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LE TEMPS Tchaïkovski en grâce à Verbier

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© Nicolas Brodard

The festival ended with the magnificent opera "Eugene Onegin", served by excellent singers and the junior orchestra, bluffing of musicality. The balance sheet of the 2017 edition is positive

He had to be seen to believe it. The musicians of the Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra were prodigious of musicality and fervor in the opera Eugene Onegin of Tchaikovsky after Pushkin. It was Sunday afternoon at the Salle des Combins. Under the baton of Russian conductor Stanislav Kochanovsky, remarkable of concentration and benevolence, these musicians aged between 15 and 18 gave the best of themselves.

There was a whole palette of nuances to depict Tatiana's moods, his love for Onegin, his doubts, and the reversal of his feelings, which initially dismissed him in order to love him better Then - alas too late.

Fruit of the master class

On the stage, the young singers of the Academy of Verbier are similarly engaged. Coincidentally, Tchaikovsky's opera was created by a group of students in Moscow in March 1879. At Verbier, the singers - already on the verge of professional careers - are thus in the same age range. This Eugène Oneéguine is the culmination of two weeks of work in the master classes with great teachers. Tim Carroll signs the set-up that clearly defines the relationships between the characters.

The Russian soprano Aleksandra Rybakova composes a beautiful portrait of Tatiana, especially in "The Air of the Letter". She also imposes in the final duet with Onegin, despite slight traces of fatigue. The Korean baritone Gihoon Kim has a beautiful voice of voice (he has to expand the theatrical play); The tenor Alexander Mikhaylov moved by his accents of fragility in Lenski.

Incandescent fighter and sensitivity

We also greet the long and heady voice of the French mezzo Adèle Charvet in Filipyevna (who received the Paternot Prize), the Russian mezzo Anastasiia Sidorova in Olga and the English Anna Harvey in Madame Larina, both very comfortable scenically . Lower promise of Jasper Leever in Prince Gremine and fun number of Mr. Triquet by the Indonesian Satriya Krisna. In the orchestra, we find the very beautiful solos to the winds (oboe and clarinet in particular) and a pulpit of melodies with melancholic accents. Of course, there are some inaccuracies, but these musicians of the junior orchestra are remarkable.

Tchaikovsky was also honored at the evening closing concert. The Dutch violinist Janine Jansen has printed incandescent fire and sensitivity to the Tchaikovsky Concerto. Mikhail Pletnev (refined, although a little wise in accompanying the Concerto) and the Verbier Festival Orchestra gave their full measure in the 4th Symphony in the second part.

As for the record of the festival, it is positive. More than 45,000 festival-goers (5% more than last year) were welcomed by a team of 200 people, including 97 volunteers. 10% of festival goers came for the first time this year. More than 4,000 places have been awarded to young people under 25 years of age - proof that there are not only greyish heads in Verbier.

Julian Sykes
9 August 2017