miércoles, noviembre 30, 2011

An overview of symphonic and piano music

The Buenos Aires Philharmonic went on with its season at the Colón. Concert Nº 16 had as conductor Ira Levin instead of the Phil´s Principal Conductor, Enrique Arturo Diemecke, originally announced. Rachmaninov was the star, with his Second Piano Concerto and Second Symphony, two masterpieces.   Pianist Vladimir Feltsman has visited us before; his comeback was very welcome, for this Muscovite born in 1952 is at the peak of his quite considerable powers. Poised, very professional and sensitive, his playing was a model of technique applied with style. A pity that Levin chose to accompany in too heavy a manner, altering the necessary equilibrium. But he came into his own in the ample, complex symphony, maintaining control and intensity throughout the 50 minutes packed with interesting incident. The players were fully up to par.
José Miguel Rodilla is Spanish and looks fortyish; his biography shows a varied career in many B-class orchestras of the world. His debut showed a good command of the music but little finesse. The programme was rather light. It began with an early work of Armenian influence by our Alicia Terzian: "Three pieces for strings"; it sounded under-rehearsed with poor intonation, though the modal harmonies may have given the players some difficulty. The charming and very Gallic Flute Concerto by Jacques Ibert was brilliantly rendered by Claudio Barile and acceptably accompanied. The Second Part was given over to the five pieces from "Iberia" by Albéniz that were orchestrated by Fernández Arbós; a pity that another piece, "Polo", in the orchestration by Carlos Suriñach, wasn´t played, though the concert was quite short (the "Polo" had been announced, and was commented by Claudia Guzmán in her programme notes). Rodilla was more comfortable in this style, but both transparency and charm eluded him (I remember a splendid version of "Triana" by Mehta). Some bits were very strident, even if the fault is partially the orchestrator´s.
Concert Nº 18 had a long programme with a weak First Part and an important Second. I´ve heard veteran Argentine pianist Luis Ascot in much better shape in the past; although he knows the style of Liszt´s Second Concerto very well, his technical level was shaky; also, there were many moments of disagreement with the orchestra. But the enormous and transcendent Mahler Ninth showed Diemecke and the Phil at their best. Here there was a deep comprehension of the message –a resigned sublimation in the composer´s way to the extinction of life. Again the fantastic memory and command of the conductor was in evidence, but also that curious dichotomy that makes him both an inspired leader of metaphysical contents and a clownish celebrator of his contact with the audiences. The symphony  was a moving experience.      
Now comes a chapter dedicated to recitals by pianists. Festivales Musicales ended its season with the local debut of the 38-year-old Ukrainian Valentina Lisitsa. By the end of the First Part, all-Chopin, I had no doubt about the marvelous dexterity of the artist, both in the fast bits of the Fantasy op.49 and in the immense challenge of the 12 Etudes op.25, but unfortunately there was much evidence of a mannered approach that meant unwanted stops and goes and quirky changes in rhythm as well as sleek rather than meaningful phrasing.  But the Second Part, all-Liszt, would change matters. I can cavil at the quality of a mere display piece like the "Fantastic Rondo on a Spanish theme, El Contrabandista" (a melody by Manuel García, father of la Malibran), but there´s much imagination in the paraphrase on Verdi´s "Aida" ("Sacred Dance and Final Duet"), and both the Second Ballad (based on the legend of Hero and Leander) and the terrifically difficult piano solo version of the "Totentanz" ("Dance of Death) are pieces of real content and absolutely ground-breaking challenges of mechanism. I don´t hope to hear them played better than by Lisitsa, who was simply stunning in speed, accuracy, weight and sensibility. In Liszt she is a great pianist, for there her style and technique mingle ideally. The encores were ideal: the Schubert-Liszt "Ave Maria" and Liszt´s Hungarian Rhapsody Nº 12. A great pianistic discovery at the Colón.
Another special Colón night was called "Family secrets" and put on stage the whole piano-playing family made up of half-brothers Sergio Tiempo and Karin Lechner, their mother Lyl (De Raco de) Tiempo and Karin´s 11-year-old daughter Natasha Binder. Again the First Part, played by Sergio, wasn´t convincing in style, although the pianistic means were all there: Liszt´s three "Petrarch Sonnets" take more easily to Sergio´s very free (to the point of distortion) version of what is written, but his mixture of 12 Chopin Etudes from op.10 and 25 was disconcerting: violent accents, too speedy, unmarked arpeggios, clangorous chords; Chopin can take some of these characteristics in some Etudes but it ruins others.
However, the Second Part compensated and was at times moving. Six of Schumann´s "Scenes from Childhood" were charmingly played by Natasha, a true talent, and were followed by two delicious renderings of Brahms Waltzes by mother and daughter in four-hand piano. Then, a rarity, an expressive Rachmaninov Romance for six hands, by Karin, Natasha and Sergio. Splendid playing by Sergio and Karin in Ravel´s virtuosic "La Valse". And all the family in Bach´s Four-clavier Concerto based on Vivaldi´s original for four violins: a true celebration of family love and music.
For Buenos Aires Herald

sábado, noviembre 19, 2011

Operetta and children´s opera have their turn

This is a coupling of reviews on operetta and opera for children. I start with Juventus Lyrica´s final offering, a welcome vindication of the greatest of all operettas, Johann Strauss Junior´s “Die Fledermaus” (“The Bat”), in its original German. The institution had done it years ago with such poor results that I remember it as their all-time fiasco. This time the result was honorable, though scarcely ideal.
Mind you, operetta in German is for Argentines quite as difficult as a zarzuela is for Germans. For, along with other genres as zarzuela and opéra-comique, it has the added problem of spoken sections and it is notoriously more difficult to be idiomatic speaking than singing. It certainly showed on this occasion, and although they all tried hard, it wasn´t idiomatic enough, it sounded phonetically learnt in most instances. But I certainly prefer that to a bilingual version, with sung parts in German and spoken bits in Spanish.
As producer Ana D´Anna showed last year in “The Merry Widow” that she has a knack for the genre, and although this “Fledermaus” wasn´t as successful, it was certainly pleasant. There was somewhat more parody than needed, for this is in fact a refined comedy, but especially in Laura Penchi´s assumption of Adele and Eernesto Bauer´s of Dr. Falke, the result was communicative fun. They both sang quite well, in addition.
Chilean soprano Macarena Valenzuela is beautiful and moves with elegance, though not with natural comicality. And she managed the difficult Czardas with musical accuracy. Mariano Spagnolo sang Eisenstein with metallic forthrightness and too robust physique. As Alfred is supposed to be an Italian tenor, accent didn´t matter in Sebastián Russo´s performance; it was liberally sprinkled with snatches of arias introduced by D´Anna and probably conductor Carlos Calleja; his acting and singing are a bit green yet but promising. Prince Orlofsky´s trouser role was well taken by mezzo Griselda Adano with appropriate spleen. Frank, the jail director, was convincingly done by Fernando Álvar Núñez. Norberto Lara was a good singer-comedian as Dr. Blind, Carlos Kaspar was quite funny in the spoken part of Frosch, the jailer, and Claudia Montagna was a charming Ida.
The 34-strong Choir sang agreeably under Miguel Pesce and made their moves with enthusiasm. D´Anna had as stage designer Daniel Feijóo, whose structures were less attractive than expected, lacking airiness and sheer beauty, though functional enough. María Jaunarena´s costumes were mostly handsome and varied. The lighting by D´Anna and Fernando Micucci was especially good in the jail scene.
D´Anna followed tradition by adding an ad-hoc Divertissement in the Second Act. It started with a Johann Strauss Junior polca in a rather charmless choreography by Igor Gopkalo with a protagonist girl and four men escorting her. Then, three singers accompanied by Susana Cardonnet on the piano: octogenarian Gui Gallardo sang Gounod´s Mephisto´s Serenade from “Faust” with little voice and lots of style; tenor Darío Schmunck made a wise choice, the lovely “Ach so fromm” from Flotow´s “Martha”, done with nice lyricism; and soprano Soledad de la Rosa opted curiously for an old tango, “Nostalgia” by Cobián and Cadícamo, done with musicality as a “tango-canción”.
Calleja conducted his Orquesta Académica de Buenos Aires and the result was less good than last year´s “The Merry Widow”; Viennese character was lacking, as well as some technical polish, though acceptable in the whole.
July 1922. The famous puppet company of Vittorio Podrecca presented here Respighi´s opera “La bella addormentata nel bosco”. In 1933 the composer revised it and called the new score “La bella dormente nel bosco”. The 1922 version is lost, so there´s no way to compare it. Written for a chamber orchestra (in this case, 21 players) and intended for children, the Ensamble Lírico Orquestal premiered the 1933 work, on a libretto by Gian Bistolfi, in a trial performance last year at the Roma (Avellaneda). This year the ELO gave a whole run of performances at the Teatro del Globo of our Capital; only the first performance was in Italian, all others (including the one I saw) in an uncredited Spanish translation. Gustavo Codina was the conductor, and the stage production was done by his wife, Cecilia Layseca (who also sang beautifully as the Blue Fairy), with colourful scenery by Atilio de Laforé, Eliana Aramando and Adriana Torossián, lighting by Ernesto Bechara, charming costumes by Mariela Daga and simple choreography by Mariel Weselowski.
The piece is very worth knowing, done by an eclectic master composer with the right touch to communicate with children. The music follows the modified Perrault tale and I was particularly interested by one of the characters, the wicked Spindle that pricks the Princess and sends her into the long sleep. The libretto spans the centuries and thus we meet a “Mr. Dollar”.
Layseca´s production was fluid and reasonably professional, keeping the natural touch that attracts children. Codina got good playing from his orchestra and acceptable results from an amateur choir. Of the singers I liked (apart Layseca), Christian Casaccio as the Prince, María José Valerio (Spindle), Alicia Alduncín (Old Woman), Leonardo Menna (Woodcutter), Elena Deanna (Nightingale and Lilac Fairy), Enrique Borlenghi( the sad King), Sebastián Russo (Buffoon) and found poor Rocío Cereceda (The Princess) and Milagros Seijó (Cuckoo, Rose Fairy). Others were in the picture: Andrea González Cortiana (Duchess), Ariel Suárez (Mr. Dollar), Alfredo González Reig (Ambassador), Karen Paz (Queen). The dancing was very basic.

miércoles, noviembre 16, 2011

From Vivaldi to Shostakovich: a world of organised sound

Recent concerts have proved once again the immense variety of music, the noun for organised sound.  We are at a moment when the concert season is coming to an end, although I´m still overwhelmed; so straight to the point. 
            The Mozarteum Argentino closed its year with a substitute concert: the Liège Philharmonic rescinded due to a cut on Belgian subsidy. But a specialist Baroque group that had visited us before made a welcome comeback with a programme called "Le donne di Vivaldi", concentrating on opera and oratorio interspersed with some purely instrumental music.  They are called Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca and they consist of 16 strings (more than the habitual number in this sort of ensemble) plus on this tour Dorothee Oberlinger in flute and piccolo, Manuel Tomadin in harpsichord and chamber organ and Ivano Zanenghi in lute and mandolin. "Marca Gioiosa" is a Veneto region whose capital is Treviso. As to the "donne", they were Gemma Bertagnolli (soprano, debut), Manuela Custer (mezzosoprano, debut) and Susanna Moncayo Von Hase (the well-known Argentine mezzosoprano). 
            Vivaldi operas are still a big question mark for most music lovers, although they are many and were successful in their time. But except for a very interesting version of "Il Giustino" about three decades ago, Vivaldi has been ignored here. a pity, for the music is very attractive.  The chosen pieces were from "Ottone in Villa"; "Arsilda, regina di Ponto"; "Orlando finto pazzo"; "Griselda"; "Andromeda liberata"; and "Orlando furioso". And also from the oratorio "Juditha Triumphans" (it has been done here) and from the "Beatus Vir" (a trio). The best singing came from soprano Bertagnolli, a rather soft voice but very well used in the difficult florid passages. Custer started badly but later found her best form and was an interesting interpreter. I disliked Moncayo´s style, too gusty and lacking line. Most of the music  may have been a local premiere.
            On the instrumental side, the Sonatori started with the Concerto for strings RV 127, nicely played though rather too serenely. Of course the conductor, Francesco Fanna, is a specialist, but I prefer a sharper Vivaldi. Oberlinger had a wild success in the Concerto for piccolo RV 443, applauded unfortunately between movements; she is very good though not quite perfect, and she added tasteful ornaments in the middle movement.  Starting the Second Part we heard the Concerto for lute RV 93, where Zanenghi showed fine technique, although the instrument sounds very small at the Colón.  The players, both in the Concerti and the vocal pieces, responded quite professionally to Fanna´s tasteful though mild phrasing.
            I found the connecting texts by Myriam Zerbi an unnecessary addendum, worsened by unexpected explosions of the amplification process, and an exaggerated narrator (Filippo Plancher). 
            On paper, the idea of giving us Händel´s oratorio "Samson" was excellent; the Colón last saw it in 1962 conducted by Richter. So, as  I have long admired the complete recording conducted by Leppard, I was happy with the prospect. Alas, what Mario Videla gave us at the Colón for Festivales Musicales wasn´t even a condensed version: to call it highlights is more accurate. Consider: we heard 85 minutes; the Leppard lasts 214! I accept some pruning but not such wholesale elimination of important passages, which e.g. deprived Virginia Correa Dupuy (Micah) of all her arias (and she was the best singer). At least one hour more of music should have been heard. For "Samson" is one of Händel´s greatest oratorios, and to be given the bare bones after half a century just won´t do. There´s also a double standard, for Videla wouldn´t dream of giving Bach a similar treatment.
            However, what we had was well done, although in a very contained mood. Richter and Leppard showed that this music is more dramatic than the clean, cultured and manicured view of Videla the conductor, notwithstanding the good ensemble and plausible tempi we heard throughout.  An augmented (26-strong) Camerata Bariloche and the Orfeón de Buenos Aires (Néstor Andrenacci and Pablo Piccinni; 52 voices) played and sang very properly, though not in a historicist mold. The solid team of singers gave us  Carlos Ullán as Samson (prematurely white-haired), Soledad de la Rosa as Delilah, Hernán Iturralde as Harapha (excellent), the mentioned Correa Dupuy, Sergio Carlevaris (Manoah) and Matías Tomasetto (Messenger).
            The two final offerings of Nuova Harmonia were the Trio Modigliani (debut) at the Coliseo and the Saint Petersburg Symphony at the Colón. The Trio is made up of two brothers: Francesco (cello) and Angelo Pepicelli (piano) and violinist Mauro Loguercio. I liked a lot the chamber music sense of the brothers and their impeccable technique; I found Loguercio too emphatic even gestually, playing in a different style that affected the total balance and with some off-color notes. But the final result was enjoyable in the rarely played "Phantasiestücke" Op.88 by Schumann and two standards: Beethoven´s Trio Nº 4, "Ghost"; and Shostakovich´s Trio Nº 2. The encore was a humoristic movement from Bernstein´s Trio.
            We had a return visit from the St. Petersburg Symphony, less famous than their Philharmonic but almost as good, with a typically Russian sound: brash but exact brass, characterful winds, brilliant strings. Under their capable conductor Vladimir Lande (debut) they gave us an exciting but rather heavy version of Bernstein´s Overture to "Candide" prior to a good accompaniment in Tchaikovsky´s First Concerto of an unacceptable pianist, Maxim Mogilevsky (debut), a bad mixture of arbitrariness and wrong notes. Absurdly he gave us three encores (the audience applauded far too much). But the splendid performance of Shostakovich´s Fifth Symphony saved the day: great music played with total authenticity. The best encores: more Shostakovich (the fascinating Tango from "The Bolt"), and Glinka´s Overture to "Ruslan and Ludmilla".

martes, noviembre 15, 2011

Two Verdian masterpieces in awkward stagings

La Plata´s Teatro Argentino ended its season with an important first: the South-American premiere of the French original version of Verdi´s “Don Carlos”. And Buenos Aires Lírica closed their year with the composer´s “Macbeth”. In both cases there was considerable pleasure to be had from the musical point of view but not from the stagings, quite inadequate and wrongly conceived.
            “Don Carlos” started life in Paris, 1867, on a Schiller-based libretto by Joseph Méry and Camille Du Locle. It is a complex, long opera in five acts following the precepts of the “grand´opéra” as imposed by Meyerbeer; with enormous talent Verdi manages to synthesize that emblematic style with his own deep, complex dramatic-musical ideas. The result is a fascinating blend of romance, political and ecclesiastical turmoil. All in eight variegated tableaux originally including a 15-minute ballet, “La Peregrina”.
             Verdi later made a four-Act version in Italian (1883-4) and this has been the standard  in the Twentieth Century; however, in 1886 Verdi added the First Act in an Italian translation, and this has been sporadically offered (also at the Colón). I only got to know the French version in the Abbado recording of 1985 and by then the Italian version was in my bones, but I came to like the  original a lot, and some dramaturgical points are clearer in the French libretto (although it still has some faults). Of course, the non-historical liberties are already in Schiller.
            Even before the first performance, Verdi had to cut about 25 minutes of the gigantic score to allow suburban patrons to catch the last train before night closure! Well, in La Plata´s version the ballet and a good deal of that extra music is cut, but fortunately not the expressive initial Chorus sung by a famined populace in a winter-time wood near Fontainebleau. We still heard close to four hours of music and it was a long evening adding two 15-minute intervals and a 17-minute delay before the opening bars.
            The Italian Francesco Esposito (debut) was the producer and costume designer; the Argentine Enrique Bordolini did the stage designs and the lighting plot. I was amazed by the lack of common sense and gross mistakes. Just a few essential ones (for space is a tyrant):  the producer converted the opera into a festival of voyeurism at the most inappropriate scenes; the stage designer gave us a heavy unit set of fake wood with several stories of lateral stalls  and we were supposed to accept that as a proper setting for a garden with a fountain or for an immense open space for the auto-da-fe, grotesquely done with a huge fan that blocked the view and where at the very end some poor devils were supposed to broil. Unbecoming costumes and makeup and a shaky sense of historical ambience plus very weak dramaturgy completed a sorry panorama, worsened by technical snafus.
            The hero was Alejo Pérez conducting a very convincing and strong performance with an orchestra that responded quite well, save for some doubtful intonation of the offstage band at one point. The Choir was good under Fabián Martínez. The best voice was soprano Carla Filipcic Holm, who did lovely things in soft high attacks and very musical phrasing. Spanish bass Rubén Amoretti (debut) sang with a light though well-focused voice and a sense of drama, but was strangely dressed and had to tolerate unbecoming long hair.  Bulgarian baritone Krum Galabov (debut) has little volume in the center and low range and for long stretches his voice was a distant murmur, but he had isolated good moments. Tenor Luca Lombardo dealt with good technique and firm high notes with his difficult part (Don Carlos), even if neither his timbre nor  presence are alluring. Presence on the other hand is the strong point of Siberian mezzo  Elena Sommer (debut), who had some doubtful phrasings and a couple of dicey high notes but was a real character as Eboli. José Antonio García (Grand Inquisitor; debut), a bass from the Canary Islands, though rather woolly, gave dramatic sense to his terrible priest. Mario de Salvo was acceptable as the Monk (Charles V) and the young fresh voice of Victoria Gaeta offered a beautiful moment as the Voice from Heaven. Fabiola Masino was rather strained as the page Thibault.
            There was no need for a “Macbeth” from BAL for they had presented it in 2004.  Two points in this revival: it eliminates the ballet of the witches (I agree) but it cogently adds the arioso of Macbeth´s death from the 1847 version. I was disappointed by producer Fabian Von Matt´s profusion of added alter egos and ghosts (especially the irritating King Duncan). And by his bad judgment at several key points: the reading of the letter, the death of Macbeth, Banquo´s death, etc. His colors are right: black and red. The witches are passable, though why only three in the first scene, and why many small cauldrons instead of a huge one as specified in their second scene? Bad makeup for Macbeth, uneven costumes vaguely Medieval by Daniela Taiana, mediocre lighting by Alejandro Le Roux.
            Firm, rather fast conducting by Javier Logioia Orbe and good choral work prepared by Juan Casasbellas.  Strong dramatic characterisation and skillful singing from veteran baritone Luis Gaeta, and stunning looks as well as reliable high-range singing from Mónica Ferracani, a bit weak in her lows and much too soft in the letter reading, but still an important achievement. Too much vibrato although stark projection from bass Christian Pellegrino, and open, emotional singing from Arnaldo Quiroga (Macduff). 

jueves, noviembre 03, 2011

Two Phaedras bridge the centuries

             Greek tragedy is an inexhaustible reservoir of great human stories; in fact it´s hard to think of any meaningful basic situation that hasn´t been imprinted in our lives by those fantastic tragedians Aeschylus, Euripides and Sophocles. In the case of Phaedra, wife of Theseus and stepmother to Hippolytus, the reference is Euripides´ "Hippolytus". The other great classical play is Racine´s "Phaedra", which completes the quartet of principals with Aricia, in love with Hippolytus. Modern visions of the conflict come from Gabriele D´Annunzio and Miguel de Unamuno.
            By rare coincidence, two operatic versions of the story have been premiered here within two weeks: Jean-Philippe Rameau´s "Hippolyte et Aricie" by the Compañía de las Luces at the Museo de Arte Decorativo, and Mario Perusso´s "Fedra" at the Colón.
            Jean-Philippe Rameau came late to opera; after a brilliant career and recognised as a major figure of his time, he wrote his "tragédie lyrique" at 50 in 1733. It was a great success and he was launched into an operatic career that he would crown at 80 in 1764 with "Les Boréades". Here most of his production is unknown, but at least we saw "Castor et Pollux" and a semistaged condensed "Les Indes galantes". We still owe him a full-scale complete staged version of one of his major operas at the Colón and with a specialist team able to give full due to the dance.
            I am sorry that Simon-Joseph Pellegrin´s libretto, based on Racine, changes and softens the end, depriving Rameau and us of a suitably tragic ending. Nevertheless, what magnificent music we hear during two hours, with the composer´s flights of orchestral imagination very apparent, as well as his highly dramatic continuous seesaw in his vocal writing between heightened recitative and arioso, almost never seeking vocal display but instead psychological truth.
            The Gods in Racine intervene less than in Euripides and what matters most is Phaedra´s irresistible passion, but the Furies, especially Tisiphone, are part of that drive. There are also parts for Pluto, Diana and Mercury. In Daniel Birman´s version (he is the founder and leader of the Compañía de las Luces) there are some cuts. It is a pity that he cut the first scene of the Fifth Act, a dialogue between Theseus and his father Neptune after Phaedra´s death. Other cuts: the final two scenes of Act One; in Act Three, a short scene, a duo, and some scenes in different order from the recording of reference conducted by Anthony Lewis.
            Birman and his Compañía de las Luces have done yeomen work for the French Baroque with several premieres by Lully, Rameau, Charpentier, Gluck and Salieri, several of them at that very special venue, the Museo de Arte Decorativo. It has a unique beauty and splendid acoustics, but of course it lacks a stage and productions must perforce be minimal. I don´t agree with producer Pablo Maritano´s ideas, few and unconvincing, especially the continuous carrying in and out of seats. And some absurd movements for the chorus were negative. The costumes by Emilia Tambutti were reasonably good, especially Phaedra´s. The few dances were played but not danced.
            Four singers were really good: Marisa Pavón as a dramatic Phaedra in singing and demeanor; Sergio Carlevaris as an anguished Theseus showed a splendid bass; Pluto was sung forthrightly by Norberto Marcos; and Nadia Szachniuk was a charming Shepherdess. Aricie was done rather pallidly by Ana Moraitis; Pablo Pollitzer had his slim vocal means in better shape than in recent years and sang his Hippolytus with style. I found Beatriz Moruja miscast as Diana and I disliked the wild exaggeration and timbre of Esteban Manzano as Tisiphone.  Apart from poor singing from Soledad Molina, the others were in the picture: Damián Ramírez, Cecilia Arroyo, Luciana Milione, Martín Benítez and Juan Feico. The Chorus was correctly prepared by Marcelo Dutto and participated with much good will. The 24-piece Orchestra was simply splendid under the knowledgeable conducting of Birman, they all played with fine style and professionalism.
            "Fedra" is Mario Perusso´s fifth opera and maybe his best. He is now septuagenarian but his composing powers seem at their zenith. The orchestration is resourceful and there are strong melodies of real persuasive power; alas, they are mostly in the orchestra and a lot of the singing is too arid, but the end result is communicative. His language oscillates between tonality and free atonality.
              His son Marcelo is the librettist, producer and stage designer. I find some faults in his work  in the first capacity, for the text is at times too rhetoric and even ungrammatical. But some scenes have a raw power that seem influenced more by D´Annunzio and Unamuno than by Racine . As producer he got excellent perfomances out of a picked cast. His massive blocks evoke Mycenean times and his costumes were quite adequate. The intelligent lighting by Rubén Conde always heightens dramatic impact. And the expressionist choreography by Guillarmina Tarsi blended easily with the action in the proper places.
            Of course, no one could conduct better this music than the author, and the Colón Orchestra responded admirably. There is no choir.  The lead roles were taken with uniform high vocal and dramatic quality by Alejandra Malvino (Phaedra), Marcelo Puente (Hippolytus), Daniela Tabernig (Aricia), Emilio Estévez (Theseus) and Haydée Dabusti (the Wet Nurse). Other roles were well taken by Florencia Machado, Alicia Alduncín and Gustavo Feulien.