World-class opera soloists, the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra and hundreds of choir singers from the local area – all under the direction of formidable maestro Pier Giorgio Morandi. Saturday’s final at the Birgit Nilsson Days 2023 was a magnificent experience. Despite persistent torrential rain.
As Floria Tosca, soprano Joyce El-Khoury captivated the audience with phenomenal vocal technique and a playing that sparkled. Lebanese-Canadian El-Khoury, who also sang here last year (when Amelia in the Master Ball) is a true heir to Birgit’s Tosca. Joyce’s closest co-stars were the American Michael Fabiano as Cavaradossi and John Lundgren as Scaripa, both much-anticipated guests on the Birgit Nilsson days. In this semi-stage performance, directed by Anelia Kadieva Jonsson, the cast was completed in an excellent way by Anton Ljungqvist, Fredrik Zetterström, Kjetil Støa, Anders Lorentzson and last but not least the driven and seasoned child soprano August Follin from Båstad.
Puccini’s Tosca is full of drama, passion and evil sudden death. But even if the rain became another ingredient, there was never any question of canceling the show and the audience faithfully stayed. Or as an audience voice enthusiastically commented afterwards: “The rain became a side issue!”.