Described by Salzburger Nachricten as “Opera as Great Romantic Cinema”, the two operas, Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci brought record attendances to the Salzburg Easter Festival. No wonder, for Jonas Kaufmann, in his debut performances as both Turiddu and Canio, was “stellar” (Daily Telegraph) and sang “both parts so lyrically, with such italianità, mellow with impeccable highs… a pure delight” (Kurier). Equally impressive are Thielemann – “the uber-conductor” (Telegraph) – and the Dresdeners, who “take time for sensitive, melodious soul portraits, while delivering consummate drama at just the right moment. What we hear from the pit is sensational in its nuances” (Kurier).
The scene is set by film and opera director Philipp Stölzl, a director whose fascinating vision brings these popular operas to new heights. Stölzl divides the stage into several levels, staging crowd scenes below, private feelings above – the latter projected with filmic close-ups – doubling and tripling the action. This production, insists Kurier, “simply must be described as world-class”. “Thrilling” concludes the Telegraph.