I am not alone as I overheard scores of similar comments during the interval and on the way-out.
      It has to be brought home to Ms Ghiorghiu that turning up is not enough – she has to deliver!

  10. Phillip Arnold responded on 31 July 2013 at 8:29pm Reply

    Completely agree with comments about Gheorghiu's inaudibility, and I was in Row K of the stalls - not cheap at £221 for a matinee! I also got intensely irritated by her constant preening and mugging - she simply couldn't stop fiddling with her hair - a wig, I presume - and flapping her arms and hands. Such a shame as the rest of the cast, the production itself and the orchestra under Armiliato were all splendid.

    Pricing at the Garden seems to be getting out of control. The same orchestr stalls seat for next season's Fille du Regiment is £40 more than it was for last year's performances. And all for what? Florez and te Kanawa in a walk on role? Give me Colin Lee any day (but spare me Widdewoman).

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