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She got through all of last year and she’s here

The apparently immortal Anja Silja (all those performances of Vec Makropulos must have rubbed off!) is seen here in her newest role, Babulenka in Prokofiev’s Igrok at Oper Frankfurt. The soprano, who debuted in 1956 as Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, is now in the 57th year of her career.

The production of Der Spieler (as it is called in this German-language version) is directed by Harry Kupfer.

Production photo by Monika Rittershaus.

70 comments

  • PushedUpMezzo says:

    I’m sure that’s Angela Lansbury as Madame Armfeldt.
    Next career move for Silja?

    • Hippolyte says:

      Silja sang The Old Lady in Bernstein’s Candide in Berlin a few years ago so I agree A Little Night Music may not be far behind.

      • MontyNostry says:

        Madame Armfeldt meets Rosine Leckermaul.

          • Camille says:

            Is that Bianca vs. Nerva—or—Nerva vs. MMIItm?

          • marshiemarkII says:

            Did you call out MMII ™ cara CammiBelle?
            Well here SHE IS!!!!!
            Just back from the Final Dress of Rigoletto. First the good news! Beczala is the greatest tenor in the world today!!!!! Well he has some competition…., but what gorgeous SINGING, it is not the largest sound, and perhaps not quite Pavarotti-gorgeous the sound itself, but what a way to encompass the GRAND Verdi line, the boy has voice voice and more voice (I am NOT talking volume here, but just filling the musical line!). Almost the same can be said for the title role, what a gorgeous command of the Verdi line, and with a sound that is just a tad short of sublimely gorgeous, but what phrasing! Both of them to the manner born! The Gilda was not remotely in that level. In the first Act she was INAUDIBLE (yes I know it’s one of those catch-all sobriquets that generates heartburn here) but the gorgeous first duet went for nothing, as did Caro Nome, the phrasing pedestrian and great lines choppy and clipped. In the Caro Nome she did the “breathless” thing, heaving on every other word, it got very tiring after a couple of seconds, and maybe she really was breathless. Got a tad better for Tutte la feste and again went into this unsupported piano for the cantabile in the duet. Disappeared in the Vendetta cabaletta. Was much better for the storm scene, but by then it was too late to make much of an impression. In the Bella figlia, the two men were simply breathtaking!!!!!!!!
            The conducting I thought was crisp, beautifully shaped and at a very nice clip! Loved it!

            And now the production……….. The camp and the kitsch it’s at such level that you actually end up accepting it in its own terms, but it is very tiring on the eyes, all that NEON!!!!!! What’s up with the Met, Enchanted Island, Gotterdammerung (Immolation Disco GoGo) and now Rigoletto are all neonfests??????
            In the end the drama was well enough articulated that you kind of settled for it, and accepted it, as a glass of cod oil can be accepted for health reasons, but did I “like” it? No! Maybe more details later…….Oh and did I say that Emalie Savoy was simply STUNNING as Marilyn Monroe/Contessa Ceprano, the daughter of an Arab Sheikh!