The five performances of Peter Grimes that have taken place in the Palau de les Arts, They have resulted in a major victory, because of the excellent combination of scenery, stage direction, a magnificent orchestral performance, magnificent performance of the solo voices, well complemented by a remarkable interventions of other performers that make up the extensive cast of this opera. Y, especially, a brilliant performance as always- Choir of Valencia Generalitad, true protagonist of the work. Highlight, Inter Palace of Arts, alternate titles for the more traditional repertoire, others like this Peter Grimes, which is complemented by two other operas by Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream and Another twist, represented in previous seasons. Definitely, in the course of these performances of Peter Grimes, the public interest in attending them has increased, especially for the excellent reception given to the first function.

Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten (Lowestoft, Suffolk County, England, 22 November 1913 – Aldeburgt, Suffolk County, 4 December 1976) It was one of the most important and unique musicians of the twentieth century, with a major symphonic production, concertística and especially operas with thirteen titles, which place him as a great composer genre, during the past century, junto a Richard Strauss, Leos Janacek and Giacomo Puccini. Peter Grimes emerged as Sergei Koussevitzky commissioned, director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Britten during the stay in the US, between 1939 Y 1942. Con a libretto by Montagu Slater from del poema The Borougt (The village) de George Crabbe, where also they involved significantly, Britten himself with the tenor Peter Pears (collaborator and life partner Britten) who he was destined for the role of Peter Grimes. The premiere took place at London's Sadler's Wells Theater the 7 June 1945, only one month after the conclusion of World War II. In the euphoria of victory achieved by Britten and Pears, pride representing the birth of a new English opera was added, the first since the death of Henry Purcell 1695 or the last play of Haendel 1741. Peter Grimes is a lone fisherman, dreamer and both primitive and brutal, totally marginalized by the social environment inhabited, and only try and respect the teacher Ellen Orford Village, in love with him and Captain Balstrode, old retired navy. Grimes lost and accidentally successively three of his apprentices, which leads him to madness and a tragic end. Britten tried a recurring theme in most of his operas: the drama of outcasts faced with a hostile society, hypocritical and cruel exterminating just. Musically it is a prodigious work, full of imagination, wit and eclepticismo, wherein shake hands various influences: Verdi, in fusion orchestra, voice and dramatic situation; Debussy, Mahler y Richard Strauss, in the harmonic and orchestral color painting; Stravinsky, in the imposing rhythmic force; Puccini, especially his Fanciulla del West. As well, It should be noted certain influences of Dimitri Shostakovich Lady Macbeth, who was a great friend of Britten, dedicating his Symphony No. 14. In its formal structure, clear divisions shown recitativos, arias, duos and set numbers, with admirable dramatic unity and an orchestral role waving dramatic tension and links the seven scenes of the opera with six symphonic interludes powerful effect.
After his first London functions, and in just three years, Peter Grimes premiered in Stockholm, Antwerp, Zurich, Paris, Milan, New York and Los Angeles. His very late release in Spain took place at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid 1991 and later he was represented at the Teatro Real in Madrid, in 1997. After its strong momentum, the opera was poorly represented in the fifties of the last century. From 1963, will return to the scene of his debut at London's Sadler's Wells Theater, directed by Colin Davis, who will become since then and for more than forty years, in Peter Grimes great Guaranty. There are several recordings on CD and DVD, enabling an approach to this opera. In 1958, the first studio recording was made for Decca, with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Benjamin Britten himself and an excellent Peter Pears as Peter Grimes. In 1969, the BBC made a film, superbly set, directed by Brian Large, currently marketed on DVD by Decca, Britten again in front of the London Symphony Orchestra, Ambrosiano Choir and Peter Pears, linking his great vocal performance an extraordinary performing arts, next to Ellen Orford, superbly played by soprano Heather Harper, who for many years will be the true benchmark of this character. Canadian tenor John Vickers first played Peter Grimes, in January 1967, in the Metropolitan New York, with musical direction of Colin Davis, since become, a key role in his repertoire, coming to interpret it for the rest of his career, in over a hundred functions, in major theaters around the world. Creating Vickers is excellent in the vocal plane, exhibiting a proven and incisive phrasing and equipping its expressive performance, highlighting the wild and crazy side of the character. Vickers made a studio recording for the label PHILIPS, in 1978, junto a Heather Harper, directed by Colin Davis at the helm of the Orchestra of Covent Garden. There is a take on video DVD sold by WARNER MUSIC, from 1981, performed at Covent Garden, production of the famous stage direction by Elijah Moshinsky and musical Colin Davis, where Vickers makes a retrospective creation of Peter Grimes, again accompanied by Heather Harper. Peter Pears o John Vickers, They are the largest Peter Grimes history, his creations are very different but complementary to give a complete picture of this complex character.

Valencianas these functions has been used historical production 1994, para el Bruselas currency Theater, dirigida por Willy Decker, which could already be seen in the Teatro Real in Madrid 1997. This has been François replacement of carpentries and Rebekka Stanzel, those responsible for the stage direction, with excellent results. The simple set design consists of a sloped floor where some large panels ranging delimiting different spaces move: church, Grimes's hut; Y, playful Tavern, with red hues that give a disturbing aspect, enhanced by the superb lighting design Trui Malten, especially when the door and a distorted shadow of Grimes opens projected on the wall, with a clearly expressionist tone. Y, especially, that seabed, more intuited that displayed, which dominates the whole work. In this scenery play a very important role numerous extras (protagonists and chorus members) moving on stage in compact groups, giving real boost to the development of dramatic action. scenically highlight the entire end of Act II, where, they are mixing with others visible spaces off: the party that forms the door with all the notables of the town, driven by the carrier Hobson drumming, towards the hut Grimes, and disappears from the scene, where there are only, in a first plane, four women: The Tabernera Auntie, his two nieces and Hellen Orford; Y, upstage can be up right and left dark silhouettes, as a birds of prey other women, finally they make a dark and stalker group, which it acts as a counterweight to the four women lying in the foreground perfectly visible. The dramatic action continued at the start of Act III, in another visible space: the cabin where are Peter Grimes and grumete, who begin to hear the drum sound announcing the arrival of the delegation cited above, which causes great disruption to Grimes, who forces the boy to fall into the sea off a cliff, where just despeñando; Grimes will help him (another scene off.) leaving the empty cabin, in which the party breaks, and again displayed. also note, the stunning end of the first part of Act III, scenically very well resolved, showing a vociferous and madding crowd, compact group, you want to lynch Grimes. In sum, a magnificent scenery of John Macfarlane, also responsible for costume design (based on black and red colors) while suitable -to 1830- in which the action takes place.

Orchestra of Valencia shone high, directed by American Christopher Franklin, to whom blame can not properly care for the dynamics, with a propensity to offer, at times, a sound somewhat flat line, using excessively sound in forte. This was illustrated, especially in the great "orchestral tutti", where some difficulty perceived in differentiating sound levels, with influence of metals on the remaining sections. This is no obstacle to highlight the magnificent performance of all orchestral sections, with a magnificent string, and the great brilliance of different instruments, especially in those precious "Sea Interludes": the first of them, "Dawn (Dawn)"As a prelude to Act I, descriptive in nature, where shines greatly the sound of flutes and violins in high register (very present during the development of the entire first scene of Act I) suggesting the flight and the cries of the seagulls or the combination of clarinets, violas and harp to show the flow of the waves. In the fourth interlude the famous "Passacaglia", located between the two scenes of Act II, with outstanding interventions of metals in conjunction with rope, and tubes with the harp or the brilliant finish sound confluence viola and celesta going to disappear fading. Very bright the implementation of the fifth Interlude "Moonligh (Moonlight)"Begins with Act III, with the impressive sound of the string as a funeral march which are inserted, at times, flute and piccolo and metals are incorporated in a large crescendo, to conclude with the sound set of xylophone and harp. also note, at the conclusion of Act II, conjoined sound of bassoons and celesta. Impressive orchestral sound in conjunction with the choir, in the concertante which concludes the first scene of Act III.

Gregory Kunde played for the second time Peter Grimes, the first was in Rome Opera 2013, and their performance was very noticeable in the vocal level and especially in the dramatic, penetrating the psychology of this complex character. Very well in his soliloquy in Act II "Now the Great Bear (Now the Big Dipper)" where, looking at the stars, meditates on his unhappy fate. Interprets notably in Act II aria "In dreams l'looks built (In my dreams he had built)"Where alternate moments of great lyricism, with those typical very Puccini inflections, with others where the song takes on aggression and violence. Y, It is very bright, with a very nuanced and theatrical performance, its final soliloquy "Steady! There you are……What harbour scheters peace (Calm! You are here!……What port it is possible to find peace?)"Where ya, completely crazy thinking, again, in that sad fate of which can not escape, and just sobbed and full of despair. Kunde is magnificent in duets Ellen Orford: which they interpreted a cappella, in the Prologue, full of hope, where both make plans for the future, with a delicate ridge line; Y, especially, the Act II, where they are contrasting serenity and sanity Ellen with violent and irrational behavior of Peter. Notable her performance in the great duet of Act I, with Captain Balstrode (well played by baritone Robert Bork) Grimes states where all your dreams and hopes and the great contradictions of his personality, in contrast to the realistic and accurate vision of Balstrode, who with his advice to Grimes, shows the great esteem he feels for him. American soprano Leah Partrigge shows certain deficiencies in the low and middle registers, but it is in possession of a sharp excellent and great theatricality that gives its interpretation. It is magnificent in its confrontation with the crowd, in Act I, and makes a wonderful and nuanced performance with exquisite singing line, in his aria in Act III "Embroidery in chilhood (when she was little)”, followed duo with Balstrode. also highlight its great performance in the beautiful quartet acute-a reflection of the role of women in relation to men- with Auntie tabernera (discreetly interpretada por la means Dalia Schaechter) and two well sung by sopranos nieces and Giorgia Rotolo Marianna Mappa, both belonging to Placido Domingo Development Center. Rosalind Plowright made an important career as a soprano in the seventies and eighties of the last century, combining a good vocalism and a great stage presence. Here as mezzo and sensitively aged, makes a remarkable interpretation of the gossipy and spiteful Mrs. Sedley. While the rest of the large cast.

Special mention Valenciana Choir Generalitad, shining a high level during his numerous interventions throughout the opera. Notably his performance in the course of the first scene of Act I, and that, in a perfect symmetrical structure, also closes the opera, when Ellen Orford and Captain Balstrade, after tragedy, re-integrate into the community dynamics. Anyway, an excellent Peter Grimes.

Peter Grimes de Benjamin Britten.

He Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia opens Friday, 1 February, ‘Peter Grimes’, Benjamin Britten, one of the masterpieces of the twentieth century, plus the best English opera from 'Dido and Aeneas' by Henry Purcell (1689). Christopher Franklin, in the pit, Y Willy Decker, as a stage director of this production of La Monnaie Theater (Brussels), They address the first opera Les Arts in 2018. An event that involves, Besides, the stage debut Gregory customer in the role of tormented sailor, stigmatic, persecuted and doomed to suicide for alleged abuse their apprentices.

Specialists in the English repertoire accompanied on stage: Leah Partridge (Ellen Orford), Robert Bork (Balstrode), Dalia Schaechter (Auntie), Andrew Greenan (Swallow), Charles Rice (Ned Keene), Ted Schmitz (Reverend Adams), Richard Cox (Bob Boles) Y Lukas Jakobski (Hobson), along with the legendary diva Rosalind Plowright in the role of Mrs. Sedley.

Benjamin Britten addressed in 'Peter Grimes' two recurring themes in his legacy: the confrontation of an individual with society and the loss of innocence. Through the figure of the protagonist, English composer explores the psychological effects of exclusion on those who contravene the conventional codes.

This point was the musical director, Christopher Franklin, It is highlighting the "contemporaneity" of the work. "It's not an opera about myths, nor about dragons, princesses, cuts or kings ... but it is an issue that, nowadays, It is still very current, how society, like an everything, reacts against an individual ".

musically, Benjamin Britten boasts a great dramatic flair to unite on the staff different environments by transiting 'Peter Grimes', from raves to outbursts Fisherman, folk songs at the inn Auntie, Sunday storm or singing in church, giving the sea an unusual prominence as a character played by the orchestra, continuous and present witness human drama.

Franklin, who runs his second work by the English composer in Valencia after 'The Turn of the Screw' in 2017, It adds that it is "almost Wagnerian opera, in the sense that the chorus as the chorus used in Greek theater: It is a reflection of society ".

After his celebrated 'clock Traviata', that wowed at the Salzburg Festival and arts center scheduled within the bicentenary of Verdi, Willy Decker presenta ‘Peter Grimes’. A dedicated mounting Director, with scenery and costumes by John Macfarlane, Trui Malten lighting and choreography by Athol Farmer, which he has received unanimous praise from critics and audiences since its premiere in 1994.

Decker emphasizes the role of the sea in its proposal, a sea that "determines in its violence the behavior of men". Their violence is reflected in the violence of men and their deeds: the land and the sea, the man and the nature, They are caught in the grip of each other ... In all feelings, mainly in anguish and desires, It is always present ".

For staging, the 'regista' German uses images of "its vastness and violence and represents the effects produced by the sea in the souls of men".

"A paper with dreams all tenor"

Since she sang her first 'Otello' in Spain under the direction of Zubin Mehta at the Mediterranean Festival of 2013, Gregory Kunde is one of the artists of reference in programming Les Arts, destacados with debuts in Valencia, Don Alvaro in 'La forza del destination' or the leading role in 'Samson et Dalila'.

The American tenor and sang in 2013 concert version of this opera under the direction of Antonio Pappano. A performance that earned him comparison with himself Sir Peter Pears, tenor and lover Benjamin Britten for the English genius composed this paper, and who premiered the work the 7 June 1945 at Sadler's Wells Theater in London.

At his first performance of 'Peter Grimes', Kunde equate character with another determining factor in your current career. "For me it's like 'Otello' by Verdi: a role with which all dreams tenor ".

"It's the best job he continues Britten. We know many other titles: ‘Death in Venice’, ‘Billy Budd’… but, In my opinion, This is the masterpiece of his operas. And speaking of century XX, I would say that is one of the five best of the century. Nobody considers modern opera, because it has become part repertoire, which it is fantastic ".

Leah Patridge encarna a Ellen Orlford, the master of the people and the most fervent defender of Grimes. This is his second visit to Les Arts after singing the role of Helena in "A Midsummer Night's Dream 'in 2016 Roberto Abbado.

American soprano believes that singing Britten's work is "life changing experience". "Once with your musical skills you manage to appreciate and Benjamin Britten work, You feel like another world accedieras expression ", Explain.

"Every time I hear this work amazes me how he could think of writing… The way that captures the sea, the morning, Plasma how the scene at the inn Auntie ... In his music, everything is very visual. There really creepy moments and other provocateurs. I never get tired of listening to this music, or cantarla ".

Rosalind Plowright plays Mrs. Sedley, "Bad history", in the words of the diva own, which deals with this paper what she calls his "third career" after 35 successful years on stage.

Brilliant soprano 'pushed', subsequently converted into 'mezzosoprano' and now specialized in character roles, Mrs. Sedley qualifies as "someone nasty, very unpleasant".

"She exaggerates everything much more, and really he wants to sink Peter Grimes ", apostil.

Les Arts premiere 1 February 'Peter Grimes', the second title of Britten presented in the Main Hall, después de ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. The remaining functions will take place on 4, 7, 10 Y 13 of that month.

Gregory customer

American veteran tenor Gregory customer (Kankatee, Illinois, 24 February 1954), He debuted in the early eighties of last century with a lyrical voice light, which allowed him to meet and bel canto roles mozartianos. Suffering from cancer 1994, diagnosed after some representations The Italian en Algiers from Rossini, at Teatro de la Zarzuela, He managed to overcome severe illness and resume his career 1996. Over the years his voice has changed, becoming more physicality and volume, deriving the tenor tessitura lyric-spinto. From 2009 a new stage of his career began to incorporate its first repertoire paper verdiano, the Arrigo The Sicilian Vespers. In 2012 He sang for the first time Otello from Verdi, paper that has succeeded in recent years in major European theaters, It is one of the few tenors in history that have addressed the two Otello, the rossiniano and verdiano, and this took place successively in the months of July and August 2015, in the Teatro alla Scala and at the Peralada Festival. In the past five years he has been debuting in other Verdian roles: Radames' Aida, Manrico de The Troubadour, Don Alvaro de The force of Destiny, Rodolfo de Luisa Miller, Riccardo A masked ball. He has also successfully tackled other roles as Turiddu of Cavalleria rusticana, Canio the I Pagliacci, Des Grieux in Manon Lescaut, Andrea Chènier and Pollione of Rule. In recent years he has sung more sporadically bel canto roles as Roberto Devereux, who played in the Teatro Real Madrid in 2015 and Mozart's Idomeneo in Palau de Les Arts Valencia in 2016; Obviously them- He has lost capacity for agility, It is addressed assiduously much more dramatic repertoires.

In his recital of Peralada, accompanied by the Valencian pianist José Ramón Martín, It has been able to confirm a voice fatigue given its incessant activity. Nowadays, the voice is certainly voluminous, easily for singing in strong, difficulties for middle voices, a serious problem, and trend, at times, an irregular emission color changes in the voice. All this is mitigated by its great theatrical capacity, To refine the most of their interpretations.

The concert began with a dedicated block Vincenzo Bellini composed of three beautiful and soft songs: "Vaga luna che inargenti", "Melancholy, gentle nymph " Y "Valve, or pink lucky ", well they interpreted and served for the tenor voice warm and then addressed brilliantly aria-cabaletta Pollione "Meco at the altar of Venus ... protege, Me defends " in Rule, inserting in the aria the C4 and relevant variations in the repetition of aria and cabaletta. The recital continued with the performance of two songs Rossini: “Remoteness" Y "Tyrant to Spanish”, interventions both excellent pianist José Ramón Martín, and where Kunde offered a song full of musicality and expressiveness. The first part of the concert ended with the complex aria Arnold "Asylum hereditary" from Guillaume Tell Rossini, that Kunde faced with courage and good line edge, emitting vibrant treble, although not with the brilliance of yesteryear-the years take their toll- and I mean the interpretation offered by Guillaume Tell in Corunna, in 2010, directed by Alberto Zedda, sadly missing this year. So, their interpretation of "Asylum hereditary"It turned magistral, followed by cabaletta "Friends, friends" (omitted in Peralada) with excellent sustained rises to C4.

The second part of the program began with a dedicated block Verdi with three songs: "Sunset", "The Mystery" y "Brindisi" where the singer had some difficulties in their attempt to issue middle voices. It was magnificent interpretation of recitative-aria of Riccardo "Perhaps he drew threshold ... .But if I am forced to lose you" from A masked ball, sung in the best Verdian style, with an elegant and incisive phrasing. The inclusion in this recital of aria "How cold your little hand" from Bohemian from Puccini was not too appropriate, as the voice of Kunde, nowadays, lacks that youthful timbre required by the romantic Rodolfo. But nevertheless, the singer most notably played without using score, although he spent on tenterhooks in the C4, Quickly cut and toned down. Ya, to conclude the recital, It turned out brilliantly dramatic performance full of expressivity, the Air de Canio "Recite!….Wear the jacket" from Pagliacci, definitely, Your intervention. Highlight the magnificent performance by pianist José Ramón Martín, very attuned to the singer.

Gregory Kunde offered a couple of encores flawlessly performing songs “What a wonderful world” Y "My way”, which respectively they popularized in the sixties of the last century Louis Amstrong Y Frank Sinatra.

It is made at fault not included in this recital any aria Otello Verde, so many triumphs role has meant for the American tenor in recent years and has recently performed at Covent Garden in London, alternating deal with the media Jonas Kaufmann, with a much higher performance offered by the German tenor.

Gregory customer

Gregory customer protagoniza esta selección de arias tras cuarenta años en los escenarios donde ha alcanzado el reconocimiento unánime del público y la crítica en su madurez como intérprete. Trained at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, He grew as an artist under the tutelage of Alfredo Kraus, y pronto comenzó a despuntar en el repertorio belcantista y francés, devoting as accomplished rossiniano. However, no faces from the past that have no place in this recital, porque cuando su voz decidió alcanzar la edad adulta, al borde de la cincuentena y el cambio de siglo, sus personajes se declararon en rebeldía y se vio obligado a dar un salto a lo desconocido para reinventarse como cantante. La colección de piezas recogida en esta grabación forjan el presente y el futuro de un cantante que siente que todavía tiene toneladas de talento que compartir en el teatro. Kunde pone la experiencia acumulada en cuarenta años de carrera al servicio de Verdi, Puccini y los autores veristas. Sin artificios. El arte no entiende de edad. Así lo consideraron igualmente los integrantes del jurado del prestigioso International Opera Award, que le fue concedido a Kunde en 2016 en la categoría de mejor intérprete masculino, un reconocimiento a la excelencia alcanzada en la madurez de su extensa carrera. También fue condecorado en España como mejor intérprete masculino en 2015 with the Campoamor prize, galardón que ya había obtenido dos años antes por su impresionante Otello valenciano.

  1. Gounod

Romeo and Juliet: Ah, lêve-toi, soleil!

  1. Puccini

La Fanciulla del West: Ch’ella mi creda

  1. Meyerbeer

L’Africaine: Pays merveilleux… O paradis

  1. Puccini

Tosca: And the stars were shining

  1. Verdi

Sicilian Vespers: É di Monforte il cenno / Day of crying

  1. Leoncavallo

I Pagliacci: Recite! / Vesti la Giubba

  1. Puccini

Manon Lescaut: Donna non vidi mai

  1. Puccini

Turandot: Non piangere Liù

  1. Giordano

Andrea Chenier: Un di, allazzurro spazio

  1. Verdi

Aida: Celeste Aida

  1. Puccini

La Fanciulla del West : Una parola sola / Or son sei mesi

  1. Verdi

The force of Destiny: La vita è inferno / O, tu che in seno agli angeli

  1. Verdi

The Troubadour: Ah, sì ben mio

  1. Verdi

The Troubadour: Di quella Pira

  1. Verdi

Otello: It gave! mi potevi scagliar

  1. Puccini

Turandot: Nessun Dorma

Sicilian Vespers

El Palau de les Doctor, has started its new season with Sicilian Vespers, one Verdi opera authentic appeal, though little known by the general public, as it is shown rarely. Only, its magnificent overture is often included as part of concert. So, for the Valencian coliseum was challenging an opera like this, especially, for their great demands on the vocal level.

After the success of the so-called "Popular Trilogy" constituted by Rigoletto de 1851, together with Il Trovatore and La Traviata both premiered in 1853, Giuseppe Verdi begins to rethink his career, with the intention of slowing down their creative endeavors that 1839 Y 1953, they had produced eighteen operas, almost all of them marked by haste, having to compose at high speed - sometimes two operas in the same year- to meet the demands of theaters.

Busetto's composer decides to offer less quantity and more quality, fruit of a more relaxed work, with the choice of attractive texts, along with more elaborate music and an orchestration of greater complexity and sophistication. This new stage will begin with the composition of Les Vêpres Siciliennes (The Sicilian Vespers) commissioned by the Paris Opera.

Verdi arrived in the French capital in the spring of 1854, beginning the search for a text that had attractive and authentic dramatic force.

But nevertheless, afraid of not hitting the tastes of the French public, did not choose the topic, instead he commissioned it to Eugene Scribe, famous librettist closely related to Parisian opera, who proposed to Verdi as an argument an event took place in Sicily, specifically in its capital Palermo, in 1282, during the French occupation of the island and in the run-up to an uprising of the Sicilian people, supported militarily and financially by Pedro III of Aragon, openly confronted the French king Carlo I of Anjou.

Verdi dedicated almost a year to the composition of his new opera, whose structure was typical of "Grand Opera" with its five acts and an attractive ballet of certain proportions called "The Four Seasons", inserted in Act III. Finally, Les Vêpres Siciliennes premiered at the Grand Opera in Paris, in a "soirée de gala" the 13 June 1855, coinciding with the celebrations of the Universal Exhibition that was taking place in the French capital. The original libretto written in French was translated into Italian by Arnaldo Fusinato, and this new version with the title I Vespri Siciliani, premiered at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, he 4 February 1856. During later years, the opera in its Italian version had a certain tour at the international level, to fall into the most absolute of oblivion.

His recovery occurred in 1951, year of the fiftieth anniversary of Verdi's death, with a production premiered at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, musically directed by the great Erich Kleiber, that featured the imposing creation of Maria Callas as Duchess Elena, with another extraordinary interpreter, the bulgarian bass Boris Christoff on the role of Giovanni da Procida, the leading quartet was completed by the excellent Guido de Monforte played by the baritone Enzo Mascherini, just to the discreet rendering of the Greek tenor Giorgio Bardi Kokolios as Arrigo. The absolute success of those Florentine representations, led to the title chosen for the season opening of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan on 7 December 1951, with musical direction by Victor de Sabata, with the same interpreters of Florence and the significantly improved Arrigo of the North American tenor Eugene Conley.

In more recent times there have been important performances of this opera, like those that took place at the Teatro Comunale in Bologna, in 1986, directed by a young Riccardo Chailly and a magnificent cast that included Leo Nucci's Monforte, with the excellent tenor Veriano Luchetti as Arrigo, the very low solvent Bonaldo Giaiotti like Procida and Elena's magnificent performance, performed by the American soprano Susan Dunn.

also note, the functions that represented the inauguration of the scalígera season of 1989-1990, with the extraordinary direction of Riccardo Muti, and a very notable group of performers that featured Cheryl Studer as Elena, Giorgio Zancanaro in a brilliant interpretation of Monforte, Chris Merritt as Arrigo and Ferruccio Furlanetto in the role of Procida. Note that those Milanese performances included the beautiful ballet "The Four Seasons", which is usually omitted. There are two video shots, performed during performances at the Teatro Comunale in Bologna and at La Scala in Milan, which were later released on DVD.

The Palau de les Arts has chosen for these performances of I Vespri Siciliani, a co-production made by the Teatro Reggio di Torino and the Bilbao-based ABAO-OLBE, with a staging of Davide Livermore (current artistic director of Les Arts) which was premiered at the Teatro Reggio di Torino in 2011, on the occasion of 150 anniversary of Italian unity. Livermore moves the action to the Sicily of 1992, year in which the terrible attack in which the judge was assassinated by the Mafia took place Giovanni Falcone, his wife and three of his escorts.

Falcone's funeral took place in the Cathedral of Palermo and was televised live for the whole world. In Act I, the scenery of Centineo saints reproduce aquel funeral, this time dedicated to Federico the brother of Duchess Elena, executed by the French, with the coffin carried on his shoulders and a funeral procession where Elena and other ladies appear together with ecclesiastics.

The seriousness and recollection of the event is frivolized to the maximum by the video cameras that are taking it as a true “reality show” and whose images can be seen on two large screens. Definitely, This approach confirms the power of the media to manipulate reality, always at the service of the corrupt political class, in this case dominated by the Mafia.

Much more suitable is the scenery of Act II, where it shows, in a gloomy environment, two wrecked cars, alluding to the Falcone attack and marking the return to Palermo of the patriot Giovanni da Procida, willing to prepare a popular uprising against the French occupiers.

But nevertheless, this dramatic scenery, stays -totally out of place- during the rest of the act, encompassing the dance in the form of a "tarantella" that young Sicilians dance with their partners, that are taken from them by French soldiers who abuse them, all spiced up with profuse backlighting, that gives the scene a night orgiastic atmosphere. Y, Finally, in that same scenic space, a red carpet is spread where the couples invited to the Governor Monforte party go by. listening in the background a happy "barcarola".

By contrast, the scenery in Act III, it is an elegant building with rationalist architecture, which leads to a parliamentary chamber where the "Masquerade Ball" takes place, where the conspirators intend to assassinate Governor Guido de Monforte.

Ya, at the end of the act, in the large windows of the hemicycle, images of characters from all areas that have marked the history of "Unified Italy" are projected: politicians like Cavour, De Gasperi, Aldo Moro, Giulio Andreotti, together with athletes like Fausto Coppi or actors like Marcello Mastroianni and playwrights like Darío Fo, images that end up merging with flags of Italy.

And in Act IV, the jail where Elena and Procida are, it also has the style of the building described at the beginning of the previous act, with black and symmetrical vertical and horizontal structural elements, enhanced by excellent background lighting in fading orange tones to reveal a dark and oppressive stage space, drifting towards an open and cheerful space where Elena and Arrigo can be seen on a lectern with Monforte, who announces the marriage commitment of both. At the start of Act V, the style of "reality show" is recovered, of Act I, with the party where the wedding preparations are made that of Elena and Arrigo, spiced with the interventions of dancers whose costumes and evolutions suggest a magazine show.

The tragic end of the story, with the revolt of the Sicilians against the French and the massacre where the protagonists die, is cushioned showing only their lying bodies, in the recovered stage space of the parliamentary chamber, at the bottom of which the first article of the Italian constitution appears projected "Sovereignty resides in the people, who exercises it in accordance with the form and limits established by the constitution ". The Livermore staging, results, at times, interesting and original, although excessively circumscribed to the Italian world. The Orchestra of the Valencian Community once again demonstrated its great quality, conducted in a solvent manner by Roberto Abbado, current musical director of Les Arts.

The orchestral sound was of great brilliance in the execution of the extensive overture, one of the most beautiful verdian symphonic creations, where the vibrant and repeated central theme stands out, together with another of great melodic impulse that will reappear in the great duet of Arrigo and Monforte from Act III. Excellent orchestral resolution of Act II, with pages of great dramatic intensity along with others of a folkloric nature such as "La tarantela" and "La barcarola". Magnificent performances of the orchestral introductions of the remaining acts, where the lightness of that music alternates in the form of a dance that preludes Act III, with the very bleak and gloomy that marks the beginning of Act IV, in comparison with the festive and folkloric nature introduced by Act V.

Also note that the orchestra shone brilliantly in the imposing concert that closes Act III and in the course of the last two acts, especially, in the dramatic ending of the opera. Inside the excellent performance of all orchestral sections, it should be noted that Roberto Abbado gave more preponderance to brass and percussion, enhancing the moments of greatest orchestral force, although the string had moments of extreme quality in the accompaniment of Monforte's aria from Act III. Point out the precious orchestral sound that accompanies Procida's intervention "Goodbye, my homeland " of Act IV. Abbado showed concerted ability taking maximum care of the accompaniment of the singers, especially to the soprano.

Among the solo voices it is worth highlighting Gregory customer, as Arrigo, who, shows his mastery of the Verdian singing style, with an incisive phrasing, and a brilliant high register, along with a nuanced and expressive interpretation. The recitative-aria stands out in its great scene of Act IV “The sign is from Monforte….Day of crying, of fierce pain ", followed by the long and intense duet with Elena, full of intense lyricism and dramatic accents, where it offers a whole interpretive lesson.

The North American tenor is magnificent in the heroic duets with Monforte in Acts I and III, and in his great interpretation of the triplet with Elena and Procida at the end of the opera, where his song, acquires, at times, intense dramatic tones. As opposed, Show lightness in the festive duet with Elena from Act V "The breeze hovers around to caress my face", though, emitting the conclusive D-flat over the word "Goodbye" with an ugly falsetto note.

The Uvense Baritone Juan Jesus Rodriguez performs a good interpretation of Guido de Monforte, showing the changing moods of the character and shining brilliantly in his solo intervention of Act III, with a magnificent interpretation of the aria "In the arms of the wealth", where it offers an excellent singing line in the best Verdian style.

Also note his interventions in duets with Arrigo, especially the one in Act III, with those beautiful phrases “As I contemplate that beloved face, I feel my heart leap for joy…” where one of the musical themes of the overture is taken up.

The bass Alexander Vinogradov, offered a somewhat guttural voice in the low and central registers, that when ascending towards the sharp one gains brightness and intensity.

Perform a nuanced rendition of the nostalgic Aryan "Or your Palermo, adored land " one of the most beautiful pages composed by Verdi for bass. also highlights, his interpretation of the beautiful page "Goodbye, my homeland " in the quartet with Monforte, Arrigo and Elena from Act IV. Y, has vibrant performances in the dramatic trio with Elena and Arrigo at the end of the opera.

The day of the premiere it was the turn of the young Jerez soprano Maribel Ortega, sing the very difficult role of Elena, with extreme vocal demands. Serious responsibility that the singer faced with a high degree of professionalism. His performance was not discreet, in Act I, especially in his interpretation of the cabaletta "Courage, his, courage". It was not very accurate in the "Bolero" of Act V. Improved in duets with Arrigo, especially in the long and intensely lyrical Act IV. Also in the big scene with Monforte, Arrigo and Procida that closes this act. He had his best moment in the conclusive triplet of the opera with Procida and Arrigo, where he placed a pair of towering treble. Well the rest of the interpreters, almost all from the Center for Perfection Placido Domingo.

Again, he Choir of the Generalitat, He once again demonstrated his great quality in his multiple interventions throughout the opera. His performance in the great concertante of Act III was very outstanding, in the breathtaking moment of Act IV, singing one of the psalms "Deep", follower of the concertante “Minister of death arrests!”That closes the act: a very beautiful Verdi page. Ya, at the end of the opera the choir shines in the impressive “Vendetta! Vendetta!”.
Text: Diego Manuel Pérez Mirror
pictures: Tato Baeza

Sicilian Vespers
Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)
Drama in five acts
Libreto by Augustin Eugène Scribe y Charles Duveyrier
D. musical: Roberto Abbado
D. scene: Davide Livermore
Scenography: Centineo saints
Locker room: Giusi Giustino
Lighting: Andrea Anfossi
Choreography: Luisa Baldinetti
Cor de la Generalitat Valenciana
Francesc Perales, director
Orchestra of Valencia
Distribution: Gregory customer, Maribel Ortega, Juan Jesus Rodriguez, Alexander Vinogradov, Andrea Pellegrini, Cristian Diaz, Nozomi Kato, Moses Marin, Andrés Sulbarán, Jorge Álvarez and Fabián Lara.

Otello at the Teatro Real Madrid

A cozy and renovated Teatro Real receiving the 15 September the start of the season. New colors and signs that bring you, in appearance at least, other prestigious theaters. Y, as if the Scala or the MET it were, the most famous perched on the forocool located at the entrance holl evening dress. Surely this is a way to advertise the theater and the season begins, even if there is some unease increasingly turn to television to get retail.

And the season began with Otello, the work that shows the most advanced musical language of the composer, the rest of his work.

Verdi y su librettist, Arrigo Boito, they created a story full of intensity and drama based on the text of Shakespeare Othello or The Moor of Venice (1603). Leaving aside the libretto of the Venetian part, Verdi and Boito masterfully adapted the original text. They use the issue of racism, not to describe the character, but to reveal their insecurities. The standardization Boito made Otello, lightening the racist aspect, He made extensible to any possibility of committing the worst atrocities as a result of insecurity and jealousy. This effect makes the Verdi opera is even more disturbing that the work on which it is based.

The scenery is the director David Alden. The same who took care of last season Alcina. scenography, the Alcina, hard to forget. Nightmares do not refer. And now comes this Otello that, perhaps be respectful imagined the scenery which its composer, but the result is an improper modesty of a Royal Theatre. Too dark and lacking a place for those moments of recollection that dot the work. Everything takes place in the same place, at the gates of a building almost in ruins. Desdemona and Otello there seal their love. There you discuss and doubt. There Iago conspires. there dies, urgently and coldness, Desdemona.

A unique and decorated desangelado that is overwhelming in the first scene, where it seems that any time a member of the choir will rush into the pit.

The sharing production with much lower dimensions theaters to Real, as the Stockholm Opera, may explain to a stage in which at least two-thirds of stage background despise.

The only thing that improves the scenery is Adam Silverman lighting that achieves moments of intensity and suspense, which they raised the tone of some scenes interpretative. The moment an Otello appears on the scene threatening to kill Desdemona, it becomes disturbing thanks to the play of light and shadow.

Desdemona is the character of this work that has a lower psychological development. It is the representation of femininity without further elaborations. The Eternal Feminine. And if anyone is able to demonstrate on stage these roles so characteristic of the time is, definitely, Jaho Ermonela. We still remember his traviata, especially the third act. This time, Alden has not given the chance to die on stage with the drama and dignity that proved to be Violetta. Here recreates a delicate and sensitive Desdemona. It does not have a high volume of voice, but neither need.

He shone especially in the fourth act, with a pianissimo of great beauty. So that here the orchestra also apiana. It would have been impossible to listen to the sound of the first and second act. He was particularly delicate given the song Salce and the love duet with Otello.

Gregory customer, He is returning to the Royal Theatre after extraordinary Roberto Devereux last season and with the sign of being one of the best Otellos the moment. I confess that I liked the Otello Palau de Les Arts two seasons ago. His resounding voice and presence, no less emphatic, They make him perfect for this role. On this occasion seemed blurred. Caught the diminishment of the scenery. His sharp sounded full and bright but the bass seemed to cast a low voice, ingloriously. Only in the last act she showed their power. The acting ability has improved, but it's still yours a dramatic impact Otello low.
Nor intensity walked left over the Iago of George Petean. You can not say that its interpretation has been touchingly, but the character is far from the vileness was raised. It was less to more, like all, and he was showcased in "Credo in Dio Crudel".

Alexey Dolgov turned out to be an excellent Cassio. He showed character and a good performance.

The direction of Renato Palumbo was not exactly delicate. During the first and second act, music coming from the pit with excess volume and agitation and conveyed a certain uneasiness. It was nice to see the frenetic activity of many people on a small decorated, with a disturbing musical background during the storm scene. If the purpose of this little Palumbo was to generate hysteria, ¡bravo!.

But his address did not change with the intervention of the singers. It did not take care of them when their arias required neatness. The lack of restraint in the voice forte swallowed interpreters in more than one occasion. Fortunately the third and fourth act does not allow the noise, and where this production was looked fuller.

The season started with a bit disappointing Otello. This is what usually happens when expectations are exaggerated. But neither should panic. This has only started.

Text: Paloma Sanz
pictures: Javier del Real
Videos: Teatro Real

Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)
dramma lirico in four acts
Libreto of Arrigo Boito, based on the play Othello, or The Moor of Venice (1603)
William Shakespeare
First performed at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan 5 February 1887
Premiered at the Teatro Real 9 October 1890
New production of Teatro Real
in co-production with the National Opera Inglés and Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm
D. musical: Renato Palumbo
D. scene: David Alden
Set and costume designer: Jon Morrell
illuminator: Adam Silverman
choreographer: Maxine Braham
choir director: Andrés Máspero
Director of children's choir: Ana González
Distribution: Gregory customer, George Petean, Alexey Dolgov, Jaho Ermonela, Stephen Vincent, Fernando Rado, Isaac Galán and Gemma Coma-Alabert.
Headlines Choir and Orchestra of the Teatro Real
Little Singers of the Community of Madrid

Manon Lescaut

ABAO-OLBE (Bilbao Association of Friends of the Opera) recovers after thirteen years since its last performance Manon Lescaut from Puccini. The days 20, 23, 26 Y 29 February, sponsored by the Provincial Council of Bizkaia, climbs scene is fascinating and tragic story encumbró the Tuscan master as one of the leaders of the verismo school.

The passion, The virtue, the desire, temperance and the desperate and urgent love of youth run through the scenes of this lyrical tragedy inspired by a literary character considered one of the great myths of modern history: The fatal woman. Manon is a woman who has a magnetic personality and moves between naivety, lack of morale, tenderness and deception bringing misfortune to herself and those around her. To bring the characters of this opera to life, ABAO-OLBE has assembled a cast led by the Gipuzkoan soprano Ainhoa ​​Arteta, recently awarded the Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts, who returns to Bilbao to give voice to ‘Manon Lescaut’. At his side and completing the leading duo the North American tenor Gregory customer, distinguished as best male singer at the Teatro Campoamor Lyrical Awards for his performance of ‘Canio’ and ‘Turiddu’ in the ABAO production of Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci among others, takes over the role of the lover ‘Renato des Grieux’. Next to them the Santander baritone closes the lineup Manuel Lanza as ‘Lescaut’, the catalan bass Stefano Palatchi como "Geronte di Ravoir", the mezzo-soprano from Gipuzkoa Marifé Nogales as ‘A Musician’, the Cantabrian tenor Manuel de Diego como 'Edmondo', the Biscayan baritone Gexan Etxabe como 'Hairdresser / Navy Commander ', the bass from Bilbao David aguayo as ‘Sergente’ and the tenor Eduardo Ituarte como 'The Dance Master / A Lamplighter '

In the pit the long-awaited debut in ABAO-OLBE of the master Pedro Halffter, great connoisseur of the Puccinian repertoire, to the front of the Symphony conducting a complex score that combines a soft and sensual melody with passionate moments of dramatic intensity. The choral part is, once again, task of the Bilbao Opera Choir, with Boris Dujin in front.

On stage a production from the Teatro Regio di Parma, conceived by the newcomer in ABAO Stephen Medcalf, characterized by a classic setting, adjusted to the script, with a careful wardrobe profuse in details and characterization of the period of Jaime Vartan and subtle light effects designed by Simon Corder. The scenography is a universe of pure colors of great visual efficiency with surprising symbolic effects and versatile elements such as mirrors that first represent the opulence that seduces the protagonist to later become her prison, or ingenious as the simulation of the float and the ship.

Conference on "Manon Lescaut"

In order to analyze, in advance the premiere, the most relevant aspects of this opera by Puccini, ABAO-OLBE has organized a conference, Free entry, which will take place on friday 19 February at 20.00 hours at the Hotel Ercilla. This time, Iñigo Arbiza, Scherzo's music critic and Noticias de Gipuzkoa, and Head of Communication of the ONCE in Euskadi, discover the ins and outs of Manon Lescaut.


La décima edición de los Premios Líricos Teatro Campoamor, whose ruling was unveiled last 29 de noviembre ha traído dos nuevos reconocimientos a las temporadas de ABAO-OLBE en las figuras de Gregory customer Y Michel Plasson. El genial maestro francés ha sido galardonada con el Premio Dirección Musical por su impresionante trabajo en Werther de Massenet, last January in ABAO-OLBE. Gregory Kunde ha recibido el galardón al mejor Cantante Masculino por “Turiddu” en Cavalleria Rusticana de Mascagni y “Canio” en Pagliacci de Leoncavallo, in April 2015 en la temporada bilbaína. In the 64 temporada de ABAO-OLBE el mejor Cantante Masculino 2015 nos ha acompañado en Roberto Devereux y le esperamos de nuevo en febrero con Manon Lescaut y en abril en la Messa da Requiem de Verdi.

La Asociación Bilbaína de Amigos de la Ópera suma de esta manera un nuevo reconocimiento en unos Premios que llegan a su décima convocatoria, consolidándose como la gran referencia lírica nacional en España y que son a la lírica lo que los Goya al cine, los Max al mundo del teatro o los Ondas al sector audiovisual, unos Premios que reconocen la actividad de ópera y zarzuela de los principales teatros y temporadas en España. En esta edición se han presentado más de 400 candidaturas procedentes de los principales teatros, festivales y temporadas con programación lírica estable de nuestro país, integrados en su mayoría en la Asociación OPERA XXI.

Total, la Asociación ha recibido diez distinciones en las diferentes ediciones de estos Premios. In 2007 Fiorenza Cedolins conseguía el premio a la Mejor Cantante Femenina de ópera por “Cio-Cio” en Madama Butterfly de ABAO 2006; el mismo premio recibió en 2009 Adrianne Pieczonka por “Adriane y Prima donna” de Adriane auf Naxos de ABAO 2008. Year 2010 trajo a la Asociación el Premio a la Institución que ha colaborado significativamente al mundo de la lírica. In 2011 Eugene Onegin una coproducción de ABAO, el Teatro Wielki de Poznan, Opera de Krakowska y Teatro Argentino de la Plata, recibió el galardón a la mejor Nueva Producción. En la edición de 2012 Celso Albelo conseguía el premio al Mejor Cantante Masculino por su “Nemorino” en L’Elisir d’Armor de ABAO. In 2013 el tenor estadounidense Gregory Kunde era galardonado con el Premio al Mejor Cantante Masculino por el rol de “Henry” en Les vêpres siciliennes, una nueva coproducción de ABAO-OLBE, y la soprano valenciana Carmen Romeu recibía el galardón de Cantante Revelación por la extraordinaria “Mussetta” de La Boheme de ABAO. In 2014 Miren Urbieta recibió el premio Cantante Revelación por su interpretación de “Liu” de Turandot.

En la ceremonia de entrega los premiados recibirán junto con una estatuilla en bronce de ‘La Gitana de Parísde Sebastián Miranda, una dotación de 10.000€. La gala se celebrará en el Teatro Campoamor de Oviedo a finales de marzo de 2016.


Old woman, Bald and Toothless. This is how he presents Isabel I from England the librettist Salvatore Cammarano in fiction created for the opera by Donizetti. A powerful woman, overcome by his grotesque decrepitude, although his subjects was always the embodiment of virtue.

The season started on Teatro Real with Roberto Devereux. One of the operas of the Tudor trilogy of Gaetano Donizetti plunged into the abyss after the loss of his entire family. An abyss also looks like the dark scenery created by the Australian Alessandro Talevi. Simple and without distracting from music and scenes, something that is always appreciated, but its permanent and almost complete darkness ends up weighing down throughout the representation.

The austere figurines of Madeleine Boyd, niggas how is the stage, they only allowed themselves to adorn with a powerful red Elisabetta. The lighting, that everything darkens, has flashes of elegance and rest for the eyes. All to reflect the suffocation that was breathed in the English court of the seventeenth century.

Joan Matabosch commented at a press conference that Roberto Devereux had been scheduled when the right voices had been obtained. And certainly the voices are the true treasure of this production that comes from the Cardiff Opera. For another time we will leave the discussion about the convenience of premiering a season with a play for rent in a theater like the Real.

It is not easy to face a character like Elizabeth I in any of the works of the Tudor trilogy. But it is undoubtedly Roberto Devereux's Elisabetta who has the greatest difficulties. A soprano is needed with ease for dramatic agility and good support for the lower notes.
A Pushed agile and delicate not easy to find. Maria Callas, without going further, faced Anna Bolena, giving us some of the best characterizations of the character, but he never faced or Maria Stuarda ni a Roberto Devereux.
The great Joan Sutherland she played María Stuarda on numerous occasions and on some occasions Anna Bolena, already very late in his career, but she never dared to play the role of Elisabetta by Roberto Devereux. Further from its oral possibilities for being more dramatic than lyrical.

Possibly be Mariella Devia one of the best sopranos currently tackling this complicated role. Master all of the character's terrains. Of intense drama, without abandoning the marked belcantism of Donizetti. It lacked a little more support in the bass, those that accompany the most dramatic moments of the character, I don't know if it is due to tessitura or maturity.

She herself confessed that she had never played a character older than her before. La Devia, their 67 years, is able to stay above the orchestra with a pianisimo. The volume of his voice is extraordinary. When I am young I want to be as is now Mariella Devia. its "Ah come back what I hope for", along with the dramatic ending, have been the moments of greatest intensity.

If Isabel I was well represented with the great Mariella Devia, no less important has been the interpretation of Gregory customer, in charge of the role of Roberto Devereux. Its beginning with “Royal Woman!” with a forceful and enameled voice, marked the line of his performance, full of elegance and accompanied by its imposing stage presence. The heroic nuances that he prints on his characters are always in that bel canto line that dominates so beautifully.

Marco Caria did not clash at any time of the extraordinary cast. His Duke of Nottingham stood tall. Although we would have liked to hear the headline originally planned, Alessandro Luongo.

Another of the great winners of the night was the Valencian Silvia Tro Santafe. Its edge line is extremely refined. Like his exquisite phrasing and those tightly packed highs so moving and unusual in an alto. Its booming bass, his beautiful timbre and a mighty voice were evident in his interventions. Mainly outstanding was in the duet with Roberto of the second act, and the “All’ambrascia ond’io mi struggo”, duet with her husband, Duke of Nottingham, in the third act. We hope to hear it again soon in Madrid.

The chorus Intermezzo, that character that embellishes all the works in the Royal Theater, was in his line of usual delicacy. Protagonist in some of the moments of the scene with the greatest dramatic load.

Teacher Bruno Campanella proves to be one of the greatest experts in belcanto in command of the musical direction. His deep knowledge of the score and the character of the work allowed him to be emotional in the overture, especially the bars of the England anthem, and with agility, verve and drama appropriately distributed. Only a little anger was lacking in some moments.

A good start to the season. The first completely made by Joan Mataboch. We are looking forward. This is just beginning.

Text: Paloma Sanz
pictures: Javier del Real
Videos: Teatro Real

That is, the Earl of Essex
Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1884)
Lyric tragedy in three acts
Libreto de Salvatore Cammarano, based on the tragedy Elisabeth d´Angleterre by Jacques-Fraçois Ancelot.
Cardiff Welsh National Opera production, 2013
D. musical: Bruno Campanella
D. scene: Alessandro Talevi
Scenography and costumes: Madeleine Boyd
Lighting: Matthew Haskins
D. chorus: Andrés Máspero
Distribution: Mariella Devia, Gregory customer, Silvia Tro Santafe, Marco Caria, Juan Antonio Sanabria, Andrea Mastroni, Sebastian Covarrubias,Koba Sardalashvili.
Titukares Orchestra and Choir of the Royal Theater
Teatro Real, Madrid 25 September 2015


The next Tuesday 22 September the Teatro Real will open its 19th season with Roberto Devereux, from Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848), belcantisca opera great vocal virtuosity and breathtaking psychological portrait of Queen Elizabeth I of England (Elisabetta), victim of its own despotism in the claustrophobic court, Inbreeding and terrifying Tudor.

Created in an excruciatingly painful period in Donizetti's unhappy life - the composer had lost his parents and wife after the consecutive deaths of their three children -, and with Naples ravaged by anger, the score of Roberto Devereux, filled with rage, grief and despair, would for its author, as he himself confessed, "Opera of emotions". To express them in all their fullness he resorts, once again, to the Tudor court, whose bloody stories, With courtly machinations and unbridled feelings, they had already inspired the plot of three previous operas: Kenilworth Castle (1829), Anna Bolena (1830) and Maria Stuarda (1835).

On this occasion the drama of the opera, served by the libretto of Salvatore Cammarano (also author of the text by Lucia di Lammermoor), privileges the psychological and confessional profile of the queen, trapped by a suffocating web of dysfunctional relationships: her young lover, Roberto Devereux, Earl of Essex, is in love with Sara, Duchess of Nottingham, confidant and friend whose husband is a close friend of the adulterer.

In the wake of Donizetti, the director of the South African scene Alessandro Talevi It reinforces precisely the expression of emotions rampant, Lustful drives and corrosive torments of the impetuous queen, in a destructive spiral dragging the protagonists to its tragic outcome.

Embodying those visceral passions that entangle and suffocate the four characters, a symbolic spider takes shape in the dark and delusional scenery designed by Madeleine Boyd, She also figurines of the opera.

To give voice and soul to the murky relationships of the leading quartet, two casts alternate with some stellar names in this type of repertoire., led by the sopranos Mariella Devia Y Maria Pia Piscitelli, who will embody Elisabetta, and tenors Gregory customer e Ismael Jordi, interpreters of the titular role. They will be seconded by the baritones angel Ódena Y Alessandro Luongo and mezzosopranos Silvia Tro Santafe Y Veronica Simeoni.

Bruno Campanella, great specialist of the bel canto repertoire, who directed last season at the Teatro Real the comical opera Daughter of the Regiment, Donizetti, Now change the register for the interpretation of this lyrical tragedy from the same composer, in which it will be in front, once again, of the Headlines Choir and Orchestra of the Teatro Real.


Memorable representation of Otello what took place the day 1 of August, in this edition of Festival Peralada Castle. An uncertain meteorology, propitiated continually look heaven in the presence of clouds-indeed, the night before had discharged a heavy storm- that could portend rains with the consequent suspension of representation. Fortunately, He could be seen this truly magnificent musical and theatrical Otello to level. In this new coproduction, commissioned by the Peralada and Macerata Festivals, the murcian Paco Azorín, as stage director, spins all the action around the wicked and manipulative Yago, masterfully performed by Carlos Alvarez, whose absolute mastery of the stage is already evident in the prolegomena of the performance, moving like a true "master of ceremonies", attentive to all the details, even, urging the head of lighting technology to change the big label of the show “Otello de Giuseppe Verdi”, by “Yago de William Schakelespeare”.

Azorín shows his predilection for the English playwright, when inserting, very aptly in the context of the action, his beautiful sonnets 43 Y 138, whose texts projected on the stage curtain introduce Acts II and IV. The scenography designed by Paco Azorin, results of absolute simplicity consisting of two large solid blocks, who are taking different positions and, at times, fit a steep central staircase. The blocks have ramps that allow the characters to position themselves in different dramatic planes. The scenic effects are complemented by various projections designed by Pablo Chamizo: a stormy sea at the start of the opera, and in whose end that beautiful sea is shown in total calm, as the background of the inert and intertwined bodies of Otello and Desdemona already united for all eternity.

As well, that willow tree that sets Desdemona's song, that is losing its leaves, turning into a sinister forest, as the scene drifts towards its tragic end, or that infernal reddish background in the development of the intense and dramatic duo of Otello and Yago, at the end of Act II. Y, when Iago is introducing the demon of jealousy into Otello, The silhouettes of Desdemona and Cassio can be seen in shadows, conversing, image manipulated by Iago makes Otello believe in the love relationship of both. The attractive lighting design by Albert Faura, complete this successful staging. The costumes designed by Ana Garay It is timeless and black in the clothes of all the characters, in contrast to the immaculate white that the naive and innocent Desdemona always wears.

In Yago's case, and to capture his double game throughout the work, we can see him with a leather jacket, typical of a badass biker, who changes into his official uniform when he is in the presence of Otello.

Notable performance of the Liceu Orchestra, with a detailed address of Riccardo Frizza, differentiating sound planes, seeking to establish tensions and conjugate the moments of greatest sound impact at the beginning of the opera, with others of intense lyricism, as the music that introduces and accompanies the duo of Otello and Desdemona at the end of Act I, or the beautiful musical theme on Desdemona's words “Dammi la dolce, happy word of forgiveness ", that reappears in the course of the Otello-Desdemona and Yago-Emilia quartet (both couples located in different dramatic planes) of Act II. The strong symphonic orchestral introduction of Act III was well executed. Good rendering of the different orchestral sections, although with some metals, at times, so much misfit.

Gregory customer has become in recent years a reference Otello, following in the wake of other great interpreters of this character: Francesco Merli, Ramon Vinay, Mario del Monaco, the recently disappeared John Vickers Y Placido Domingo. For his careful phrasing and total respect for all the notes written by Verdi, Kunde's Otello bears similarities to that of Vickers, although without possessing the serious register exhibited by the great Canadian tenor.

On the other hand, It is truly unusual for Gregory Kunde to be able to sing the Otello Rossini at the Teatro alla Scala within a few days, whose last performance took place 24 of July, and the Verdian Otello in Peralada, he 1 of August. His heroic “Esultate” at the beginning of the opera is already impressive, in contrast to the lyricism offered in his interpretation of the intense duet with Desdemona "Già nella notte densa" with which Act I ends. Ya, in Act II, his great interpretation of “Tu? Back! Flee….Goodbye now and forever ", together with the dramatic duet with Yago “Oh! Monstrous guilt…… Yup, pel ciel marmoreo giuro ”full of heroic accents. His extraordinary and nuanced performance of “Dio! You could have thrown me ", in Act III, where an impeccable phrasing shines, his ability to sing legato, the half voices and some easy and round highs. Doses its sound flow to reach the end of the opera in optimal condition and sing with pathetic and shocking accents "Niun mi tema". Along with his excellent vocality, Gregory Kunde gives a great theatrical performance.

Carlos Alvarez composes an exceptional Yago, combining his magnificent vocality with an extraordinary theatrical performance. This is a character that the great Malaga baritone masters to perfection, and that I was fortunate to hear him when he sang it for the first time, with great success, in the already distant autumn of 2002, at the Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville, with musical direction Jesus Lopez Cobos placeholder image.

In this representation of Peralada, Carlos Alvarez dominates the scene from the very prolegomena of the representation, wasting its evil plot, which concludes at the end of Act III, putting his foot on top of a faded Otello, with the despectiva phrase "Here is the lion". Ya, during the development of Act I, eminently coral, Alvarez shines theatrically in his duets with Roderigo and Casio. In Act II, performs splendidly the recitative-aria “Vanne! Your destination……Credo en un Dio crudel ”where he shows all his nihilism and evil, with a phrasing full of intentionality and emphasis, especially at the end of the aria "E poi? Death is nothing. Heaven is an old story ". His sibylline interpretation of “Era la notte, Cassio was sleeping "interspersed in his long duet with Otello, masterfully concluded when Alvarez and Kunde put their voices together “Yes, for the marble sky I swear ". In Act III his manipulative duo with Cassio “Vieni, the classroom is deserted ", with the presence on a different dramatic plane of a maddened Otello. Raids Eva-Maria Westbroek in various repertoires: wagneriano, bloody, Puccini, Verde, from Janacek, o Lady Macbeth de Shostakovich, they start to take their toll; Y, its powerful vocal media are affected by an ostensible vibrato together with a certain loss of homogeneity in the emission. This is evident in his interpretation of Desdemona, especially in the moments of most delicate lyricism, like the great duet with Otello from Act I, or in their interventions during Act II: dúo with Otello "Of a man who moans" follower of the cuarteto "If unconscious against you, groom, I sinned".

The Dutch soprano gets her best performance in Act III, in moments of greatest dramatic thrust: dúo with Otello “God, you play, or bridegroom…..Fixed fixed "y, especially, in “A terra! And, nel livido mud ”marked with pathetic accents before the contempt and humiliation to which it is subjected by Otello. And in Act IV, better control the broadcast by performing a good performance in "Piangea cantando nell'erma landa" (Willow song), followed by "Ave Maria", full of grace ". Seems to be, que Eva-Maria Westbroek, he was not in full vocal capacity and this was already evident in Otello's dress rehearsal. I remember your splendid Sieglinde (one of his great creations) by La Walkiria, in 2009, next to the Siegmund of Placido Domingo, at the Valencian Palau de les Arts, which marked his debut in Spain. Y, especially, his extraordinary creation of Lady Macbeth from Shostakovich at the Teatro Real in Madrid, in 2011, where I had the opportunity to interview her, in a very pleasant and relaxed conversation conducted in Spanish, where he showed his great admiration for Renata Tebaldi. Listening to a video recording of La Forza del Destino, in 2008, from the Brussels Mint Theater, you can see his magnificent creation by Leonora following the model of Tebaldi, and quite appropriate to the so-called "Verdian song". But nevertheless, the seven years that have passed have not passed in vain.

Report also, in this Otello, the remarkable performance as Cassio of the tenor Francisco Vas, as well as Mireia Pinto in the role of Emilia and Stephen Vincent as Roderigo. Good performance of the Liceu Choir, well run by Conchita Garcia, with his great role in Act I, or the magnificent concertante of Act III. Finally, point out good acting - just as actors- of the six minions of Iago.

Text: Diego Manuel Garcia Perez-Espejo
pictures: Miquel González / Shooting


Mucha was the expectation that had generated the premiere of Otello from Zubin Mehta Y Davide Livermore at Palau de Les Arts. And timely and deserved success that has garnered.
While others look inward, finding nothing, Les Arts ends its season with a magnificent show of force. Neither threats of the crisis, nor the difficulties in obtaining resources have been an obstacle to Valencia has offered an important opera season, culminating with the brilliance of this work of own production.
Otello, la perfecta tragedy concocted by Giuseppe Verdi Y Arrigo Boito, It is a heroic and intense work with which Verdi achieves musical and dramatic continuity through its intense monologues and duets, declaimed more than sung, and an orchestration that emphasizes the drama and subtlety throughout the work.
The opera starts and runs with a great display of visual effects. The stage manager and lighting, Davide Livermore, surprised with its scenic approach formed by a spiral platform, a plunger.
On the same stage all the scenes unfold, each defined by a efectistas projections, from a stormy sea to intimate rooms where the tragedy and death of Desdemona develops. Although it was precisely the images that illustrated the crime the less fortunate to stay out of context.
A stage full of symbolism. jealousy, resentment, treachery… represented by a big black hole that actors roamed toward or away from the core.
And as master of ceremonies, Zubin Mehta as a, despite having the work at a tempo maybe too slow, deployed variety of shades in a direction pulcrísima, explosives brighter moments in the delicate.
The Orchestra of Valencia, deservedly ovacionada, He responded with flexibility and ease to the orders of the baton, getting moments of great beauty, especially by the ropes, and reaching sound effects so decisive in Otello.
American tenor Gregory customer, which he reached Aleksandrs Antonenko replacing Palau, It was another pleasant surprise of the night. Although for the voice of Otello I like a darker timbre and less rossiniano, Kunde was the outstanding Otello. Without pretending to look serious sonorities, better defining the character, but he does not have, the best was the variety of harmonics, especially in the high notes that attacked without fear. Too bad to lose his voice apianar consistency. But he gave his character an exciting drama, especially in the last act and scene, loaded with symbolism, in which Yago repeats like a shadow every move.
Maria Agresta, as Desdemona, Went from less to more. It has a beautiful timbre and a deft ability to control his voice. He built a delicate Desdemona, innocent and great feeling, but you must work dramatization.
Another attraction of the evening was to hear again, this time as the Machiavellian traitor Iago, baritone Carlos Alvarez. His comeback is being carefully paused.
His voice is not before. The volume has decreased and showed difficulties in promotions. But his phrasing, nobility on stage, elegant singing and first and second acts in which his instrument was firm and full of musicality, They leave the door open to an undeniable voice evolution. Visibly moved he received a standing ovation.
Marcelo Puente, as Cassio, and especially as Emilia Cristina Faus, They resolved with dignity their roles.
Well the Choir of Valencia. Powerful and well jaunty around the stage. More discreet was the performance of the children's choir, Choir of Our Lady of the Abandoned, improvable.
Escelente directing actors. Verdi has the difficulty of its great scenic pictures, with crowds on stage that are not always easy to manage. This time Davide Livermore makes an excellent acting direction. The balance on stage is permanent, also when it is filled with choir, soldiers, singers, children ... It is not easy to move so many people in such irregular surface, but Livermore gets it.
Costumes, Livermore's own, rounded characters packaging, especially Otello and Iago. Although I confess that I understood styling women's chorus.
Definitely, one that Otello, with all its dramatic charge, It is full of freshness, Light and talent on stage and behind it is.

Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)
1 June 2013
Opera in four acts
Libreto of Arrigo Boito. Based on the eponymous drama of W. Shakespeare
D. musical: Zubin Mehta
D. lighting scene: Davide Livermore
Videocreación: D-WOK
New production of the Palau de Les Arts Reina Sofía.
Gregory customer, Carlos Alvarez, Maria Agresta, Marcelo Puente, Cristina Faus, Mario Cerdá