Friday, 24 October 2014

Astor Piazzolla, María de Buenos Aires - Salzburger Kulturvereinigung, Universitätsaula

Performance 23rd October

Yesterday I was able to see a rarity which I only knew before de to the fact that I wrote a paper about it once: Astor Piazzolla's María de Buenos Aires. As a so called Tango Operita it features a lot of typical Piazzolla tango music and great rousing rhythms. The production is a cooperation between the Kulturvereinigung Salzburg and the dance organisation Tango Salzburg. Elisabeth Fuchs conducted her Philharmonie Salzburg and the dancers were members of Tango Salzburg. Unfortunately they were not able to catch the work's ravishing aura. The orchestra lacked of clarity and richness of tone. The great rhythmic power of Piazzolla's music was not noticable and Fuchs interpreted it like a bad school ensemble arrangement of a Mozart or Vivaldi. Already the opening bars were a big disaster due to the fact that the bandoneon (whose player was a disaster himself), which has such an important role throughout the piece, had serious issues to fit in. Fuchs obviously did not get the importance of this instrument and covered it constantly instead of pointing it out.
Another unintelligibility was the casting of the speaker. Robert Pienz might have had spanish in school or anywhere else and his diction is surely better than average, but even I could tell that this is not his mother tongue. He was so busy pronouncing everything correctly that there was no interpretation of the text at all (it seemed more like a reading). I really don't understand why they did not cast a native spanish speaker or at least someone who can recite the text appropriately.
Oscar Ovejero, who is a born south american, performed the role of the male singer. His voice might not be perfect, but he gave a satisfying performance although his microphone was adjusted way to loud.
The main protagonist, María, was sung by Mya Fracassini who gave a good performance all in all. Her voice might not be very strong but she delivered the character very well and had no major vocal issues. In the beginning she seemed a little restrained but opened up herself more throughout the performance
The additional characters (Theater(Off)ensive Sprechchor and members of Tango Salzburg) made the performance more bearable and supported the protagonists. The staging (Elisabeth Fuchs) and the costumes (Sven Jungclaus) were fine and helped the complicated plot quite well.
So finally I was happy to have seen it even though the whole performance lacked of professionality and quality. The performance gets 5 stars (which, in my opinion, is already quite kind and merciful).
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