The enthusiasm for Cura’s production literally ripped the audience from their seats.
José Cura has managed to merge the evening’s two works successfully in beautiful temporal and spatial continuity. The realism is immediate, powerful and poignant, tastily colorful but without an excess of local color. It works from start to finish.
This touching, picturesque and human show rests on traditional but skillful and clever acting that is sensitive and always situation-appropriate. A production of great audience appeal and worthy the reputation of the Opera Royal de Wallonie.
These days, it is no longer quite so easy to achieve the same effect as fifty or even a hundred years ago with these perhaps most typical examples among the Verismo operas that have survived in the repertoire. But José Cura has definitely done it with his adaptation. It is not only the logical, convincing staging concept of interlocking the two operas plus naturally also the nice décor and costumes that contribute, but also the perfect craftsmanship. From the seemingly casual movement of the choruses to the detailed directing of individuals and the many staging ideas, Cura proves that with clarity, inspiration and delight in detail it is definitely still possible to stage a work in a traditional manner and be of interest to the audience.
Everything is direct, unmitigated expression. The wild, the excessive, the being-in-turmoil remains Cura’s constant companion, even in restraint; thus a scathing glance, a tender gesture, an abrupt turning away suffices for the almost 50-year-old to conjure up with small gestures the great drama about love, jealousy, infidelity and murder. The Liege audience, applauding enthusiastically, will surely remember the evening still for a long time.