Seen and Heard International | November 19, 2015
Ambition And Modern For Teatro Colón 2016 Season (JSJ)
With a new director at the Teatro Colón, the 2016 season, which has been announced earlier than usual, had been awaited with much anticipation. Presented along with a round-up of achievements so far – streaming of certain productions and opening up free entries to certain rehearsals, free concerts in neighbouring Plaza Vaticano and elsewhere in the city and special price tickets for youngsters – Darío Lopérfido offers a season that is ambitious but modern.
Firstly, the number of opera productions is up – to nine from seven in the current year (counting Cav and Pag as one), although two of these are outside the regular subscription series.
Former director Pedro Pablo García Caffi made it a policy to promote modern works but Lopérfido, who also apparently continues in his previous role as artistic director of the biennial avant-garde Buenos Aires International Festival (FIBA), has gone further with no less than three of the nine productions modern (and as a consequence no bel canto for example). Of these Ginastera’s Beatrix Cenci, marking the centenary of his birth, opens the season (Mar. 15). Guillermo Scarabino is conductor, Alejandro Tantanian director and the all local cast includes Mónica Ferracani, Victor Torres, Alejandra Malvino, Gustavo López Manzitti, Florencia Machado and Mario Di Salvo.
Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten will have its Latin American premiere, with Baldur Brönnimann conducting and Pablo Maritano the director (July 12). Principals include Suzanne Elmark, Julia Riley, Noemi Nadelmann, Tom Randle, Leigh Melrose and Frode Olsen.
The third of the moderns is a double Dallapiccola, Volo di notte and Il Prigioniero (Oct. 23). Christian Baldini is on the podium and Michał Znaniecki the director. The principals, again all local, include Víctor Torres, Santiago Ballerini, Daniela Tabernig, Adriana Mastrangelo and Leonardo Estévez.
And in between? A new production of Don Giovanni by Emilo Sagi with Marc Piollet conducting (Apr. 5). Erwin Schott is in the title role, María Bayo is Donna Elvira and Simon Orfila is Leporello.
This is followed by Fidelio (May 17). Francisco Rettig is musical director, Eugenio Zanetti scenic director and Zoran Todorovich, Elisabete Matos and Homero Pérez Miranda are principals.
A rare foray into baroque follows with Dido and Anaeas – and in the choreographed version by Sasha Waltz with the Berlin Academy for Ancient Music conducted by Christopher Moulds (June 7). Aurore Ugolin, Reuben Willcox and Deborah York are the voices and Yael Schnell, Virgis Puodziunas and Sasa Queliz the dancers.
Tosca returns in the winter in the late Roberto Oswald’s production with Carlo Vieu conducting (Aug. 20). The star cast includes Eva-Maria Westbroek making her Argentine debut, Marcelo Alvarez in a long awaited engagement and Carlos Alvarez who last appeared as Iago in José Cura’s 2013 Otello.
After the recent Macbeth (in the Congo) now comes the full original version (Sept. 27). Stefano Ranzani and Marcelo Lombardero are the musical and scenic directors. Principals include Jorge Lagunes, Chiara Taigi, Alex Teliga and Gustavo López Manzitti.
The season closes with Cape Town Opera’s Porgy and Bess under the direction of Christine Crouse and conductor Tim Murray (Dec. 6). Xolela Sixaba, Nonhlanhla Yende, Mandisinde Mbuyazwe, Lukhanyo Moyake, Siphamandla Yakupa and Aubrey Lodewyk are principals and the Cape Town Opera Chorus will also be present.
But the season offers much else besides. Renée Fleming will present a recital in July and Jonas Kaufmann will present two concerts in August, the first a positive Wagner-fest with Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra in the third Barenboim-Argerich Festival of Music and Reflection. And Joyce DiDonato will be making her third and what is turning into biennial, appearance for Mozarteum Argentino in April.
Other innovations include a Summer Festival in the second half of February when traditionally the musical scene is all but empty. Weill’s Mahogonny-Songspiel and a “visual symphonic concert” on Maria Callas, Prima Donna, are among the offerings. A festival of new opera with five works is offered by the Colón’s Centre for Experimentation in August.
The Chamber Opera series, last presented in 2006, is also revived. In addition to the aforementioned Mahogonny-Songspiel, it includes during the year (no dates given) Hans Werner Henze’s Das Wundertheater, The Tempest Songbook by Kaija Saariaho, a work based on Moliere’s Imaginary Invalid with music by Charpentier and Lully, and a new local work Darwin in Patagonia.
Jonathan Spencer Jones
Darío Lopérfido (r.) with Buenos Aires Mayor-elect Horacio Rodríguez Larreta (l.) at the presentation of the Teatro Colón 2016 season. Pic Teatro Colón