Marianne Crebassa she is among the young French singers one of the most interesting. In possession of a clear mezzo-soprano voice, quite extended (especially at the top), not very sonorous in the low but of beautiful color, Crebassa has been appreciated in recent years in some Mozartian and Rossinian roles. His Scaligero debut in the Bellinians is highly anticipated Capulets and Montecchi next year, in the role of Romeo.
Elegant and refined singer, Marianne Crebassa, very well accompanied on the piano by Alphonse Cemin, he proposed for the vocal concert at the Teatro alla Scala on Sunday 6 June, a refined and sophisticated program that explored the different influences that took place during the nineteenth century between Spanish, or Spanish, and French music. On the lectern we therefore had pages by Jesús Guridi, author of lyrics and music by Six Castilian Songs; the Claude Debussy of Bilitis songs; the effervescent Maurice Ravel of Spanish song; the Séguidille e il “Vivan los que rien!” (da Short life) by Manuel de Falla and, above all, the fascinating ones Summer nights by Hector Berlioz. He concluded the program, the only real opera air, “Près de remparts de Séville” by Carmen di Georges Bizet.
Obviously more at ease with the French language, of which Marianne Crebassa perfectly controls inflections, chiaroscuro and malice, the native singer from Béziers highlighted her many qualities and some limitations throughout the concert, especially under the interpretative aspect. If languor, delicacy and a certain melancholy blend perfectly with his almost adolescent timbre, the more “explosive” and extroverted pages (especially in de Falla) showed some awkwardness and lack of naturalness. This limit was also evident in the page taken from Carmen of Bizet penalized, it is true, by the lack of Don José’s interventions, but also very little feline and “dangerous” as the role would claim.
Where the French mezzo shone was during the performance of Berlioz’s ineffable melodies. Listening to them in the original 1841 version for voice and piano is a rarity. The composer, between 1843 and 1856 in fact decided to orchestral entrusting each piece to a different voice: to a mezzo-soprano or a tenor “Villanelle”, “Absance”, and “L’Ile inconnue”, to an alto “Lo Specter de la rose ”, to a baritone“ Sur le lagunes ”and finally to a tenor“ Au cimitière ”. Being able to hear them interpreted by a single voice, if in part limited the mysterious charm of these compositions, highlighted the unity of purpose and the intensely romantic atmosphere of these melodies inspired by the six poems of Théophile Gautier. The invocations “Reviens, reviens ma bien-aimée!” of “Absence” and the crepuscular languors of the “Specter de la rose” certainly the musical apex of this cycle by Berlioz.
The reception at the end of the evening was very festive. The singer then gave the public the Habanera from Carmen proving much more at ease in this aria than in the previously performed one, again taken from Bizet’s masterpiece.
Teatro alla Scala – Season 2020/21
Brani di Guridi, Debussy, Ravel, de Falla, Berlioz, Bizet
Marianne Crebassa, mezzo soprano
Alphonse Cemin, piano
Milan, June 7, 2021
Photo credit: Brescia and Amisano