Récital – Toulouse 2019

October 3th 12:30

Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse, France

October 11th 2019, Mélomanie – Radio Présence

We devoted a lot of time during the previous issue of Melomanie to the production of Norma at the Capitole and those who listened to it certainly remember the enthusiasm that Robert Pénavayre showed for the performance of Klara Kolonits in the title role. Accidentally, the Hungarian soprano also gave a recital last week which Robert attended and he obviously wanted to share with us the impressions, therefor I’m gladly going to pass the microphone to him.

Klara Kolonits was as dazzling in this concert as in the role of Norma. If it is not luxury, then what is…? This recital was a part of the cycle of recitals Midis de Capitole and it is accessible to the everyone because the ticket is only 5 € – and for this price, Christophe Ghristi presents us the star of the Hungarian State Opera of Budapest as she also took part in the Norma production and again I say if this is not luxury…

The program included Liszt, Donizetti, Meyerbeer and Ferenc Erkel. Kolonits started with Ferenc Liszt, a classical selection of his mélodies, the Petrarca sonnet and so on – Klára Kolonits is clearly an experienced specialist in this repertoire. I would define her voice as a large, full lyric soprano with coloratura – because it opens up and shines most beautifully in top register as opposed to the medium in a dramatic soprano, although she also sounds wonderfully in middle and lower range… these details aside, she performed Ferenc Liszt songs in absolutely delightful way, beautifully with a great sense of style.

Then we could discover this other Hungarian composer through one of his most famous operas. She sang it in the original language of course, but the translation says “Great heavens, I tremble!” – it was a very dramatic and passionate singing. Even in Hungarian that I clearly do not speak I could understand the meaning of the words and the music through her expressive performance. After that, she offers this little gem of the cabaletta of Linda di Chamounix with her own sumptuous variations like in Norma. She performs the ornamentations, trills, high notes, piquées, high Ds and E flats with no visible strain – at the same time, it is not a small coloratura voice – she is clearly comfortable in this register, the voice naturally opens up there and rings with its round richness and this is what is really outstanding!

Then, we have her signature role and a fetish role for many, Marguerite de Valois from Meyerbeer’s Huguenots. We may be a bit more picky in the terms of French being native speakers, of course it could be even more polished but but it is to be said that we can absolutely understand what she is singing. But no French prevents her from singing it wonderfully and with a great sense of style – but I had no doubts she would, as I said it is one of her signature roles that she performs often in Budapest. At the end for the encore she performs one more Erkel piece, a nostalgic air of Melinda. I thought she could do another encore, but then again it was getting late too… after Norma, it was another wonderful meeting with this singer.

I must say it sounds like an incredible luxury indeed, and to illustrate your enthusiasm let us play “Oh quand je dors” that she also sang at the recital – from her Liszt Songs CD.

October 11th 2019, Mélomanie – Radio Présence

Second encounter live with Klára Kolonits, the Norma of Capitole. Beautiful moment of sharing and of music.

The first part was dedicated to Liszt, whose renowned interpreter she’s been for a long time already. In the six songs we saw her dreaming, mysterious, fearful, enraged. Each piece she interpreted in a completely different way, the vocal colours were always new and varied. Even if this music isn’t really my cup of tea, I was there pinned to my seat and listening to this multi-faceted voice. Robert Gonnella’s accompaniment is also in the spirit of the different colours and emotions in every piece, every musical phrase.

For her first concert in France she was an ambassador of her native Hungary also in the beginning of the second, operatic part. She sang one of her favourite arias (that I never heard of) – Nagy Ég, remegek. The concert takes off from this point, we feel that we take part in an enormous moment of music and interpretation. The voice, warmed up by Lieder, grows in the volume and we can admire a festival of vocalises and interpolated notes, in a very impressive tessitura. We can tell that she loves this aria very much, she lives it and she transmits it magnificently to the audience. The spectators don’t hesitate to applaud her in a very spontaneous and lengthy way.

Personally, I went for this concert mostly for Linda di Chamounix’ aria and O beau pays from Les Huguenots. The first one is a a pure jewel of joy and hallucinating virtuosity, the interpolated notes, the trills, the variations – they are endless. The happiness of singing in its purest state. It’s really magnificent to see her negotiating through the technical difficulties with such ease and joy. Not sure if she would sing such a quantity of ornaments and variations in a full staged show, but in this context of a concert it was absolutely amazing. Marguerite aria that I awaited impatiently remains in the same spirit, performed with more noble colours and attitude, a tad less crazy variations – after all it’s a queen – but the trills, the piqués, the high notes are all precise and luminous here too. One has to bow deeply in front of such a technical mastery and such a heart… Bravo!

For the encore, she returns to Erkel for another aria – much more dramatic, as the heroine is asking her husband to kill her instead of their child. Certain passages sound as if the character was loosing her mind… certainly this music doesn’t fall far from the Italian bel canto, both in technique and in emotional load. It was a beautiful emotional finale of the concert, saying “au revoir” to the touched audience. It was really a beautiful hour of music that passed too quickly, we would have listened on and on!!! I can only hope to hear this singer in the pink city again and again in the upcoming years.

October 3rd 2019, CarayonK, Kévin Carayon

Franz Liszt (1811-1886)
Kling leise, mein Lied
Oh, quand je dors
O, lieb, so lang du lieben kannst !
Es muss ein Wunderbares sein
I vidi in terra angelici costumi

Ferenc Erkel (1810-1893)
Nagy ég, remegek !

Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848) 
Ah, tardai troppo… O, luce di quest’anima

Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791-1864)
Ô, beau pays de la Touraine… À ce mot seul s’anime

Ferenc Erkel (1810-1893)
Ölj meg engem, Bánk

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