I have not yet reported about my last opera „I puritani“ of Bellini at Frankfurt opera house about two weeks ago. When I was already halfway to the opera I realized that I had forgotten my ticket. So I went back, had a bad connection and was finally 15 minutes late.
That was the first time that happened to me. In the meantime I found out that they would have simply reprinted my ticket at the ticket booth because it was one of our subscription performances. But I didn‘t know. I was not the only one being late – we were about eight people – and gladly they had a late entrance service.
We had to watch the performance on the television screen in the foyer for some minutes then during a short break they brought us in the concert hall to some seats near an exit. Normally I am very happy that the house is so strict in not letting people in when they are late now I was happy there is something like a late comming service. Obviously I normally don‘t realize that because our ordinary seats are not near an exit.
Anyways so I had the chance to see the rest of the first half from the side of the first balcony. I could not see the German supertitles from there so I read the English ones. Later I realized they have additional displays with German supertitles especially for these seats. During the second half I could sit in my usual seat in the middle of the first row of the second balcony again. Definitely a different impression!
The piece was the last opera Bellini has written. For some reason I don’t understand the production started with the composer‘s funeral, then the performance evolved from the top of the grave and came back in the end. I understand the idea but don’t think something like that is necessary. The music was Belcanto style. Easy listening with strong vocal parts.
My opera guide says that the instrumentation would be weak in comparison. I could not realize that. The singers were flawless, my favorite was the bass-baritone Kihwan Sim as the benevolent uncle. The whole piece is a love story set in the Puritan England. Stage and costumes were wonderful; absolutely fitting to the piece. All in all a strong production that just premiered in December.