Juanjo Mena

The Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana (OCV) debuts at the ENSEMS festival next Friday, 17 of September, under the musical direction of Juanjo Mena at the Auditori de Arts to 20.00 hours.

The Les Arts formation makes its first foray into the dean festival of avant-garde and experimental music in Spain with a program dedicated to the Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, essential figure in the music of the 20th and 21st centuries, of whom two of the most representative works are interpreted: ‘Circle Map’ and the clarinet concerto ‘D’Om le Vrai Sens’.

Saariaho, despite being an unpublished author in the programming of the OCV, is, as the artistic director of Les Arts points out, Jesus Iglesias Noriega, "One of the references of the current composition in absolute terms, with presence in the main theaters and auditoriums of the world ".

"In this sense", explains Iglesias Noriega, “The concert directed by Juanjo Mena insists on the commitment of Les Arts to expand repertoires and show the greatest diversity of musical styles, as well as for strengthening the links of the institution and its artistic assets with the Valencian cultural fabric, who for the first time take an active part in ENSEMS ".

Saariaho's expressive music fuses modern compositional trends with tradition, and reflects his passion for nature. His works are programmed by prestigious orchestras of the Los Angeles and Berlin Philharmonics, and has written commissioned operas for the most important theaters and festivals.

The collaboration with the Salzburg Festival stands out in his career, donde estrenó "Love from afar", later represented at the Metropolitan in New York. Likewise, this summer, the Aix-en-Provence Festival hosted the world premiere of his latest opera, ‘Innocence’, celebrated with great public success and the unanimous applause of international critics, who has described the work of the Finnish as his great masterpiece.

Juanjo Mena is considered one of the Spanish batons with the greatest international projection. The current principal director of the Cincinnati May Festival and an accredited expert in contemporary music assumes the musical direction of this concert after opening the Les Arts season in Alicante with two concerts in Teulada and Alcoy..

The program

Saariaho fuses orchestral and electronic music from six stanzas of poetry by the 13th century Persian poet Rumi in ‘Circle Map’ (2012). The play, which was well received by critics, has been premiered in the main international auditoriums. Juanjo Mena himself conducted the work in its American premiere with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

"Om the True Sense" (2010) is a concerto for clarinet and orchestra in six movements, that Saariaho composed for his compatriot Kari Kriikku, virtuoso clarinetist who will also perform the piece for the public of Les Arts. The work is inspired by the medieval cycle of six tapestries 'The Lady and the Unicorn', that symbolically describes the five senses of the human being along with a mysterious sixth.

The Arts is Symphonic

Les Arts recalls that the price of the tickets for the concert of Juanjo Mena with the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana ranges between 15 Y 25 euros.

The Auditori de Les Arts will receive within the season 2021-2022 to the main batons of the international circuit. Along with the returns of the most international Spanish directors, Gustavo Gimeno, Juanjo Mena and Josep Pons, the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana will work for the first time with Riccardo Minasi and Mark Elder in James Gaffigan's first year as musical director.

The Arts inaugurates the Season 2021-2022

He Palau de les Arts opens the Season 2021-2022 with two concerts by the Orchestra of the Valencian Community (OCV) in the province of Alicante under the direction of Juanjo Mena.

Thus, Les Arts' titular formation will offer a monograph of Beethoven at the Auditori Teulada and the Calderón Theater in Alcoy, Valencian cultural capital, the days 3 Y 4 of September, respectively.

The artistic director, Jesus Iglesias Noriega, has underlined the importance of inaugurating a season outside of Valencia for a project with an autonomous vocation such as Les Arts and that is committed to developing a backbone program for all citizens, beyond the immediate vicinity of the building designed by Calatrava.

Juanjo Mena, one of the most recognized Spanish conductors on the international circuit and an accredited expert in Beethoven's work proposes two essential pieces from his catalog for the opening of ‘Les Arts és Simfònic’, symphonies number 4, conceived for an orchestra of relentless virtuosity, and the number 7, a symphonic cathedral of exuberant sonority.

The program has been exclusively conceived for these concerts within the commitment to increase the presence of Les Arts in Alicante, as a complement to regional actions developed with Culture of the Generalitat, such as the ‘Les Arts amb Tu’ tour or the ‘Les Arts Volant’ tour beyond the province of Valencia.

Les Arts also offers, in collaboration with the Institut Valencià de Cultura in Castelló, a complete artistic offer in the capital of La Plana within the Season 2021-2022, with concerts by the OCV with Riccardo Minasi, Josep Pons, James Gaffigan and Mark Elder in the Auditorium, a performance of the opera ‘Un avvertimento ai gelosi’, by Manuel García, at the Teatro Principal and the recitals of the Center de Perfeccinment at the Museu de Belles Arts.

Likewise, Les Arts will increase its presence in the province of Castelló, with a regular collaboration with the Auditori de Peñíscola that will begin this season.

Juanjo Mena

Juanjo Mena directs works of Arriaga and Schubert, with the Orchestra of the Valencian Community and the soprano Sabina Puértolas solo, this weekend in Valencia and Castelló.

The prestigious Basque director is immersed in the last rehearsals of the program, with which he returns to Les Arts 14 years later. Recognized for his long international career, Juanjo Mena has worked with the most reputable orchestras, including Cleveland, French national, Gewandhaus or the Berlin Philharmonics, London and New York. Les Arts recovers this concert that had to be postponed last season due to the health emergency situation.

The principal conductor of the Cincinnati May Festival was one of the first batons the OCV worked with in its first year of life.. Mena debuted in 2007 with a program under the heading ‘Visions of the 21st century’, with which he introduced composers such as Albéniz into the repertoire of the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana, Fernández-Arbós, Béla Bartok and César Cano.

For his return, focuses on two important figures of early romanticism: Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga, still unpublished in the repertoire of the OCV, y Franz Schubert.

Nicknamed the 'Spanish Mozart', Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga (1806-1826) he was a precocious genius who, despite dying with just 19 years, left an important musical testimony. After the overture of ‘The happy slaves’, Arriaga's lyrical side will focus the first part of the concert, with the dramatic cantata for soprano and orchestra ‘Herminie’ and the aria ‘Hymen! come and dispel a vain fear of ópera Medea ’, performed by the soprano Sabina Puértolas.

As a closing of the evening, Juanjo Mena proposes one of the great works of the symphonic repertoire, the last symphony that Franz Schubert composed, 'The big', nicknamed for its length and majesty, and precursor of the new romantic airs.

Juanjo Mena conducts the Orchestra of the Valencian Community this Saturday, 27 of March, to 19.00 h, in the auditorium of the Palace of Arts. One day later, The OCV will present this same program at the Auditori i Palau de Congressos de Castelló at 19.30 h. For more information, interested parties can consult Arts – A path of emotions e IVC (gva.es).

The Arts is Symphonic

Three of the most outstanding batons on the international scene will close ‘Les Arts és Simfònic’: Antonello Manacorda (28 Y 29 May 2021), Fabio Luisi (19 June 2021) y Daniele Gatti (1 July 2021).

Juanjo Mena

Juanjo Mena is one of the most recognized Spanish conductors on the international circuit. Director principal del Cincinnati May Festival, previously he was Principal Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic, Principal Guest Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic and the Carlo Felice Theater of Genoa, as well as titular and artistic director of the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra.

Lead prestigious formations, including the Berlin Philharmonics, London, La Scala, Oslo and Rotterdam; the symphony of the Bavarian Radio, Bamberg, Swedish Radio, Danish National and NHK Tokyo, as well as the French National Orchestra, Berlin Konzerthausorchester, Tonhalle de Zurich y the Gewandhaus de Leipzig.

He is also invited by the most important American formations., Like the Baltimore Symphony, Chicago, Cincinnati, Montreal, Pittsburgh y Toronto; the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, and the cleveland orchestras, Minnesota, Philadelphia y Washington. Appears regularly in front of the Boston Symphony, both in their concert season and at the Tanglewood festival.

As an opera, addresses titles of the romantic repertoire, como ‘The Flying Dutchman’, ‘Salome’, ‘Elektra’, ‘Ariadne on Naxos’, 'Bluebeard's castle' or 'Erwartung', in addition to productions of ‘Yevgueni Oneguin’ in Genoa, ‘Short life’ in Madrid, 'The Marriage of Figaro' in Lausana or 'Billy Budd' y 'Fidelio' in Bilbao.

National Music Award 2016, Juanjo Mena has recorded the ‘Turangalîla Symphony’ with the Bergen Philharmonic, considered a reference by specialized critics. His records leading the BBC Philharmonic include tributes to Arriaga, Ginastera, Albéniz, Failure, Pierné, Montsalvatge, Weber and Turina. Recent and upcoming engagements include his return to the seasons of the Leipzig Gewandhaus orchestras, Zurich Tonhalle, Bamberg Symphony, NHK Tokyo and Minnesota Orchestra.

Juanjo Mena © Mikel Ponce_LesArts

the Caserío
Jesus Gurido (1886-1961)
lyrical comedy in three acts
Libretto by Federico Romero and Guillermo Fernandez-Shaw
Madrid, 3 October, Teatro de la Zarzuela
D. musical: Juanjo Mena
D. scene: Pablo Viar
Scenography: Daniel Bianco
Locker room: Jesus Ruiz
Lighting: Juan Gómez-Cornejo
Choreography: Edyardo Muruamendiaraz
Distribution: angel Ódena, Raquel Lojendio,Andeka Gorrotxategi, Marifé Nogales, Pablo Garcia-Lopez, hope Mentxaka, Eduardo Carranza
and José Luis Martínez
Community of Madrid Orchestra and Choir Holder
Teatro de la Zarzuela
Dance de Monserrat Caballe tribute KonpainiaAl, symbolically he started the season at the Teatro de la Zarzuela, followed by the premiere of El Caserío, Jesus Guridi and libretto by Federico Romero and Guillermo Fernandez-Shaw. The scenery is run by Pablo Viar and Daniel Bianco.Tiene eight years of travel in coproduction with ABAO of Bilbao and the Campoamor Theater in Oviedo, but this right is not affected scenery over time. Two scenarios, the entrance of a village and traditional pediment, They take us to a timeless and unmistakable Basque Country.

Production that presents the Teatro de la Zarzuela, and that it was shown in Madrid Canal Theaters, He has been omitted, rightly, of some of the dialogue and more costumbristas passages and which they are very outdated.

Critics of the zarzuela always point as one of their problems to be represented and understood today, some ancient texts, by jetlagged. But all is hopeless, as it takes demonstrating the Teatro de la Zarzuela in recent seasons. What does not change is the music aging, always fresh and processed Jesus Guridi. We narrates the story accurately and delineating the moods of his characters, thanks to a perfect orchestration.

Leading the Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro Juanjo Mena. Another Basque who makes the best reading of a score rich in color and musicality. Very good pulse pulls the best performance of ORCAM and Choir, this time has an important role and covers actoral, with his performance, the lack of other narrative and scenic elements.

Another surprise of this village are the popular dances by Aukeran Dantza Konpainia, under the direction of Eduardo Muruamendiaraz. Of professionalism and absolute perfection in execution. Very well integrated into the scenes, They were an inspiring element and contextualizing of the entire work. They provided dynamism and fluidity performing transitions.

A production like this can only count on first-rate voices, as well it has been. Ódena Angel turns to gold everything that sings, and his character Uncle Santi would not be less. Accompanied de Andeka Gorrotxategi, with a beautiful and unique tenore di forza bell, giving life to a scatterbrained José Miguel frívolon and, until he finds the love of Ana Mari, which it shapes Rachel Rojendio, another luxury for the cast.

Inosensia character is in charge of other insurance value at this theater, Marife Nogales sings, dances and acts, You can not ask for more. Pablo García López is responsible for giving life to a vibrant Txomin, which is well accompanied by the amusing scene Eustasia, de Hope Mentxaca, marido of the idle Inosensia, who plays Eduardo Carranza and a troubled Don Leoncio, Hand José Luis Martínez.

A more attractive start to the season will be continued, with music by Guridi, in his first opera, Mirentxu, concert version that we see the 22 Y 24 of November, Ainhoa ​​Arteta and Mikeldi Atxalandabaso protagonists.

Text: Paloma Sanz
pictures: Javier del Real

Juanjo Mena

Juanjo Mena will offer a concert, which will take place next week, in front of the Berliner Philharmoniker. Includes works of Debussy, Ginastera Y Manuel de Falla, solo Marie-Pierre Langlamet Y Raquel Lojendio.

Juanjo Mena (Vitoria, 1965), is the director of the BBC Philharmonic now, and one of the Spanish conductors with a stronger international career. He has conducted prestigious orchestras, including the Orchester National de France, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Nueva York Philharmonic, Orquesta Filarmonica della Scala. Soon, will conduct the Berlin Philharmonic – Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, among other orchestras in the world.

Juanjo Mena