Stark Medea From Juventus Lyrica

25/07/2014

 Cherubini, Medea: Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra of Juventus Lyrica, Hernán Schvartzman (conductor), Teatro Avenida, Buenos Aires. 18.7.2014. (JSJ)

Sabrina Cirera as Medea for Juventus Lyrica. Photo Liliana Morsia.

Sabrina Cirera as Medea for Juventus Lyrica. Photo Liliana Morsia.

Cast:
Medea: Sabrina Cirera / Mariana Carnovali
Jason: Darío Schmunck / Nazareth Aufe
Creón: Alejandro Meerapfel
Nerís: Eugenia Fuente / Verónica Canaves
Dircé: Laura Pisani
First lady: Laura Delogu
Second lady: Verónica Canaves / Laura Álvarez Renedo

 

Production:
Director/costumes: María Jaunarena
Sets/lighting: Gonzalo Córdova
Chorus: Hernán Sánchez Arteaga

Brahms described Cherubini’s Medea – or more strictly in this case Médée (the former generally referring to the Italian version, the latter the French) – as “the highest peak of dramatic music,” but despite this, and its revival during the second half of the 20th century, the work remains little performed or known.

It was therefore a welcome but bold work for Juventus Lyrica to undertake – but with a carefully selected cast, energetic young conductor and inspired production, it has put another feather in the cap of an increasingly accoladed company.

Cherubini’s Medea (one of several on the legend of Jason and the Argonauts) is set in the period following the stealing of the Golden Fleece, and Jason has abandoned Medea and is planning to wed Dircé, the daughter of Creón. Medea, failing to win back Jason, is enraged and swears vengeance, and ordered by Creón to leave Corinth, she sends poisoned wedding gifts to Dircé and kills her two children that she had with Jason.

Director María Jaunarena offers a simple but effective view, opening with a sensitively portrayed Dircé bathing in a tub as her attendants assist – and a stark contrast with the final horror of the two children hanging dead.

This was similarly reflected in the harsh and gloomy almost uniformly grey-black setting, without time or place, and in the dress, setting the atmosphere for the unfolding tragedy.

The strong cast was led by a dramatic Sabrina Cirera as Medea and the finely sung Jason of Darío Schmunck. Laura Pisani was a clear and contrasting Dircé and Eugenia Fuente a well phrased Neris, while Alejandro Meerapfel provided a solid Creón. The one downside was the spoken texts here in the original French version that was presented, that tended to sound mumbled.

Conductor Hernán Schvartzman from the Royal Conservatory of the Hague has become a regular collaborator with Juventus Lyrica and includes period instruments in the orchestra, giving an unusual perspective on this music, which was enthusiastically played with but some minor imbalances. The chorus under the direction of Hernán Sánchez Arteaga also gave of their best.

Jonathan Spencer Jones

 

 

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments

Leave a Reply

Recent Reviews

MW

Facebook-button-1

Season Previews

__________________________________
  • NEW! Venus Unwrapped: Kings Place’s Year-Long Focus on Women Composers __________________________________
  • NEW! Opera Buenos Aires in 2019 – Largely Traditional __________________________________
  • NEW! English National Ballet at the London Coliseum 13 December 2018 – 20 January 2019 __________________________________
  • NEW! Looking Ahead to the 2019 Lucerne Festivals __________________________________
  • NEW! Opera Holland Park’s 2019 Season __________________________________
  • NEW! The Met: Live in HD in 2018/19 __________________________________
  • NEW! The Royal Opera House’s Exciting 2018/19 Cinema Season __________________________________
  • UPDATED! Zurich Opera in 2018/2019 and Beyond __________________________________
  • NEW! Salzburg Whitsun Festival 7 – 10 June 2019 __________________________________
  • NEW! Bolshoi Ballet 2018/19 UK Cinema Season __________________________________
  • NEW! 2018-2019 Geneva Grand Theâtre Season __________________________________
  • NEW! 2018/19 Hallé Season in Manchester __________________________________
  • NEW! 2018/19 Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich __________________________________
  • NEW! 2018/19 CBSO at Symphony Hall, Birmingham __________________________________
  • NEW! 2018/19 BBC NOW in Cardiff and Swansea __________________________________
  • UPDATED! English National Opera in 2018/19 and the New Free Tickets Scheme __________________________________
  • NEW! The 2018/19 Birmingham Classical Season __________________________________
  • Subscribe to Review Summary Newsletter

    Reviews by Reviewer

    News and Featured Articles

    __________________________________
  • NEW! PIANIST MARC-ANDRÉ HAMELIN IN CONVERSATION WITH GEOFFREY NEWMAN __________________________________
  • NEW! Ik zeg: NU: I say now, now … an interview with Richard Causton __________________________________
  • NEW! Grieg Grainger Piano Rolls: an Equivocation __________________________________
  • NEW AND UPDATED! SOME OF SEEN AND HEARD’S REVIEWERS LOOK BACK AT 2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! CONDUCTOR ÁDÁM FISCHER IN CONVERSATION WITH MICHAEL COOKSON __________________________________
  • NEW! BARITONE SIMON MECHLIŃSKI IN CONVERSATION WITH ROBERT BEATTIE __________________________________
  • NEW! CONDUCTOR ELIM CHAN IN CONVERSATION WITH GREGOR TASSIE __________________________________
  • NEW! Iain Farrington’s Mahler Piano Series was an Extraordinary Marathon __________________________________
  • NEW! SOPRANO ELENA MOȘUC IN CONVERSATION WITH CASEY CREEL __________________________________
  • NEW! The Future of Opera is Theatre: An Essay by Casey Creel __________________________________
  • NEW! MAESTRO RICCARDO FRIZZA IN CONVERSATION WITH MARGARIDA MOTA-BULL __________________________________
  • NEW! A Q&A WITH GERMAN SOPRANO PETRA LANG __________________________________
  • NEW! TENOR NICHOLAS PHAN IN CONVERSATION WITH CHRISTOPHER SALLON __________________________________
  • NEW! HOW TO CONTACT SEEN AND HEARD INTERNATIONAL __________________________________
  • Search S&H

    Archives by Week

    Archives by Month