Argentina Offenbach, La vie parisienne: Compañia Lirica “G.Verdi”. Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra of Compañia Lirica “G.Verdi”, Conductor:Ramiro Soto Monllor. Teatro Avenida, Buenos Aires. 6.4.2013. (JSJ)
Raoul de Gardefeu: Gabriel Centeno / Pablo Selci
Bobinet: Luis Loaiza Isler / Alfredo Azar
Metella: Paula Bresci Raña / Gisela Barok
Gontran y Urbain: Santiago Garrido
Baron de Gondremarck: Pol Gonzalez / Alejandro Schijman
Baroness de Gondremarck: Lara Mauro / Adriana Segal
Brazilian / Frick / Prosper: Martín Pagado
Gabrielle: Clara Pinto / Susana Moreno
Pauline: Rocio Cereceda / Veronica Callieri
Director: Adriano Segal
Artistic Director: Lizzie Waisse
Sets: Gerardo Pietrapertosa
Lighting: Luis Pereiro
Choreography: Gabriela Castro Barros
Compañia Lirica “G.Verdi” is a relative newcomer to Buenos Aires’ opera scene, with this the third year of life of this independent company – and with each year it has moved on and “up,” this year coming to the Teatro Avenida where the city’s two main indys perform.
While the new companies bring added opportunities for opera in the city, perhaps to single themselves out the upcoming indys in Buenos Aires notably also seem to be focusing on the lesser performed repertoire. For example, in the case of this Compañia Lirica “G.Verdi”, other productions scheduled for this year include Verdi’s Oberto, which will be an Argentine premiere, and de Falla’s La vida breve, last put on some 20 years ago.
However, for the first of the three productions for 2013 the company has opted for a repeat of its 2012 production of La vie parisienne. One of Offenbach’s most popular operettas it brims with sparkling tunes and dances that bridge the lengthy sections of spoken dialogue – here given in Spanish (with the sung numbers in their original French).
Almost all of the singers were new to me and are not among the regulars of the independent circuit, but this was made up for with their exuberance and charisma. Among them Pol Gonzalez was the strongest, presenting a bluff Baron, and Gabriel Ceteno was a suitably dandyish Gardefeu, while Laura Mauro was an appropriate Baroness and Paula Bresci Raña a sweetly fickle Metella.
The set was simple but appropriate, and the dress was generally correct, if not over the top, such as the Baron and Baroness’s Eskimo look – except for Martín Pagado’s Brazilian, who was more like a carnival troupe member than the wealthy individual he is supposed to be!
The 34 strong orchestra was along the lines that Offenbach generally wrote for with the playing adequate, while a highlight was the Can-Can from the small dance group.
Compañia Lirica “G.Verdi” is a young company with a clearly enthusiastic following and we look forward to following its further future development.
Jonathan Spencer Jones