lunes, 30 de noviembre de 2020


Suze Rotolo with Bob Dylan in the early 60s. Photograph: Michael Ochs Archives

Since her death on 24 February at the age of 67, Suze Rotolo has been commemorated as "Bob Dylan's muse" and the girl on the front cover of The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan – Dylan's second album which propelled him to fame. Although it's not surprising that the obituaries highlight her relationship with the singer, "Bob Dylan's ex" is really not an adequate epithet for Rotolo. A trained artist and jewellery maker, she never sought the spotlight herself, but she was a fascinating woman who helped shape the rebellious 1960s and was part of the crowd that not only hoped, but made sure, that the times were a-changin'.

As a teenager Rotolo had a passionate relationship with Dylan and inspired some of his early, most romantic songs, like Boots of Spanish Leather and Don't Think Twice, It's All Right. In the first volume of his memoirs, Chronicles, Dylan wrote of their first meeting: "Cupid's arrow had whistled past my ears before, but this time it hit me in the heart and the weight of it dragged me overboard."

After the release in 1963 of Freewheelin', with the iconic cover photograph of Dylan and Rotolo walking together in New York's Greenwich Village on a freezing winter day, the pair became the poster children of a generation. Yet, as Rotolo wrote in her wonderful and unassuming memoir of Greenwich Village in the 60s, A Freewheelin' Time, she resented being cast in the role of a musician's "chick" and insisted that she was more than just a "string on Dylan's guitar".

Perhaps we can forgive even the freewheelin' Village for having failed to rid itself completely of this reductive take on womanhood – after all, most of America was still socially conservative and to know their place was seen as a matter of female intuition. But we should know better now than to buy into the image of Rotolo as Dylan's handmaiden.

After all, it was Rotolo, daughter of Italian working-class communists, who schooled Dylan in the politics of the left and who first made him aware of the labour and civil rights movements. She was only 18 when they met (Dylan was 20), but still introduced him to the work of a range of poets and writers, such as Rimbaud and Bertolt Brecht.

After the sudden death of Rotolo's father in 1958, her mother took to drinking. The teenage Suze began to take Sunday trips to Washington Square in the Village, joining the folk musicians, poets and political activists who took on the establishment in verse and propaganda. At 17, she caught the subway from Queens to the Village for a final time, "without looking back".

While still in high school, Rotolo volunteered for the Congress of Racial Equality, marching on Washington for civil rights and desegregation. At the age of 20, she made national news when she and four other students stood up for the "free travel of free Americans" by, in defiance of the government travel ban, heading over to Cuba. The group spent two months touring factories and schools and met Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. It was an incredibly brave thing to do.

In A Freewheelin' Time, Rotolo paints a vivid picture of the Greenwich crowd, an image-conscious lot who spent much time in earnest conversation in smoky cafes, bars and basket houses (informal venues where musicians passed around a basket for tips). Nevertheless, they believed that they "could change perceptions and politics and the social order of things". "We had something to say," Rotolo wrote, "and believed that the times would definitely change". It was a time when reinvention was a virtue and families were baggage. Where you came from mattered less than where you were heading.

Reading her book it is clear that Rotolo tried hard to wrest herself out of her role as "Dylan's muse". Over the years, she has been featured in biographies, documentaries, fiction films and museum exhibits, but she has rarely given interviews and has been respectful of Dylan's and her own privacy. Even her book is more a tribute to an era that "spoke a language of inquiry and curiosity and rebelliousness against the stifling and repressive political and social culture of the decade that preceded it" than to her relationship with Dylan.

It was a formative experience, and came to influence her life in both wanted and unwanted ways. But it wouldn't be fair simply to cast Rotolo back into the very role she tried so hard to shake.



Ambition knows no bounds, nor does corruption in an all-new political thriller starring Hugh Laurie as Peter Laurence, a self-made man who has risen to the heights of the British government in Roadkill premiering on November 1 at 9/8c on MASTERPIECE on PBS.

Co-starring are Helen McCrory (Peaky Blinders), Saskia Reeves (Us), Sarah Greene (Normal People), Pip Torrens (The Crown), and Patricia Hodge (A Very English Scandal).


For more daily movie news updates, check out:


 For the first time in his career, Roberto Alagna is devoting an entire album to the great and beautiful French chanson. Alagna is passionate about music from all over the world and this time he is offering us a veritable declaration of his love for his French musical heritage: “Le Chanteur” introduces listeners to this legacy in a different way through the whole wealth of the various genres and diverse foreign influences that have helped to shape this medium’s identity.

Pre-order the album here:

The album features swing, jazz, gypsy jazz, the lamento, the waltz, and the tango and through its highly personal approach to these songs, it conveys the tenor’s tremendous passion for music which,  full of character,  is instinct with vitality and feeling.  The result is a formidable tribute to the unforgettable melodies that we all know and that we have all hummed to ourselves. It is also an homage to their illustrious interpreters and composers.


domingo, 29 de noviembre de 2020


 Bastiaan Woudt

Really excited to show you one of the biggest adventures of my career so far. October 2019 I went on this crazy adventure together with my brother to shoot a project in Nepal. For 26 days we hiked through the mountains around Mount Annapurna. What is considered one of the most busy trails of Nepal was something different for us. We took the unbeaten path, away from all tourists and other adventurers. We took the path known to the guides as "the Annapurna hardway". Many days without meeting anyone, except sometimes some local mountain people. It resulted in a project, a book and a show. Voiceover is my own, with text from the preface I wrote for this book.



La palabra "Macondo" quedó grabada en la mente de Gabriel García Márquez el día en que la vio a la entrada de una plantación bananera y un libro recorre ahora la historia de este término desde su aparición en los primeros relatos del autor hasta su consagración como "territorio mítico" de la literatura.

"Camino a Macondo. Ficciones 1950-1966", publicado por Literatura Random House, viaja por la historia de la palabra "Macondo" desde su tímida aparición en los primeros relatos de Gabriel García Márquez hasta su eclosión en novelas como "La hojarasca", "El coronel no tiene quien le escriba" o "La mala hora".


Robert van Gulik, author of the Judge Dee mysteries, enjoyed a diplomatic career that spanned continents. Yet his passion lay in the art and culture of China, and now his remarkable collection of paintings and calligraphy comes to Christie’s

From childhood, Robert van Gulik (1910-1967) was immersed in the art, language and culture of Asia. Growing up in present-day Jakarta, he learned Malay and Javanese, later becoming fluent in Chinese and Japanese as well as Tibetan and Sanskrit. At the age of 25, he joined the Dutch diplomatic service and travelled extensively through China, where he was known as Gao Luopei, and set a path to becoming one of the most accomplished sinologists of the 20th century.

‘Singularly talented, strikingly adventurous and remarkably charismatic, Van Gulik was a true polymath,’ says Dr Man Kung, a specialist in the Chinese Paintings department at Christie’s. ‘His collection reflects the unique qualities of this exceptional figure, who did more than any other Westerner to bridge the cultural divide between Asia and Europe in the mid-20th century.’

Works from Van Gulik’s collection are to be offered at Christie’s in a dedicated online sale, On Wings of Song: Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy from the Collection of Robert van Gulik, from 18 November to 2 December.

In 1943, Van Gulik married Shui Shi-Fang, the daughter of a Qing dynasty imperial mandarin, and was assigned to the Dutch embassy in China, then based in the temporary wartime capital Chongqing. The city had become an extraordinary melting pot of refugee intellectuals, foreign correspondents and political and military figures from across China and the Allied powers; Van Gulik was quickly absorbed into its cultural and political milieu.

Through his mastery of the seven-stringed qin — an ancient instrument revered by literati — Van Gulik was introduced to the city’s pre-eminent scholars. He also joined the Tianfeng Qin Society, which met to celebrate the instrument through performance and discussion.

‘In Chongqing, Van Gulik was widely accepted by Chinese intellectuals,’ affirms Dr Kung. ‘Being recognised as one of their own was what made him truly special.’

In 2014, in recognition of his contribution to the city, more than 100 works from his collection were donated to Chongqing’s Three Gorges Museum. Today they are on display in an exhibition room named in his honour.

Collection highlights

During his diplomatic postings from the 1930s to the 1960s, Van Gulik amassed a significant collection of modern Chinese calligraphy — much of it received as gifts from leading scholars, artists and politicians — in addition to classical paintings, calligraphic scrolls and albums, and collectors’ seals, from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties.

‘The sale will appeal to collectors interested in the qin, and Chinese music generally,’ notes Dr Kung. ‘It also offers a rare opportunity for collectors interested in Chinese literature and culture, as well as 20th-century Chinese history.’

Scholars and officials

The first section of the sale comprises works by important scholars and government officials, such as the poet and calligrapher Shen Yinmo (1883-1971), the politician Chen Lifu (1900-2001), and Guo Moruo (1892-1978), a radical poet, politician and author who also translated Goethe, Schiller and Tolstoy. Guo’s Couplet Calligraphy  is one of many works in the sale personally dedicated to Van Gulik.

The Tianfeng Qin Society

The second grouping centres on Van Gulik’s musical circle in Chongqing, whom he cultivated for their knowledge, and who in turn appreciated his connoisseurship.

Offered for sale are works gifted to Van Gulik by fellow members of the Tianfeng Qin Society, including its president, Xu Yuanbai (1892-1957), below left, the musician Xu Wenjing (1895-1975), and military leader Feng Yuxiang (1882-1948), below right.

Travels to the Netherlands, the United States and across Asia

Finally, the sale features a small but notable grouping of academically significant classical works, mostly acquired in Japan. These include historic imperial edicts from as early as the 16th century, which record official proclamations in exquisite script.

A fascinating moment in the history of Buddhism is documented in several calligraphy scrolls by senior monks of the Zen Ōbaku sect — monastic émigrés who left southeastern coastal China for Japan in the mid-17th century. These include the Buddhist monk Donggao Xinyue (Tōkō Shin’etsu, 1639-1696), whose writings Van Gulik actively collected, and the Ōbaku Zen master Muan Xingtao (Mokuan Shōtō, 1611-1684).

Van Gulik returned to the Netherlands in April 1946, where he worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague before taking up diplomatic postings in the United States and across Asia. Works acquired at that time include Rural Village Life, a painting by Singaporean artist Seah-Kim Joo, which will be offered on 3 December in the Modern and Contemporary Art Morning Session at Christie’s in Hong Kong; and Ghost Amusement (1749), below, by the Qianlong period artist Luo Ping, which was bought in Macau.

Throughout his career, Van Gulik continued to publish translations, scholarly works and fiction. ‘Perhaps his most popular writing was the Judge Dee mysteries,’ says Dr Kung. Van Gulik borrowed his protagonist from Ming dynasty detective stories, themselves based on a real magistrate of the earlier Tang dynasty.


In the years following the Second World War, Paris witnessed the birth of a new style of lyrical abstraction fuelled by the aspirations of émigré artists. Illustrated with works by Georges Mathieu, Zao Wou-Ki and Chu Teh-Chun offered in Hong Kong

‘A new climate of innovation is being reborn in Paris,’ declared the French art critic Charles Estienne in January 1953.

In the wake of the Liberation, young men and women from across the world arrived in the city, intent on reviving its reputation as the cultural centre of Europe. Shaped by the horrors of the Second World War, these ambitious intellectuals had one aim in common: to construct an alternative to the opposing forces of communism and capitalism.

Central to the growing debate was a group of émigré artists with utopian aspirations, who dreamed of a universal art that would transcend borders and nations. They became known as the New School of Paris.

‘It was a very exciting time,’ says Emmanuelle Chan, an associate specialist in the Modern & Contemporary Art, Asia Pacific department at Christie’s in Paris. ‘There were artists from China who were inspired by Matisse and Picasso, and they met other émigrés from Hungary, Germany and Canada, as well as French artists who wanted to know about Asian calligraphy and philosophy. These ideas were fused together to create something new.’

The new style became known as Art Informel, a free-flowing gestural abstraction that explored colour, texture, light and movement.

Among its proponents were the French painters Pierre Soulages (b. 1919) and Georges Mathieu (1921-2012), the German artist Hans Hartung (1904-1989), the French-Canadian Jean-Paul Riopelle (1923-2002), the Chinese artists Zao Wou-Ki (1920-2013) and Chu Teh-Chun (1920-2014), and the Portuguese painter Maria Helena Vieira da Silva (1908-1992).

These world citizens of the Left Bank collected around the gallery of Pierre Loeb on Rue des Beaux-Arts. ‘Loeb was a great believer in their work,’ says Chan. ‘The artists he promoted were all good friends; they hung out and travelled together.’

‘I paint fast because it is my rhythm,’ said the New School’s most flamboyant advocate, Mathieu, who brought a balletic sensibility to the style, as seen in his Gouffres Frêles of 1989 (above).

Zao, meanwhile, took a more metaphysical approach. ‘I try to paint as close as possible to my dream,’ he explained — and his 1985 painting 04.12.85 (below) reflects that elusive balance of wonder and light.

When Chu Teh-Chun arrived from Beijing in 1955, he abandoned figuration for the new style almost immediately: ‘What I paint is all about nature… this abstract thing is like what the Chinese say, you can’t explain it, but the magic is there.’ His 1987 painting La Forêt Blanche I (The White Forest I) (below) was created in response to a heavy snowfall in the Alps, and conveys that sense of the sublime.

Before long, the artists attracted the attention of the Abstract Expressionists in New York, fostering a cross-cultural dialogue. ‘They admired each other very much,’ says Chan. ‘Mark Rothko visited Paris and became acquainted with Hartung. And Soulages and Zao spent time in New York with Rothko and Franz Kline.’

Yet soon competition between the two schools caused problems. Exhibitions in New York set European Lyrical Abstraction against American Abstract Expressionism, and gallery dealers came under pressure to drop the French painters.

The eminently original Mathieu was criticised for his televised painting performances, which the Americans saw as showmanship. ‘I felt a certain coldness towards me,’ he recalled of one trip to the United States in 1957.

‘These artists created a language that could be read by the East and the West, and showed us that a unifying art was achievable’ — specialist Emmanuelle Chan

‘Ideologically they couldn’t have been farther apart,’ says Chan. ‘The Europeans were searching for a universal language, while the Abstract Expressionists believed abstraction could only be understood by Americans.’

The Japanese avant-garde Gutai group, whose performances had inspired Mathieu, didn’t see such deep divisions. They championed both Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) and Mathieu in their 1956 manifesto, declaring: ‘Their work seems to embody cries uttered out of matter, pigment and enamel.’

Likewise Vieira da Silva, who had spent much of the war in Brazil among the artists of the incipient Neo-Concrete art scene, returned to Paris in 1947 determined to push the geometric abstraction she had studied in South America to its limits. Her spatially complex paintings responded to the devastation of war-torn Paris with a fevered syncopation.

‘I look at the street and at people walking on foot with different appearances advancing at different speeds, and I try and see the machinery that organises them,’ she said. ‘I think this is in a way what I attempt to paint.’



Buone feste!


In queste settimane le tre religioni monoteiste celebrano alcune fra le ricorrenze più significative del calendario; Pesach, la Pasqua e l'inizio del mese di Ramadan. Ognuna carica di tradizioni e specificità.


Ma un  aspetto accomuna questi momenti: l'idea di passaggio, di trasformazione, di liberazione e purificazione.

Quest'anno, per una coincidenza unica, tutto si concentra a ridosso dei primi 30 giorni di primavera, sottolineando ancora di più quel senso di rinnovamento che questa stagione porta con sé.


È trascorso oltre un anno da quando il cataclisma della pandemia ci ha colpiti, modificando alla radice le nostre vite e portandoci via tanti cari che desideriamo ricordare con immenso affetto.

In loro memoria e come augurio di buone e serene feste, noi del MEIS condividiamo questi fiori dai mille colori, simbolo di rigenerazione per i nostri studenti, per le nostre famiglie, per il Paese.



Dario Disegni              Amedeo Spagnoletto

Presidente                    Direttore       



Il 4 dicembre del 1970, cinquanta anni fa, usciva nelle sale italiane "Il giardino dei Finzi-Contini", trasposizione cinematografica del best seller firmato da Giorgio Bassani e pubblicato nel 1962.

Diretto da Vittorio De Sica e interpretato da Lino Capolicchio e Dominique Sanda, il lungometraggio - che porta sulla scena una travagliata storia di amore non corrisposto all'ombra delle leggi razziali - divenne immediatamente un successo planetario e conquistò l'Oscar per il Miglior film straniero.

Mezzo secolo dopo, cosa ci rivela il magico e segreto giardino dei Finzi-Contini?

Giovedì 3 dicembre alle 21.00 a discuterne sulla piattaforma Zoom saranno Damiano Garofalo, ricercatore e docente di Cinema, fotografia e televisione  all'Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza di Roma" e Luca Peretti, ricercatore di Cinema e storia all'Università di Warwick.


"The New Bauhaus" traces the artist’s journey from joining the Bauhaus in Weimar, Germany to founding the New Bauhaus in Chicago.

by Elisa Wouk Almino

László Moholy-Nagy, "Self-Portrait" (1925) (©Moholy-Nagy Foundation, photo by László Moholy-Nagy)

“My father decided to become an artist after the war,” shares Hattula Moholy-Nagy, the daughter of László Moholy-Nagy, “and then he met Gropius, and he went to the Bauhaus.” The quote is from The New Bauhaus: The Life & Legacy of Moholy-Nagy, a new documentary by Alysa Nahmias, that traces the artist’s journey from joining the Bauhaus in Weimar, Germany to founding the New Bauhaus in Chicago in 1937, after immigrating to the United States.

The Hungarian-born artist worked in so many media that it is hard to sum up his craft. From experimental photographer to graphic designer and metalsmith, Moholy-Nagy was also an influential teacher. In the 10 years that he spent in Chicago, he left a lasting impression on his students, creating an environment where art-making was a joyous, childlike, and mind-opening experience. The New Bauhaus foregrounds this chapter in the artist’s life, while also interviewing contemporary artists, including Olafur Eliasson and Barbara Kasten, who see Moholy-Nagy as a major influence on their work.

The film will have a national release in 2021, but in the meantime, mark your calendars: you can catch an early (and free!) screening on Friday, December 4 as part of FILM at LACMA. A conversation with director Alysa Nahmias will follow the film.

sábado, 28 de noviembre de 2020



Mitridate (o Mitrídates), re di Ponto, de Wolfang Amadeus Mozart, Palau de Les Arts Reina Sofía, Valencia, 26 noviembre 2020. Ópera en versión concierto. Libreto, Vittorio Amedeo Cigna-Santi, a partir del drama de Jean Racine (hacia 1673).


Dirección musical, Marc Minkowski.

Orquesta, Les Musiciens du Louvre.

Mitridate, Michael Spyres.

Aspasia, Julie Fuchs.

Sifare, Elsa Dreisig

Farnace, Paul-Antoine Benos-Dijan.

Ismene, Sarah Aristidou.

Marzio, Cyrille Dubois.

Arbate, Adriana Bignagni Lesca 


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, tenía 14 años de edad, cuando en Milán, el conde Firmian le hizo la propuesta de componer  Mitridate re di Ponto, a partir de un libreto de Cigna-Santi, dando lugar a una obra maestra (muchos no la consideran así por desconfianza a la juventud del compositor seguramente), un ejemplo de exigencias para músicos (aquí con instrumentos de época) y cantantes, en un territorio que se dio en llamar “canto di sbalzo”.

Mitridate es un modelo clásico italiano perfumado al Barroco,  con concertante/aria da capo, coloraturas y agilidades, recitativos, una trama compleja para una obra que evoca otro de los enemigos acérrimos de la República Romana, Mitridate, que no eran ni serían pocos. Originalmente concebida para tres contratenores, de los cuales se conserva en esta ocasión, el que se corresponde con el rol de Farnace, para el que se había convocado en principio al cantante polaco en evidente alza de popularidad, Jakub Józef Orlínski, que canceló.

Hace ahora 250 años tuvo lugar la prima en el milanés Teatro Regio Ducal en diciembre 1770. Dirigía el propio compositor y tuvo mucho éxito, pero se mantuvo desaparecida hasta que fue recobrada hace unos años.

La historia, con bastante personajes y por momentos algo confusa, transcurre en Ninfea, puerto de Crimea en el Reino del Ponto en el año 63 a. C. El protagonista es el rey Mitrídates VI Eupator (132-63 a. C.). Enzarzado en sus luchas contra los romanos, deja a su prometida Aspasia al cuidado de sus hijos: Farnaces y Sifares. Después de sufrir una severa derrota, Mitrídates es dado por muerto. Arbate, el gobernador de Ninfea, da la bienvenida a Sifares que está enfadado con su hermano, Farnaces, debido a los fuertes lazos que lo unen a los romanos, sus enemigos. Arbate jura lealtad a Sifares. Aspasia ruega a Sifares, para que la ayude a resistir los avances de Farnaces. Sifares acepta sus súplicas, y al tiempo revela su amor por ella. Aspasia ama secretamente a Sifares. Como se trata de una ópera seria, el final es evidentemente trágico.

En la instrumentación original se interpretaba con 2 flautas, 2 oboes, 4 cornos, 2 fagotes, 2 trompetas, timbales, cuerdas y bajo continuo. Y la estructura musical consta de una obertura, veintiún arias, una cavata, una cavatina, un dúo y un coro final. Mozart intercaló siete recitativos acompañados. De las piezas vocales de esta ópera, destacan la N.º 4, Aria de Aspasia: Nel sen mi palpita, el aria de Mitrídates, una joya en la voz del tenor Michael Spyres, Se di lauri il crine adorno, el aria de Aspasia: Nel grave tormento, el dúo de Sifares y Aspasia,  Se viver non degg’io. Dúo al final del segundo acto en el que los dos declaran su amor y el aria de Ismene, Tu sai per chi m’accese.

Como ya se indicó, el texto originario era el Mithridate de Racine (1673); fue traducido por el abate Giuseppe Parini. Vittorio Amadeo Cigna-Santi arregló esta traducción para la ópera de Mozart. Este poeta residía en Turín y envió a Milán el libreto por partes. La historia de Mitrídates ya había sido puesta en música con anterioridad, por Quirino Gasparini.

Célebre por haberse acostumbrado progresivamente a los venenos por mitridatización, este rey resistió bastante tiempo a los Romanos, proyectando incluso la invasión de Italia. Acabó suicidándose tras ser traicionado por su propio hijo. Racine reunió algunos episodios de la vida de Mitrídates en una sola jornada (la reglas de “las tres unidades” clásica), y como era habitual en él, concedió gran importancia a las intrigas galantes. Pero la dimensión épica está mucho más presente que en otras tragedias. En el terreno estilístico, la obra se caracteriza por un gran número de discursos largos y monólogos.

Habría que destacar que Mitrídates fue la tragedia preferida por otro rey, Luis XIV, él mismo organizador de lujosas fiestas donde actuaba en Versalles y otras salas de palacios de la nobleza, como se vio en la cinta Le roi danse (2000) (distribuida en español como La pasión del rey), dirigida por Gérard Corbiau.

En cuanto a la vivencia en las salas de música de aquella época, se tiene conocimiento por la propia familia del compositor y un relato del inglés Charles Burney, como relata un crítico francés, de cómo era el ambiente de la ciudad y de la propia sala. Eran lugares que recordaban los circos máximos o coliseos de la antigua Roma o los griegos, donde el público estaba todo el día, en medio del ruido, la comida, y el juego. Incluso se encendían chimeneas y el duque contaba con la disponibilidad de una cámara y un comedor.

Marc Minkowski es un director muy bien considerado en Europa, aunque a veces en España se pueda leer que le falta cierta “sofisticación” en su buen hacer como capitán de la nave y también a la hora de suprimir compases.

En unas declaraciones anteriores, refiriéndose a la idiosincrasia del Mitridate mozartiano, el director francés expresó que hay una clara influencia en el tercer acto del estilo de Glück, convirtiéndose Mitridate en el paradigma romano e Idomeneo en una tragedia griega, pero en el mismo estilo que La clemenza di Tito. A partir de su madurez y juventud, Mozart cree el director galo-  se volverá más ligero y también subyugado por el drama burgués y por la cotidianidad de la vida, con los libretos de las óperas de Da ponte, intemporales y con sus personajes de época, modernos, hasta incluso la actualidad.

Minkowski, de familia de músicos, melómanos y científicos, debido a que tenía su residencia en la rue de Rivoli, calle de El Louvre y otras exquisiteces parisinas de todo tipo, se le ocurrió darle a su conjunto, de gran reputación musical y artística, el nombre del icónico museo.

Se trata de una formación a la cual este apelativo le va como un guante, respetuosa, atenta, de una gran eficiencia a la hora de conjuntar y seguir a los cantantes, sonido cuidado y homogéneo, a los que Minkowski dedica no pocas atenciones y miramientos,  a la hora de indicar entradas, valorar sonoridad y recompensar esfuerzos. Igual que en el caso de la trompa, a cuyo intérprete destacó especialmente a la hora de la recompensa de los aplausos, que fueron muchos durante toda la velada.

En cuanto a la labor de los cantantes: Julie Fuchs, soprano, dibujó una Aspasia, llena de sentimiento, con buena emisión y fraseo, pero al final de la primera parte parecía tener frío, porque se llevaba reiteradamente las manos al cuello, lo cual no resulta extraño, ya que no parecía que el coliseo hubiera encendido esa noche la calefacción y al menos desde la localidad del primer piso se experimentaba un cierto congelamiento.  

Se trata de una soprano elegante, sutil, refinada, como la Ismene a cargo de  Sarah Aristidou, con ajustadas y generosas intervenciones. Muy bien además Cyrille Dubois, Marzio, en un rol del otro lado de la historia, como representante romano. Sifare estuvo declinado con holgura por Elsa Dreisig con un instrumento potente, que se dejaba oir con claridad, aunque tal vez, algo tenso en los agudos. Adriana Bignagni Lesca sacó lustre a su condición de soprano, en la coloratura, como Arbate.

El  contratenor Paul-Antoine Benos-Dijan quien en el papel de Farnace, tuvo que lidiar con una voz que no destaca por su belleza, haciéndose en ocasiones mejor que en otras, con un desafío nada desdeñable por la dificultad y la exigencia de su rol.

Y last but not least, el tenor norteamericano Michael Spyres ejerció como un Mitridate desde todos los aspectos, real. Ataviado con una vestimenta que le permitía la comodidad y estar abrigado, contrariamente a la exigencia de la ropa de las sopranos, más lujosas y de noche, posee una voz de tenor lírico en las fronteras de la condición de barítono,

con lo cual luce un registro holgadísimo, un centro bien desplegado, una zona baja potentísima y unos agudos donde triunfan las agilidades, porque apiana y retoma con una velocidad sorprendente y además tiene musicalidad, un fiato muy solvente y tierna línea de canto, más en la partitura que en lo escénico, donde representa a un monarca fiero y exigente, masculino y bien plantado, desafiante.

Fue algo fatigoso ir y volver a Valencia recorriendo más de 800 km, con una tormenta colosal a la vuelta (una “dana”, dicen ahora los meteorólogos,) y la organización mejorable del equipo de prensa. Contestan poco a los mails que le envió esta cronista, no dejan entrada de cortesía para un acompañante (asumible por la reducción del aforo, aunque la platea estaba escasamente poblada y todos los asistentes bastante  juntos). Tampoco se envió la acreditación por mail o se avisó dónde se encontraría, con lo que fue llegar y esperar media hora al raso hasta que se solucionó y aclaró la acreditación, que redundó en una tercera fila de la primera planta, fría y desde donde apenas se apreciaba el rostro de los artistas. La tercera y cuarta planta de palcos, desierta. Se agradece, sin embargo, la rapidez con que Javier González, de comunicación, envió las fotos de la función.

Siendo positivos y quedándose con lo mejor de la noche, hay que insistir en un encuentro musical y artístico de alta calidad, con músicos y cantantes entregados y un director, Minkowski, que disfrutó relajadamente toda la función, en su mejor estilo, no solo cuando lo aplaudían, mientras no quitaba ojo y oído al sonido de sus músicos y al desempeño, noble y exigido, de los cantantes.

Alicia Perris