Franck / Madaras / Holloway - Hulda | FAMS COALITION


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The injustices of history are made to be redressed. Here a cast of international singers, under the dynamic direction of Gergely Madaras, devotes itself with conviction to the task of reviving one of the forgotten glories of French Romantic opera. Hulda, completed in 1885, was never staged in César Franck's lifetime. This gory medieval legend recounts the multiple acts of vengeance it's heroine inflicts on the Aslak clan, which slaughtered her family, and on her unfaithful lover Eiolf. The ferocious performance of American soprano Jennifer Holloway in the title role is matched by the sinister presentiments of her French colleague Véronique Gens and the tender outbursts of Dutch soprano Judith van Wanroij. Although the imaginary Norwegian setting brings Wagner to mind, Franck continues the tradition of French grand-opéra while adopting the contemporary Verdian idiom. The intensity of the action is reflected in harmonic and instrumental experiments that place Franck in the forefront of the modernists of his time. The inventiveness of the ballet is matched only by the splendour of the choral writing. How could such a masterpiece have languished in oblivion for so long? Quite simply, because it was deliberately buried by Franck's pupils, who preferred to keep for themselves the glory of personifying the French operatic revival.

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