(Above: Anna Netrebko and Piotr Beczala at a press conference for Tchaikovsky's Iolanta @ Festspielhaus Baden-Baden)
OC has heard from our dear Swiss correspondent, who gave her the skinny (figuratively, Netrebko being Netrebko) on Anna Netrebko's premiere last night live from Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, where the Russian soprano sang her first Tchaikovsky "Iolanta" for the theatre's Sommerfestspiele (in a double feature with Rachmaninoff's Aleko).
Our Swiss fan-on-the-scene reported a wonderful evening, Anna's comfort with the Russian repertoire making for a touching and captivating performance. Piotr Beczala's Vaudémont also impressed the crowds along with Sergei Aleksashkin as Rene, and Gergiev led the Mariinsky in perfect paces. Anna & Piotr's duets garnered the most applause of the evening, which was all enhanced by video projections featuring snowflakes and twinkling stars. Most everything on stage was given a black and white treatment to set the color palette and referencing Iolanta's blindness.
After the performance, Anna dashed away the post-opera gala dinner, sponsored by Deutsche Bank, in a polka-dot black dress, loads of red lipstick, ad bright green high heels!
Below are two pictures from the event, although none from the production. Our reporter says that the Baden-Baden ushers were on absolute lock-down with a scarily tight ~camera patrol~ throughout the entire evening.