It's wrapping-up time, a final survey of opera and symphonic concerts. Starting with opera, two offerings of the Teatro Argentino,
On the musical side things were better though far from outstanding. Veteran conductor Bruno D'Astoli has done more convincing work in other occasions; apart from misadjustments, there was a lack of brio and charm in the orchestra. The Chorus (Miguel Martínez) did nicely its scene commenting on the house in disarray . There were two casts, I comment on the first. The experienced Ricardo Ortale did an understated but correct Don Pasquale and Sebastián Sorarrain was agreeable as Malatesta. I expected more from Carlos Natale (Ernesto), who has a beautiful lyrical voice; he used it this time rather perfunctorily. Eleonora Sancho as Norina was way over-the-top; Norina need not be so cruel for it leads the libretto to dramatic exaggeration. Her singing was a bit too acid as well, though competent.
One for Ripley's "Believe it or not" : Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro" had never been done at
Jorge Mariano Carciofolo has an affinity with Mozart, and his conducting was orthodox and sane, though not as quicksilver as it should be at various points. The Choir has little to do, but did it well under Miguel Martínez. I'm reporting on the first cast. I would single out Eliana Bayón as an impeccable Susanna, with a register that fully meets the demands, a fine line and the kind of lithe demeanor this spirited girl needs. Carlos Esquivel sings Figaro very competently but lacks the mercurial quality Figaro should have. I liked Gustavo Gibert's sinuous Count, which reflects his long European experience, and he was in good voice. The gangling, tall adolescent Cherubino of Adriana Mastrángelo, sung with vernal freshness and hormonal impulse , is a well-known quantity. I wouldn't call María José Siri's voice ideal for the Countess; with her rather wide vibrato and intensity, she is rather a Puccinian Mimí; but she did sing well, with fine discipline, and her brunette presence made a change from the usual Viennese blonde tradition for the role.
All parts are important in Mozart, although the others carry less weight. They were perfectly chosen and gave much pleasure: Luciano Miotto was a model Don Bartolo, Vanesa Mautner did a Marcellina full of character, Gabriel Renaud's Basilio was properly insinuating, Juan Barrile was the rough gardener Antonio to the life, Osvaldo Peroni was a buffo caricature as the stammering Don Curzio, and Susana Moreno a fresh Barbarina.
And now, short notice on some remaining orchestral concerts. In one of the sessions of the B.A. Phil conducted by Arturo Diemecke, there was the debut of Russian pianist Alexander Markovich; a bear of a man, he certainly can technically handle the difficulties of Tchaikovsky's First Concerto, but he lacks taste and a sense of phrasing. What was important came from the conductor in Richard Strauss' huge and rarely done "An Alpine Symphony", a fascinating piece beautifully done. Lior Shambadal came back in the same season for a concert that was correct enough in Britten's Passacaglia from "Peter Grimes" and Schumann's Symphony No.2, but unfortunately cellist Ricardo Sciammarella had a bad day playing Haydn's Concerto Hob. Viib/2, well below his usual level. The preceding concerts were at the Colón. After its closure the Phil went to the Coliseo where it offered three concerts in compensation for strike-cancelled sessions of 2005. One of them was conducted by the Italian Francesco
Finally, the Colón Orchestra under Stefan Lano offered commendably Bruckner's enormous Eighth Symphony, a tough challenge well met.
Para el Buenos Aires Herald - January 08, 2007