It’s a rarely performed tango opera by Astor Piazzolla. We are delighted that the Grand Théâtre de Genève is an exception by resuming this work created in Buenos Aires in May 1968, at the height of this new theater where images prevailed over history.
We are here in the spirit of the famous Einstein on the Beach by Philip Glass, written eight years later and presented at the Avignon festival in 1976. The story, very well written, full of poetry born from the words which say, is surreal. We might as well say it: we don't understand anything despite the subtitles but we don't care. We are propelled into the world of Maria, born “one day when God was drunk”, a sex worker before becoming a virgin again… Above all, we are at the heart of a sublime production. The paintings, of great beauty, follow one another and we experience an incredible delight in looking at them. And all the more so since the Grand Théâtre has not skimped on the means: from this candle-lit wall of tombs where the protagonists appear, to these industrial passageways, including this ice rink whose nylon floor allows all the skating figures.
The staging bears the very particular signature of the Swiss company Finzi Pasca, based in Lugano. In short, with this completely crazy ensemble, we go from surprise to surprise. The tangos themselves are “danced” by circus performers, or diverted by them, as during this sumptuous Cyr wheel number. The title role is played brilliantly by mezzo Raquel Camarinha. This Portuguese lyrical artist, trained at the National Conservatory of Paris, succeeds with all the necessary nuances in marrying the lyrical difficulty of the score with the nostalgic accents desired by Piazzolla. Great art.
Grand theater in Geneva until November 6.