Argentina Donizetti, Lucia di Lammermoor: Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra of Juventus Lyrica. Conductor: Hernán Sánchez Arteaga, Teatro Avenida, Buenos Aires. 26.8.2011. (JSJ)
Director: Leonor Manso
Sets/lighting: Gonzalo Córdova
Costumes: Mini Zuccheri
Chorus: Miguel Pesce
Lucia: Laura Polverini
Edgardo: Nazareth Aufe / Leonardo Pastore
Enrico Ashton: Sebastián Angulegui / Cristian Maldonado
Raimondo: Román Modzelewski / Cristian de Marco
Alisa: Verónica Canaves / Griselda Adano
Lord Arturo Bucklaw: Iván Maier /Pablo Gaeta
Normanno: Santiago Sirur / Iván Maier
Lucia di Lammermoor seems to turn up with a fair degree of regularity and this time it was from Juventus Lyrica in a production of more than usual sparseness.
Apart from a disc, initially orange shaded and set in the stage – the fountain? – and then elevated, a yellow-white light and finally the moon?, and in the second act desk and chair, there was no other scenic detail, except an inclined and somewhat awkwardly stepped stage, leaving the viewer to but imagine the surrounds of Lammermoor castle.
More obvious however, was the importance to this Enrico of Lucia’s marriage to Arturo, as shown in his annoyance – becoming increasingly aggressive and the stiff drink – at her reluctance to go through with it. Edgardo may be the family enemy but Arturo’s association clearly meant more than simply trumping that. Well acted, and well sung, by Sebastián Angulegui.
But of course the protagonist is Lucia and here, though Laura Polverini sang this demanding role with conviction, it is also a very visual one and her acting seemed less assured and somewhat strained, which no doubt further experience will overcome.
The role of Egardo was filled by Leonardo Pastore, in place of the Uruguayan tenor Nazareth Aufe, and he impressed with his presence and vocal colour. Román Modzelewski too was a solid and sympathetic Raimondo and Iván Maier was a measured Arturo. Both the young Verónica Canaves (Alisa) and especially Santiago Sirur (Normanno) also impressed in their respective roles – but why did Normanno participate (or appear to) in the famous second act sextet, effectively making it a septet, or was it as a colleague suggested, perhaps a trick of the eye?
Both the chorus and orchestra also played their parts, albeit with some uneven moments among the latter in the first act, with Hernán Sánchez Arteaga conducting with precision if not depth.
But the audience liked the production and accorded it an enthusiastic applause.
Jonathan Spencer Jones