Top honours went to Klára Kolonits as Marguerite de Valois. Kolonits sparkled and dazzled with her coloratura, gave us creamy soft timbre in the lyrical passages, and turned on a sixpence to shift moods: she could be light-hearted, coquettish, formal, friendly or regal as demanded. The audience bayed for an encore after “Au beau pays de la Touraine”, to no avail.
Klára Kolonits is an impressive and sovereign queen with her luminous, expressive and secure soprano.
Here we must salut the absolute success, till the last curtain call welcomed with enthusiastic applause and corresponding exclamations. Triumphant of the evening, the Marguerite de Valois of Klára Kolonits is simply breathtaking. She produces the top notes with disarming freedom and ease. The variations are the most imaginative that we have ever heard. This virtuosity however is put at the service of the character, and helps to make Marguerite a little more frivolous and offbeat, as is her project to solve the religious antagonism by a mixed marriage. Sometimes a little too relaxed articulation is the only slight flaw. In any case, the soprano confirms on the stage all her qualities that we already appreciated in her CD recital.
Klára Kolonits, the Queen of the Night of the house, but lately also Odabella in Nürnbergberg, sang the queen with her soft, even in the dramatic parts smooth soprano and legato phrasing, the slow passages were delivered with deep emotion and expression, while the ornamental fireworks revealed with beautiful trills and exquisite singing culture.
Meyerbeer’s work wins the spectator’s liking first of all in the part where one of the inevitable basic conditions of the French great opera is being realised: that is, where a singer of superior skills can be invited to perform the main virtuoso part. This part belonged to Marguerite de Valois Margit, who dominated the second act, and the interpreter of the role, Klára Kolonits, dazzled the audience with her colourful vocal fireworks, after which the ninety second celebration that interrupted the show seemed actually rather mild reaction. The singer also rearranged her whole scene with putting her coloratura in service of the expression of the soul and wisdom of role interpreting, instead of letting it be merely an showpiece of the throat gymnastics. The flirtatious royal beauty in the interpretation of Kolonits feels a calling to put the order in the world and bring peace, but at the same time is a sensual glorification of a a feminine archetype yearning to seduce and conquer.
What Klára Kolonits turns the beginning of the third act into, cannot be simply called world class. If she was a soccer player, I would say hat-trick, with one goal shot from the corner, second from half field, and third with scissor kick. Her phrasing is so gracefully flexible, her singing so ethereally pure that in Erkel the time stopped. The reaction couldn’t have been different, with roaring bravos and long spontaneous applause after her scene
This isn’t, cannot be a question – Klára Kolonits in the role of Marguerite de Valois was the start of both evenings. Even before the curtain goes up before her aria, in the audience you can nearly touch the tension of expectancy. Everyone is awaiting a miracle! And the miracle does happen: a great singer, probably on the top of her career, sings the role on a level which can be only considered the highest even in the international context. A completely even voice, the same timbre in all of the registers, emotionally rich interpretation of the otherwise meaningless content, incredible bravura of her coloratura – all of this amazes and brings the well deserves, huge success.
In the end of the second act one starts to wonder, if the role of Marguerite de Valois is actually the best one in the whole piece, or was it the interpreter who soars high beyond the average. Klára Kolonits has the rare ability not only to sing beautifully, intimately, expressively roles like Lucia, Elvira, Erzsébet Szilágyi or Melinda, but also to communicate with listener in a way that the latter feels that everything is addressed personally to him, that the singer wants to tell him a secret, wants to amuse him. Kolonits’ successes in the recent ears remain matchless and a big part, next to her wonderful capacities, is played by this very directness perceived by the audience. A singer who is old-fashioned in a modern way. Steps on stage in the perfect technical armour, amazes with her virtuosity, that would enchant the 19th century’s audience too. At the same time they might be looking all bewildered as she flaunts and jumps around the young handsome Huguenot, as she gives an exciting portrait of the paradoxes of a woman’s soul within her short presence on the stage. In addition, with the second act it comes out that the electrifying scene (in which every spectator worth its salt draws himself closer to the stage with blinking eyes) is an act of artistic partisanship, and not the worked-out idea of the stage director.
Klára Kolonits in the role of Marguerite de Valois brings down the house, and it is well deserved. In her bravura aria she does not always sing evenly, but the abandon in acting, dedication in performance and the apparent ease in coloraturas made her production in the whole opera really exciting. She was an elegant aristocratic queen and the role seems a benefit match for her.
Among the singers, Klára Kolonits is by far the best. She realises without any miss the basic requirement of French grand opéra – she shows a real bravura singing – as if she compressed into a singing voice the considerable personality, who not without reason hold the royal power. There is no one in the cast that can be compared to this format of artistry.
In the role of the Queen of Navarre, Marguerite de Valois Klára Kolonits is on the very top both regarding her singing and acting, shows a real human being who tries and tries to bring peace, but it’s basically a rule that she fails each time.
Klára Kolonits’ Marguerite de Valois is the bright point of the show. The singers brings into life the part’s coloratura fireworks with a graceful ease, manages to put at service of her interpretation of the character also the ornaments that otherwise serve purely the presentation of an impeccable singing technique. She was a real queen, serenity and flirtatious playfulness radiated from her acting, but the royal decisiveness was present as well. Her role lasts only an act, but her interpretation was the most complete and enchanting of the whole evening.
Obviously, first of all and from any point of view Klára Kolonits as Marguerite de Valois comes first (provided the reader is following closely the Hungarian opera life, this obviousness doesn’t need any further explanation). The role is only one act long (out of five), but what an act! Straight forty minutes of existence, forty minutes of virtuosity, forty minutes of magic, forty minutes of deep psychology. Because the queen of Kolonits is very much defined. Radiant, even playful, decisive, but also bit elfish – yet all regal attributes, even the deeply felt responsibility of the nation’s unity are also present. From this point of view the interpretation is very complex. Precise production of coloratura arabesques seems not enough: with their contribution, the singer paints the queen’s personality as only the best can: the music notes are only a help in faithful unfolding the soul notes.
First of all absolutely breathtaking and justly applauded Klára Kolonits in the role of the Queen of Navarre. The score is incredibly difficult and full of backbreaking passages. The coloratura sopran immerses herself into them admirably, not loosing the pure, radiant timbre that she is known of. Now this timbre can present itself in a role that fits the voice wonderfully.
Audience’s favourite dramatic coloratura Klára Kolonits (Marguerite de Valois) excelled in virtuoso ornaments from the second act’s aria.
Some time into the opera, some of the characters break out from the stereotypes and go directly into our hearts: such was Klára Kolonits as Marguerite de Valois who sang impeccably even the most difficult arias.
The singers in Budapest were very successful in their roles. Klára Kolonits shows an amazing talent as the Queen Marguerite de Valois.
2017/10 Bartók Radio Interview
2017/10/26 Chain Bridge Salon Interview
2017/10/22 M5 TV Interview
2017/10/29 Theater.hu Interview (in Hungarian, English translation coming soon):
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