Argentina Rossini, La scala di seta: Soloists, Orchestra, Carlos David Jaimes (conductor). Teatro Picadero, Buenos Aires. 17.7.2017. (JSJ)
Giulia – Constanza Díaz Falú
Dorvil – Sebastián Russo
Germano – Luis Loaiza Isler
Lucilla – Guadalupe Maiorino
Blansac – Sergio Carlevaris
Dormont – Patricio Olivera
Director – Cecilia Elías
Sets – Rodrigo González Garillo
Costumes – Julieta Harca
Lighting: Ricardo Sica
After its ‘fusion’ version of Handel’s Agrippina last year, Buenos Aires Lírica has returned to the charming and intimate Teatro Picadero with effectively a chamber production of Rossini’s La scala di seta.
Presented over a series of Mondays, there were plenty of opportunities for visitors to attend, especially for those – such as this reviewer – who would otherwise have been occupied during the few days or week of a typical opera production.
La scala di seta – or the ‘silken ladder’ – is one of the four, one act farse that the young Rossini composed between 1810 to 1813. With a cast of six, it is entirely appropriate to a setting such as the Picadero, with its small stage and limited space for an orchestra.
In this case, this was handled effectively with the stage area essentially split – part for the 11-strong orchestra and the remainder with a raised section for the staged action, which was well utilised without feeling crowded.
Like all the farse, it involves a pair of lovers who in this case happen to be secretly married. There is a knowing servant and the guardian/tutor and a friend who tries to woo the heroine only to fall for the less glamorous cousin. The silken ladder, from which the work takes its name, is the means by which the husband is able to gain nightly entry to his wife’s room.
With such a small group that each is of equal importance and with the acting as important as the singing, a carefully selected cast, as was clearly the case here, is needed.
Constanza Díaz Falú was an attractive and coquettish Giulia while her husband Dorvil was capably played by Sebastián Russo.
Sergio Carlevaris was a confident Blansac and Guadalupe Maiorino was a suitably retiring Lucilla, while Patricio Olivera was a larger than life tutor Dormont.
And Chilean Luis Loaiza Isler was a firm Germano, his often deadpan expression speaking volumes in this buffo role.
The orchestra members likewise were all of equal importance and were well led by Carlos David Jaimes – and like others involved in the production an emerging name in the local opera world and hopefully collectively that we will see more of in productions to come.
Jonathan Spencer Jones