Maria Guleghina – the Diva of the magic gardens – newspaper “Sankt-Peterburgski vedomosti”
On 16 October 2018, Maria Guleghina for the first time in her career switched to German, performing the part of Kundry in the opera “Parsifal” by Wagner on the historical stage of the Mariinsky Theatre. Behind the conductor’s stand for this occasion was Maestro Valery Gergiev himself.
“Parsifal” is a spectacle with long life in the repertoire of the Mariinsky Theatre. It was produced in 1997 by the Briton Tony Palmer with sets by Yevgeny Lysyk. And this was a break for the Russian musical culture and for the conductor’s work of Gergiev himself. One of the most complex, top opera compositions of the 19th century found at the Mariinsky Theatre its long, one could say, eternal harbour. After more than twenty years it looks like a precious antique, preserving the fidelity to the slow tempi, another feeling for life, for time.
The heroine of the evening, who followed hundreds of addicted admirers and experts, remained Maria Guleghina. The singer made a heroical step, turning for the first time in her career, after exclusively Italian parts, to Wagner’s character, and still what! Kundry, who, according to the legend, has laughed over the sufferings of Christ, doomed to eternal roaming in all directions of the world.
Such temperamental performers of Kundry the history of opera doesn’t know many. Maria Guleghina with her 35-year experience in the performance of “great” Italian personages with complex characters displayed herself here in a vocal, as well as in dramatic aspect. She confidently and desperately, like mistress of the elements, was withstanding the mutually exclusive poles of savagery and holiness – which are present in each woman, a fact, over which didn’t miss to reflect Wagner. The singer was so carried away by the new part that in a transport of enthusiasm for Act II, where she appears in front of Parsifal in all her seductive radiance, she even had a magnificent dress made.
Ruler of intonation, Maria Guleghina laughed crushingly, as it was envisaged also in the scores, and in vocal aspect she turned out to be a rare alloy between German language and the succulence of the Italian bel canto, on the basis of what was virtuously developed all her previous vocal career. In Guleghina’s plans is to continue to dip in Wagner, with whom is famous the repertoire of the Mariinsky Theatre.
The material was published in newspaper “Sankt-Peterburgski vedomosti” No. 199 (6308) from 25.10.2018.