ROMÉO ET JULIETTE
October | 2023
"Charles Gounod wrote a waltz-arietta for Madame Miolan-Carvalho in the first act of the opera, similar to those he had also written for her in Faust and Mireille. It is one of the most famous numbers in the opera: 'Ah, je veux vivre', full of sparkling colouratura.
Nadine Sierra made it an unforgettable moment of the evening with her admirable vocals. Also thanks to a natural elegance that spread out from the pit through the exquisite accompaniment of Lorenzo Passerini (Sondrio, 32).
The young Italian conductor, tackling Gounod's Roméo et Juliette for the first time and making his ABAO debut, was a revelation.
He offered a multitude of classy details right from the overture-prologue with the exposition of the fatality theme in the trombones and an almost Berliozian fugato, in which the strings of an excellent Euskadiko Orkestra, which had as guest violinist Olatz Ruiz de Gordejuela from Guipuzcoa, excelled. But also, after the choral narration, in a beautiful, almost pastel-toned realisation of the love theme performed by the cello quartet.
No doubt, the Italian conductor also skilfully resolved the series of cuts and versions associated with Gounod's opera. He opted for the later 1888 version, albeit without the ballet and epithalamium of Act IV, and without the short scene that opens Act V with Frère Laurent and some minor cuts.
His musical direction also emphasised that the essence of this opera lies in four love duets. Four moments full of nuances, half-voices and chamber tones that enhance the nocturnal atmosphere, from the dance of the first act to the grave of the fifth."
Pablo L. Rodríguez, EL PAÍS | 22.10.2023
"The musical direction was entrusted to Maestro Lorenzo Passerini, who made a triumphant appearance at the ABAO. With great gestures and commitment from the pit, rarely seen before, the young Italian conductor made the most of a Basque Symphony Orchestra that gave a top-notch performance right from the opening prologue. Suited to the melancholic passages required by Gounod's score, one appreciated a great job in accompanying the singers, as well as great passion and intensity in tempering and conducting a Bilbao Opera Chorus that delighted us with a remarkable performance. Thrilled to contemplate his successful work from the pit of the Euskalduna and, having witnessed his triumph in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria last May with Lucia di Lammermoor, from these pages I dare predict a very promising future for this young conductor"
José Nogueira, PRÓ OPERA | 25.10.2023
"Excellent conducting by the young maestro Lorenzo Passerini, one of the evening's triumphant performers together with the Euskadiko Orkestra. The Italian conductor opted for slow, elegant and very French tempi, as the score demands. His gesture was clear and precise both towards the pit and the stage, and he extracted an unctuous and nuanced sound. As already mentioned, the orchestra, an increasingly refined ensemble, gave one of its best performances in living memory in the Euskalduna pit, with an overwhelming wind and particularly precise string playing."
Javier del Olivo, Platea Magazine | 25.10.2023
"The celebrity of this performance was enhanced by the young Italian baton of Lorenzo Passerini (32). He presented a meticulous, exacting work for the pit and voices, making it clear that he was in charge of the concertation. He put the Euskadiko Orkestra at his beck and call without any licence, keeping the soundstages free of any screeching and letting the different sections shine when the musical discourse demanded it in his judgement. Important was the measure of brilliance - never thunderous - that he brought to the percussion section to emphasise the moments of conflict demanded by the libretto."
Manuel Cabrera, Beckmesser | 25.10.2023
"The chorus was fine, as always obedient to Boris Dujin's mastery, the Euskadiko Orkestra was excellent, and Maestro Lorenzo Passerini's was a fine confirmation of this. He too was greeted by triumphant applause, and I have not heard him conduct since a fortunate and timely substitution in Tosca at the Teatro Regio in Turin. Here he did his best in a reading that was snappy and emphatic in the moments of dramatic tension, but ideal in terms of timing and sonority, perfectly dosed to accompany and support the singing, creating atmospheres of dreamy emotion and refined musical sensitivity.
A truly commendable work. I was reminded that in reviewing it, and it was one of his very first conducting experiences in opera, I had written 'We hope to see him on the podium again soon' or something similar. It took me a while, it is true, and now Passerini is competing with him on the stages of London, Vienna and other important musical capitals.
Let's hope, then, that the next encounters will be closer."
Andrea Merli, Impiccione Viaggiatore | 31.10.2023