k r i t i k e n   . .   m u s i k t h e a t e r




Cosi fan tutte, Johannes Mrtin Kränzle as Don Alfonso with Corinne Winters (Fiordiligi) and Alessio Arduini (Guglielmo) © ROH London


Mozart: Cosi fan tutte, London, Royal Opera House 2016
(I: Gloger, D: Bychkow)

Music OMH:
The highest accolades of all, however, go to Johannes Martin Kränzle who, with his excellent baritone and superb timing, presents Don Alfonso as the ultimate trickster. He may be well established in mainland Europe but he could still be classed as ‘up-and-coming’ in the UK and America. He only made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2014 as Beckmesser, having played the part for Glyndebourne in 2011, and this is his Royal Opera debut. Based on what we have already seen of him, it is enough to say that his Beckmesser here next March should not be missed at all costs.

The Telegraph:
Johannes Martin Kränzle makes a wonderfully cynical and well-sung Alfonso... It is not until the old manipulator Don Alfonso emerges as a theatre director that the staging’s cleverness really register

Whats On Stage:
This turns out to be none other than Don Alfonso in what will go on to become a first-class performance by Johannes Martin Kränzle.

Opera Today:
Johannes Martin Kränzle showed a good sense of timing and stage-craft, and his baritone is both full-bodied and fluid.

Culture Whisper:
Johannes Martin Kränzle, also making his ROH debut as the scheming Don Alfonso, gives not only lessons in love, but lessons in how to get every ounce of music out of his beautifully controlled lines. Kränzle is clearly a singer to catch whenever you can.

Forum Opera(France):
Johannes Martin Kränzle pontifie autant en Don Alfonso qu’il délivre une leçon de chant. Dépourvu de véritable aria, il s’impose par une projection idéale et une diction léchée. Chacune de ses interventions pendant les scènes et ensembles est un régal (« Io crepo si non rido »).

The Stage:
This success is no doubt also down to a shining cast: Johannes Martin Kränzle delights in his role as social architect.

The Critic´s Circle:
The show really belonged to Johannes Martin Kränzle, character baritone par excellence, in the ultimate debut of the night: hard to believe he hasn’t sung here before, but better late than never. He inhabits the role masterfully and with an unfailing glint in the eye, a convincing ringmaster. He will be back later this season to sing Beckmesser in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg – his ‘signature’ role. Grab a ticket by any means.

The Guardian:
Impressive ensemble cast focus on the wider questions. This cast is unusually well-matched vocally. The young lovers are put through their trials and tribulations by Johannes Martin Kränzle’s precise Don Alfonso.

Johannes Martin Kränzle delivered Don Alfonso’s self-congratulations as targeted point-scoring rather than harmless fun.

Seen and Heard:
Johannes Martin Kränzle took to his role as master of ceremonies with commendable enthusiasm and equally commendable musico-theatrical results.

Plays to see:
Johannes Martin Kränzle nails the wit of Don Alfonso as he conjures up scenarios to test the lovers.

Exemplified in the fantastical sets by Ben Baur, this production capitalises on a whimsical, almost fantastical, web that the puppeteer Don Alfonso (Johannes Martin Kränzle) weaves... Don Alfonso (Kränzle) and Despina (Puértolas) slink around the stage as ringmaster and unperturbed, lackadaisical assistant. Their contrasting soprano and bass lines add comic villainy to proceedings.

The Observer:
The german baritone Johannes Martin Kränzle made wise light of Alfonso´s meddling and needling.

Financial Times:
Johannes Martin Kränzle presides elegantly as a wily philosopher from the Age of Enlightenment.

The Independent:
Focusing on the opera’s alternative title The School for Lovers, for Gloger the confusion that the four protagonists undergo as their affections shift. This is achieved by Don Alfonso (Johannes Martin Kränzle) inviting them into a succession of alternative theatrical realities. Ensemble singing is strong.

The Spectator:
It’s Don Alfonso (Johannes Martin Kränzle, all smiling menace) who beckons them on to the stage, welcoming them into a theatrical world in which he is ringmaster and magus, director and pander, conjuring sets and scenarios ranging from a Brief Encounter-style railway station and an art-deco bar to the Garden of Eden and an 18th-century theatre.

Also well-matched was Johannes Martin Kränzle as Don Alfonso, he walked the narrow line between musing and meddling.

Opera Innit:
Kränzle had the level of charisma needed to run the farce and not come off completely detestable. In fact, Don Alfonso merely appeared reasonable in this production.

Fanaticos da Opera (Portugal):
O barítono alemão Johannes Martin Kränzle fez um Don Alfonso seguro e muito bem adaptado à personagem.

Classical Source:
Johannes Martin Kränzle sang Don Alfonso with a cool, unflappable restraint, appropriate to this conception of him, and acted with an engaging wit.

Scottish Daily Mail:
His baritone compatriot, the charismatic Johannes Martin Kränzle is ideal as villainous scheming Don Alfonso rouè.

Johannes Martin Kränzle is an enjoyably Machiavellian Don Alfonso.

Der neue Merker (Österreich) :
Die beiden Liebespaare wurden von einem gestandenen Opernsänger- und Urkomödianten wie Johannes Martin Kränzle, der als Don Alfonso von einer Privatperson und Gentleman der Mozartzeit zum intrigierenden Theatermann oder Bühnenmeister mutiert, ge- und verführt. Er zieht die Strippen des Theaters und des Lebens und fädelt die Verwechslungskomödie ein.

Opera Journal:
The wonderfully versatile Johannes Martin Kränzle is dressed in period costume as the 'director' (as Lorenzo da Ponte?)

El arte de la fuga (Espana):
Algo más controlado fue el Don Alfonso de Johannes Martin Kränzle (un espléndido wagneriano para más datos profesionales), más maduro como corresponde al personaje que sus compañeros de fatigas, un bajo-barítono sobrado de voz e impecable de estilo cuando no se vio forzado a enfatizar el mensaje.

In fernem Land (Barcelona):
Mentre que el Don Alfonso de Johannes Martin Kränzle és degudament manipulador, savi i cínic, a banda d’un empresari teatral (coses del guió).

Piacer de Opera (Niederlande):
Haar partner-in-crime Don Alfonso werd gezongen door Johannes Martin Kränzle, meer een lyrische dan een buffobas, maar dat paste in deze productie uitstekend.

Culturamente (Italia):
…, invece aveva il baritono tedesco Johannes Martin Kränzle, al suo debutto al Covent Garden, spiritosissimo e simpaticissimo Don Alfonso.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung:
Regie führt in diesem Theater auf dem Theater der menschenverachtende Don Alfonso, den Johannes Martin Kränzle sardonisch ausdrucksvoll verkörpert. Er sorgt mit seinem zynischen Weltbild dafür, dass in die Momente des tiefen Gefühls, wie bei dem hinreißenden Wind- und Wellen- Terzett immer wieder die Theatermechanik einbricht.