Tristan und Isolde

Luiz Fernando Malheiro
Coral do Amazonas
Amazonas Filarmônica
19 May 2011
Teatro Amazonas Manaus
Recording Type
  live  studio
  live compilation  live and studio
TristanJohn Charles Pierce
IsoldeEliane Coelho
BrangäneAndreia Souza
KurwenalLeonardo Neiva
König MarkeKevin Maynor
MelotIgor Vieira
Ein junger SeemannFlávio Leite
Ein HirtFlávio Leite
Stage directorAndré Heller-Lopes
Set designerCarlos Pedreanez, Flávio Lima
TV director

The 15th edition of the FESTIVAL AMAZONAS DE OPERA came to a climax on May 20 when Eliane Coelho made her debut in one of the most taxing and complex roles in the history of opera—that of Isolde. For the very first time, Brazil’s only current ‘diva’ took on Wagner’s heroine, the key figure in this shattering work. Tristan shares the opera’s title, it is true, but he remains somehow overshadowed by her. Concentrating on Isolde was one of the many excellent decisions by the director Andre Heller-Lopes.

The role demands a dramatic soprano voice, both subtle and powerful enough to soar above the orchestra. Luiz Fernando Malheiro and his musicians successfully faced a score that never allows them to accommodate the singers. The second act is one huge love scene; 90 minutes —or, as Virgil Thomson counted, ‘seven orgasms’. Heller-Lopes showered this orgy with thousands of rose petals which mingled with Isolde’s beautiful red dress. It was the finest image in a flawless production.

The opera’s best-known moment is its ending. Isolde’s Lebestod demands various qualities not easily found in one singer: projection to master the increasingly overwhelming orchestral waves, but also serenity and heavenly sweetness culminating in a floating pianissimo. To the many great Isoldes in history —Hagstad and Nilsson, Meier and Stemme —the name of Eliane Coelho must now be added. Final notes about the uniformly excellent cast: John Charles Pierce’s Tristan showed solid middle and low notes, and a reliable, if not beautiful, top; Andreia Souza’s impressive Brangaene had rich vocal colour; Leonardo Neiva was an outstanding Kurwenal, especially moving in Act 3. The Orquestra Amazonas was very close to achieving a high level of performance, despite a few minor mistakes in the strings, excusable amid an otherwise formidable achievement. I cannot understand why such a successful production was limited to a few performances. This Tristan should travel throughout Brazil, demonstrating a level of operatic quality never before seen in our country.


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Technical Specifications
1280×720, 1.4 Mbit/s, 2.5 GByte (MPEG-4)
In-house recording
XV Festival Amazonas de Ópera
Possible dates: 19, 22 may 2011