Les Contes d’Hoffmann 2021

reviews

“The premiere was clearly the triumph of Klára Kolonits who excelled as all four female characters.

She feels the most comfortable in Olympia’s aria, making the neckbreaking coloraturas elegant and easy. She dares to be indeed doll-like, with her stiff movements and charming face expressions.

In the second act she can spread her wings in a more natural, interpretation – her Antonia is lyrical and melanconical, which allows Kolonits to employ her classical operatic qualities. Perhaps Giulietta is the one she can associate with the least, but that’s only a guess, not a statement. Kolonits can express the characters’ essence in one single scene, where Stella – after she failed to gently wake Hoffmann up from his drunken coma – she walks away at Lindorf’s arm.”

2021 December 6th, Opera Világ, Fülöp Károly 

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interview (in Hungarian): Katolikus Rádió, 2021. December 5th

The four female characters are triumphantly interpreted by Klára Kolonits, who received the biggest applause, not surprisingly, with Olympia’s aria, but she was also heartbreaking in a couple of warm prose sentences she spoke to Hoffmann as Stella in the last act

2021. december, Magyar Narancs, Ferenc László

In this show the Hoffmann’s lovers are in the spotlight, which makes it a triumphant celebration for Klára Kolonits. She is not only an incredible singer, but also a great actress. She can play a much younger character credibly, she can be tempting as a robot and then fall apart to pieces. She seduces and rejects, embraces and sends ice cold looks. She can’t be ignored, but she wants to be. She impersonates a false hope, ever-playing with Hoffman with all her assets.

A woman of thousand faces, whom Hoffmann has no luck with, and perhaps he prefers it that was. She is more than him, which makes him keep his distance, while turning to his poetry.

2021 December 28th, 168, Bóta Gábor 

The Opera House put their best into this show. The biggest highlight of the production is the fact that again we have a Hungarian singer who manages the four soprano roles by herself, and brilliantly: Klára Kolonits. Moreover, the previous Hungarian soprano to do that was also Kolonits, 14 years ago in Miskolc, and almost 23 years ago in Szolnok. (she also did Olympia even earlier, a quarter of a century ago, in Debrecen) The Opera House could have taken advantage of it much earlier.

Kolonits knows everything about this complex role which embraces a huge vocal range, and moreover, she deals with difficulties of all the four roles triumphantly. The only question was what she would propose in the terms of acting. Her Olympia differs from her colleague in the second cast in many ways. The most important difference is that Kolonits presents the doll with abudnant irony. She operates with extremely grotesque, sometimes obscene gestures, and shows practically no interest towards the enchanted Hoffmann, who doesn’t understand any of it. At the climax of the famous Doll Aria, a pink teddy bear pulled out of the panties alongside the high E flat is a culmination of this ironic approach, through which she underlines the poet’s hopeless and empty illusions.

Kolonits uses completely different tools in the roles of Antonia and Giulietta. Antonia, the hopeful young girl, seriously falls in love with Hoffman, then desperately tries to escape from Miracle’s demonic grip. Her voice sounds astonishingly transformed, light and soaring as Olympia, here she presents the tragedy with full and dramatic colors. Her Giulietta presents the courtesan who is passionate, but only has her own interests in mind. Although the voice range moves a quarter down compared to Olympia, it sounds full even in the lowest passages. As Stella, she is extremely effective with few gestures in the opening and closing scenes, of course the task here being primarily an acting one.

An expressive nuance from the beginning of the Antonia picture also deserves mentioning. At the performance on the 9th, a piece of the Olympia doll was accidentally left at the front of the stage. Kolonits noticed it while she walking by. She didn’t step over it, she didn’t kick it aside. Recognizing the opportunity offered by the moment, she picked it up, looked at it, then thoughtfully placed it on the bartender’s counter. It was a beautiful moment, and the improvisation created the transition between the two female figures in a tenth of a second.

2021 December 12th, momus.hu, zéta 

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