A slightly more mature Carmen from Juventus Lyrica

ArgentinaArgentina Bizet, Carmen: Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra of Juventus Lyrica / Hernán Sánchez Arteaga (conductor), Teatro Avenida, Buenos Aires. 14.10.2022. (JSJ)

Juan Salvador Trupia (Escamillo) in Juventus Lyrica’s Carmen © Liliana Morsia.

Director – Ana D’Anna and María Jaunarena
Sets – Gonzalo Córdova
Costumes – María Jaunarena
Chorus master – Hernán Sánchez Arteaga

Carmen – Rocío Arbizu
Don José – Marcelo Gómez
Micaëla – Carolina Gómez
Escamillo – Juan Salvador Trupia
Frasquita – Virginia Lucero Guevara
Mercédès – Estefania Cap
Zuniga – Walter Schwarz
Dancairo – Gabriel Vacas
Remendado – Lautaro Chaparro
Moralès – Marcelo Reynes

Juventus Lyrica’s second offering of the year as the company – and Buenos Aires musical activity in general – returns to some semblance of normality was essentially a revival of an earlier production of the ever-popular Carmen.

Looking back, I was surprised to discover that production was from almost exactly seven years ago, as far back as 2015 – and the two protagonists from its second cast were now in the first cast, thus making for an interesting juxtaposition.

I recall Rocío Arbizu as a sensuous and seductive Carmen, the gypsy, but this time while equally so but also with something of a remoteness as if jaded with the passage of time.

Marcelo Gómez, robust and spirited then, was no less so now as her naïve and jealous soldier lover, Don José, well conveying the changing emotions of the role, and Juan Salvador Trupia similarly gave a refined (repeat) performance as Escamillo.

Micaëla is often portrayed as a demure country girl but here Carolina Gómez gave her some character, singing the role with depth and passion.

Virginia Lucero Guevara and Estefania Cap, respectively Frasquita and Mercédès, gave lively character to their parts and with both from the ‘Young Artists’ programme stood out as voices to watch for in the future, while Walter Schwarz was a solid Zuniga.

Likewise, Gabriel Vacas, Lautaro Chaparro and Marcelo Reynes played their respective parts Dancairo, Remendado and Morales well.

As far as the production goes it was similar to the 2015 version in my recollection, with the same dress but with different scenery, if anything rather more ‘period’ with similarly appropriate lighting, and an art in creating differing atmospheres with the same basic concept throughout.

Hernán Sánchez Arteaga as conductor and chorus master brought a lively and musical reading to the score and an enthusiastic performance from the chorus and likewise from Rosana Bravo’s children’s chorus.

With the economic and political situation as it is, what is in prospect for the next year remains to be seen and Juventus Lyrica must be commended for their continuing efforts not only for us the audience but also the young up and coming singers with the opportunity to perform.

Jonathan Spencer Jones

Leave a Comment