First, a P.S. on the preceding article on opera: to compensate somewhat for the hackneyed quality of the main opera programming, the Colón Chamber Opera will offer two interesting premieres: Mark Anthony Turnage's "Greek", on the tough Steven Berkoff text; and Chabrier's "Une éducation manquée", a charming operetta. I don't relish the idea of the third programme, called "Sacred and Profane", which includes two incompatible Pergolesi masterpieces, the "Stabat Mater" and "
Among the changes announced late last year, Raúl Candal replaced Oscar Araiz as Director of the Colón Ballet. To my mind, a replacement of some sort was needed, for Araiz had disappointed during his rather brief tenure. In fact, the Ballet hasn't found its feet during the whole last decade. Will Candal be the man? He was a distinguished Principal Dancer and is well steeped in classical style. Perhaps because the Colón is closed and the Teatro Presidente Alvear is much smaller, he has chosen potpourris of classical "pas-de- deux", some revised by himself, rather than valuable complete ballets, either short or long. And there's no renovation whatsoever. One thing is totally unacceptable: two pieces are present in both Programmes III and IV, for the same subscribers! This is almost insulting. Let's hope that in 2008, back at the Colón, Candal will be able to show more enlightened ideas.
Programme I: fragments of "Raymonda" (Glazunov- Petipa- Candal); "The flames of
Programme II: "The Bayadere", First Act pas d'action (Minkus- Petipa- Candal); "Flower festival at Genzano", pas-de-deux (Bournonville Helsted); "Spartacus", pas-de-deux (Khachaturian Candal); "Sleeping Beauty" , Third Act grand pas-de-deux (Tchaikovsky Petipa); "The Corsair" , First Act pas d'esclaves (Drigo Petipa Gusev); "Bolero" (Ravel Zartmann). March 23, 25, 27, 28, 29, 30 ; April 1.
Programme III: "Paquita" (Minkus Petipa); "The Combat" (Banfield Dollar), "The Witch Boy" (Salcedo Carter). The second and third are revivals of successful ballets of forty years ago. December 1, 2, 7, 9.
Programme IV: "Paquita"; "El Combate"; "Carmen" (Bizet/Shchedrin Plissetski). December 13, 14, 15, 16.
At another venue, the Coliseo, there will be a full-length ballet performed both as part of the lyric and of the ballet subscription series. It will be "Cinderella" (Prokofiev Lastra), presumably as vindication of the sorry fact that some years back it had to be done with recorded music due to the conflict of the Colón with the editors (the Colón hadn't paid). I intimated already in my earlier article that I think it is a bad idea to put a ballet in a lyric series. The combined dates are: August 17, 18, 19, 21, 23, 24, 25; September 18, 22, 24, 25, 26.
The saving grace of the Colón season will be the programming of the Buenos Aires Philharmonic, conceived by a real expert, Julio Palacio. Arturo Diemecke is no longer the General Director of the orchestra, although he will conduct some concerts. There will be 14 subscription concerts and a special one , all at the Gran Rex, which is big but unfortunately has opaque acoustics. And intermingled with that series they will play 6 Winter concerts and 6 Spring ones, non-subscription, at the Teatro San Martín (Sala Coronado). I have no space to detail every concert, but I will give some highlights.
Subsciption series: March 6, 13, 20; April 3, 17, 24; May 8, 15; September 11, 25; October 2, 9, 16, 30. Special: September 18, with Ute Lemper in Weill's "Seven Deadly Sins". No. 1: conductor (C) Stefan Lano : Berg's Violin Concerto (F. Hasaj), Bruckner 9. No.2: G.Scarabino (C) : it's a Sibelius year (we commemorate the 50th anniversary of his death) and the Phil remembers him: premiere of "The Oceanids" and revival of "Tapiola". No.3: Francisco Rettig does two wonderful pieces: Dvorák's "Scherzo capriccioso" and Lutoslawski's Concerto for orchestra. No.4: again Rettig: the lovely Fauré "Masques et bergamasques" and the admirable Zemlinsky "Lyrical symphony" (with Mastrángelo and Torres). No. 5: Alejo Pérez and Horacio Lavandera premiere Berio's Second piano concerto. No.6: C Arthur Fagen does Mendelssohn's "Reform Symphony" and the Grieg "Symphonic Dances" (centenary of his death). No. 7: C Pietari Inkinen (debut) in three important scores: Balakirev's "Thamar", Sibelius' "Luonnotar" (Correa Dupuy) and Bartók's "Music for strings, percussion and celesta". No.8: incredible as it may seem, the fascinating Haydn Symphony No. 60, "The absent-minded", hadn't been premiered; Calderón does this and the Sibelius Fifth. No.9: Jan Latham-Koenig offers two premieres: Weber's Overture "Lord of the Spirits" and Henze's First Symphony. No.10: Diemecke offers a fascinating combination: Herrmann's orchestral narrative "Psycho" (premiere); Korngold's Violin Concerto (Pablo Diemecke, debut) and Prokofiev's "Alexander Nevsky". No.11 features violinist Virginie Robilliard with conductor Calderón, and No.12, pianist Peter Donohoe plus the premiere of Kurtag's "Stele". No.13: Diemecke conducts Franck's "The cursed hunter" and Szymanowski's Second. Muza Rubackyte (piano, debut) plays both Liszt Concerti framed by Scriabin's "Poem of ecstasy" and "Poem of fire" (C, Lano).
Para el Buenos Aires Herald -January 24, 2007