“Historical” Don Giovanni From Juventus Lyrica

ArgentinaArgentina Mozart, Don Giovanni: Soloists and Orchestra of Juventus Lyrica, Hernán Schvarztman (conductor), Teatro Avenida, Buenos Aires. 7.9.2012. (JSJ)

Cast:

Don GiovanniErnesto Bauer / Martijn Cornet
Donna Anna: Macarena Valenzuela
Donna Elvira: Mariana Carnovali
Leporello: Pol González / Juan Salvador Trupia
Don Ottavio: Carlos Ullán / Iván Maier
Zerlina: Laura Polverini / Laura Penchi
Masetto and Commendatore: Maximiliano Michailovsky / Cristian de Marco

Production:

Director/sets: Ana D’Anna
Costumes: María Jaunarena
Lighting: Ana D’Anna and Fernando Micucci

Ernesto Bauer (Don Giovanni, l.) and Pol González (Leporello, r.) in Juventus Lyrica’s Don Giovanni. Photo Liliana Morsia.

Following a joint 2010 production of Cosi fan tutte, Juventus Lyrica has once again collaborated with the Royal Conservatoire of the Hague and the Dutch foundation OPERA2DAY in a production of Don Giovanni.

Like the Cosi, it is presented with replica historical instruments, with the intention to create the sound (or at least something very similar) of the day. The effect is to sound more “stringy” and less “lush”. Here the young orchestra, made up of advanced students and alumni from the Conservatoire, played with enthusiasm, if not always accuracy, and conductor Argentine Hernán Schvatzman, himself a Conservatoire graduate and now a lecturer there, maintained good tempi with no flagging of pace.

If the music was “historical”, so too broadly speaking was the rest of the production – the scenery and dress. The setting, made up of a number of cabinets which served as entrances and exits, was effective in its simplicity – and for linking the successive scenas, which can easily appear somewhat disjointed.

And the cast was also good, with Ernesto Bauer making, I would suggest, his best performance yet as Giovanni. Even toned and with good volume, his bearing was appropriate for someone with as many conquests to his name of which Leporello boasts! Pol González was the humorous Leporello, and a treat was the very rarely performed recitative/duet “Restati qua! Per queste tue manine” with Zerlina, here sung with character by Laura Polverini.

Carlos Ullán was a sensitive Don Ottavio and the two ladies, Donna Anna and Donna Elvira, respectively played by Macarena Valenzuela and Mariana Carnovali, had presence and intensity. As was done during the premiere, the roles of Masetto and the Commendatore were played by the same person, Maximiliano Michailovsky, with good voice but limited acting.

The production is now set to head to The Netherlands for three performances at the Teatro Real in the Hague (28-30 September) and one at the Teatro Municipal in Rotterdam (2 October). For these, the young Dutch baritone Martijn Cornet, who is involved in some of the local performances, will play Giovanni.

Jonathan Spencer Jones