Mozart Timeline

Figaro with Greek Temperament

A fantastic perfectionist, visionary, irreverent rebel and genius – this is how the media celebrate the shooting-star conductor, pop-star with a baton, “band leader” of the Russian ensemble Musica Aeterna at the opera and ballet theatre Perm: the Greek, Teodor Currentzis. The unconventional conductor has taken “The Marriage of Figaro” under scrutiny and presents the opera in a completely new guise. The result is a trilogy of CDs, published by Sony in mid February 2014.

31 March 2014 Events

The play “The Barber of Seville” by the French poet Beaumarchais, on which “Le Nozze de Figaro” is based, was considered revolutionary when it came out in 1784 after being held back by censorship for several years. It was a reckoning of nobility, to put it bluntly, and it questioned the alleged “eternal” privileges of this estate. The common people rebelled and demanded a revision of the social order. This was the background against which Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his librettist Lorenzo da Ponte created their whimsical opera of merry confusion, in which the characters constantly face new amorous entanglements.

Here Currentzis and his ensemble Musica Aeterna step in and – quite fittingly for an interpretation of a time of revolution – leave nothing unchanged. His musicians play on historic instruments and Currentzis integrates notes that were not composed by Mozart himself, but were jotted down by his singers as personal notes. He skilfully plays with extremes and creates a very dark, almost demonic mood. The conductor has truly created a unique, refreshing and revolutionary new interpretation of this Mozart opera.

Mozart and da Ponte would have been thrilled

Teodor Currentzis’s interpretation most certainly would have delighted the duo Mozart and da Ponte, who themselves were not averse to provocation. Finally, here is someone who has breathed new life into the revolutionary character of this opera, presenting lovers of Mozart with an exciting musical indulgence free of centuries’ worth of dust. Of course it would be unfair to praise the conductor and instrumental musicians alone! We owe equal thanks to world-class interpreters of Mozart such as the German soprano Simone Kermes, the Ukrainian baritone Andrei Bondarenko, the American Christian van Horn and the Greek soprano Fanie Antonelou.

On a side-note: “The Marriage of Figaro” was just the start for Currentzis. Recordings of “Don Giovanni” and “Così fan tutte” are already scheduled, again in co-operation with the Musica Aeterna orchestra at Perm in Siberia.

Details: label: Sony, DDD, 2013, order number 3557026, 3 CDs

The Greek conductor Teodor Currentzis

The Greek conductor Teodor Currentzis

Source: Wikimedia