jueves, enero 07, 2016

Mozarteum Argentino and alternative operas present their 2016 menu

             The Mozarteum Argentino is our most prized concert institution, with a long and impeccable trajectory. Next year they will prove once again their perfect logistics and keen artistic touch,  led by Luis Alberto Erize and Gisela Timmermann. As in earlier years, there are two cycles at the Colón; artists don´t change, but they can have dissimilar repertoires.

            After the great success of Joyce Di Donato´s first two visits, the American mezzosoprano will be back, this time with pianist Terry Craig (debut). April 18 and 19.

Then, an important return: the Orchestra of the Santa Cecilia National Academy will come, this time with the long-awaited debut of Antonio Pappano, chief conductor of the Covent Garden, and with an Italian pianist, Beatrice Rana, coming for the first time. The pity is the run-of-the-mill programme on May 9: Verdi´s Overture to "La Forza del Destino" and two Tchaikovsky standards: the First Piano Concerto and the Fifth Symphony. But on the 11th the main work will be Saint-Saëns´ mighty Third Symphony.

            Our great pianist Nelson Goerner makes his accustomed yearly appearance on May 30 and 31, programme to be confirmed. A well-known group here, the  Jerusalem Chamber Music Festival, comes as usual with pianist Elena Bashkirova (Daniel Barenboim´s wife) as its leader on June 13 and 14. The combination of works is quite attractive: Beethoven´s Trio Op.11 (with clarinet); Hindemith´s rarely done Quartet for clarinet, violin, cello and piano; that vital Bartók score, "Contrasts"; and Schubert´s First Piano Trio.

            It isn´t clear whether the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra under Barenboim will give a symphonic or a chamber programme, and the Colón Annual Guide doesn´t give the dates, just vaguely July/August. Then, what will surely be a great recital with the return of violinist Maxim Vengerov, partnered by pianist Vag Papian (debut): two works from Brahms (Scherzo and First Sonata), the wonderful Franck Sonata and Tchaikovsky´s Valse-Scherzo. August 18 and 19.

            A distinguished Scandinavian pianist presented years ago by the Mozarteum pays a return visit. He is Leif Ove Andsnes, and he will play a programme whose main interest is a selection of Sibelius´ vast (but almost unknown) piano music, very beautiful and wrongly neglected. Plus Beethoven (Sonata Nº18, a fantastic score), Debussy ("La Soirée dans Grenade" plus two Etudes) and Chopin (four varied pieces). September 5 and 7.

            The following concerts will surely be a high point: the Hamburg Opera Philharmonic Orchestra (I believe for the first time) and with a great conductor in his second visit: Kent Nagano.  The first item will be Richard Strauss´ marvelous "Don Quixote" with a great cellist, who played here with Martha Argerich: Gautier Capuçon. And then  Brahms´ fundamental First Symphony. This happens on September 29, but on the 30th the programme changes completely: Wagner (Prelude to the First Act of "Tristan and Isolde" and the Wesendonck Lieder with the debut of mezzosoprano Fujimara Mihoko) and Bruckner (the Sixth Symphony).

            The Tonhalle Orchestra of Zürich was very well received a long time ago when it was conducted by Gerd Albrecht; now they will come with a new name, Lionel Bringuier. The first score will be the same in both concerts: Brahms´ enormous Violin Concerto, with Lisa Batiashvili (debut). But after the interval we shall hear on October 10 Mahler´s First Symphony, and on the 11th , a première by Peter Eötvös, "The gliding of the eagle in the skies", and Shostakovich´s Sixth Symphony.

            The season ends with two  choral-symphonic nights with the Radio Berlin Choir and the Orchestra L´Arte nel Mondo": Brahms´ "German Requiem" (October 31) and Mozart´s Requiem (November 1).

             Both Buenos Aires Lírica and Juventus Lyrica will have their home at the Avenida, as usual. The first will present four operas, and the second, three.

            BAL will start with Gounod´s "Faust", and although I would prefer something less known, it is the only French opera programmed next year, for the Colón ignores them and so does Juventus. April 8, 10, 14 and 16. Conductor  Javier Logioia Orbe. Darío Schmunck, Hernán Iturralde and Ernesto Bauer sing the main leads, but neither the Marguerite nor the producer are announced.

            Bellini´s "I Capuleti ed i Montecchi" is a nice choice, for it hasn´t been done in BA since the splendid Colón performances with Scotto in 1971. June 3, 5, 9 and 11. Jorge Parodi is the conductor although the producer isn´t announced. Oriana Favaro and Cecilia Pastawski sing Romeo and Juliet, plus Santiago Ballerini and Sebastián Angulegui in other parts.

            I love Verdi´s "Ernani" and the Colón hasn´t staged it since 1964, so I welcome this opera even if BAL did it some years ago. August 5, 7, 11 and 13. Ramiro Casasbellas conducts and Crystal Manich produces. Principals: Nazareth Aufe, Montserrat Maldonado, Omar Carrión and Silvio Sperandio.

            Finally, Puccini´s "Manon Lescaut" on October 14, 16, 20 and 22. Mario Perusso is the conductor, André Heller Lopes the producer. Singers: Macarena Valenzuela, Eric Herrero and Bauer.

            Juventus Lyrica´s choices aren´t very enticing: Lehár´s "The Merry Widow" was programmed by them a few years back, now they will offer it on May 6 , 8, 12 and 14; and I believe they also did Gluck´s "Orfeo ed Euridice" ; the dates now will be August 19, 21, 25 and 27. And Puccini´s "Madama Butterfly" can only be justified because the recent Colón presentation (Dec.2014) was very poor; November 11, 13, 17 and 19. No information is given about singers, conductor and producer.

For Buenos Aires Herald 

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