Maria Katzarava

Despite his surname of Georgian origin, Maria Katzarava comes from Mexico. That land that gives us always powerful and expressive voices. His is, definitely, one that with greater intensity sound. It has come to Europe and established its headquarters in Barcelona, starting an international career that aims successful. He 6 August is released in one of his favorite roles, the Liú from Turandot, next to Irène Theorin Y Roberto Aronica. Between rehearsals he replied to questions Brío Clásica.

Stay with the name, Maria Katzarava, because it is here to stay.

Brío Clásica: The day 6 August is released in the Peralada Festival Turandot. Your character, Liú, It is not unknown to you, He has already played in Cagliari and in Caracalla. es Liú, next to Mimi Y Butterfly one of the most sufridoras Puccini heroines. You need a great interpretative expression. How a role is addressed like this?

Maria Katzarava: Especially the role of Liù is very lucky for us the sopranos. It is perfectly well written musically and I think Puccini It has given the psychological profile required for this role, and it is very clear. I think it's a sweet for the interpreter, because it is also very attached to public taste and it feels much closer to what you feel Liú, that what may feel Truandot.

B.C.: You've had the opportunity to perfect his technique with Mirella Freni, grandísima una Liú. Did he prepare this character with her?

M. K.: I studied some time with Mirella and one of the roles that she was more prepared with the liu. This character is one of my workhorses. It is the most interpret and, Besides, one of my favorite roles. With this character if I gave him everything with Mirella.

B. C.: His character in Turandot has two almost consecutive extraordinary arias, “L´amore?… So much love and inconfesato " and the beautiful "You who gel inhabitant", a beautiful and dramatic andantino. What are the biggest difficulties in interpreting these two arias?

M. K.: Always looking for the Liú is very expressive and has these piannissimi that the public always waiting for the interpreter. I think that's the biggest difficulty is that this character.

B. C.: We know that dominates different registers, from Desdemona in Otello, Micaela in Carmen, Antonia and Giulietta in Tales of Hoffmann, Margarita in Splendor… Even made inroads into the baroque repertoire, Where he feels more comfortable now?

M. K.: I feel more comfortable at precisely the heavier repertoire, right where I'm focusing more right now. As Madama Butterfly, Tosca O The Troubadour, Simon Boccanegra. All vocally more mature roles. For I have had to wait many years and finally I succeeded and I in them.

B. C.: What is interpreting roles in the future?

M. K.: I think those roles are going to be my best. It's where my voice can really evolve and I feel comfortable one hundred!. Where I can really feel at ease and full. They are also histriónicamente roles that I like a lot and feel a lot when I play. So everything is easier to pass it to the public.

B. C.: You, before entering fully into the lyrical, He explored other musical worlds like Pop or Rock. For an opera singer, and considering how delicate is the voice, Using different registers makes the most versatile voice or, Conversely, You can get to harm it?

M. K.: I think you have to be a sensitive and open artist at a time. I am of the idea that it is a great experience to open your horizons, your gates, also other repertoire, other genres. And always savvy about changing your chip. If you sing Pop-Rock, change the chip to not sound to an opera singer trying to sing like a poppy, which it is something terrible, and vice versa. I believe that intelligence is, in just know that when you sing pop is pop and when you sing opera is opera. I had that opportunity and headed to the opera through pop. And it's something I can still differentiate and have the facility to change the chip. And I think, definitely, that also helps a lot to attract an audience that is not always soaked opera. It's a great opportunity.

B. C.: Their mentality is very open to addressing new productions. What do you think of the latest scenes that sometimes use provocation as a fundamental element of the work?

M. K.: I am very open forever, also with stage directors to explore new facets of a character that I have often come to be interpreted in traditional way. I am very much in favor of the contemporary scene set in. When you want to present a current situation, provided they have a logic and a story that really Cuadre me, I'm always ready. I think people appreciate it too much. Not always and exclusively traditional proposals.

B. C.: His mother is Mexican violinist and his father is Georgian violinist, and perhaps are two different conceptions of performing music. Is there any difference in sound between European and American orchestras?

M. K.: I think so. The ancient culture always has also focused on the instruments and classical music. The story is oldest in Europe. I think it has a different sound. I think it can make a difference even in European orchestras Georgian to Russian, especially in technical. Even with the singers. Can be distinguished by its origin only technical. There are very marked differences.

B. C.: Mexico has always been the cradle of extraordinary singers Ramón Vargas. Now You yourself or Javier Camarena. How do you see the future of opera in his country?

M. K.: I am proud to see that go so much Mexican voices. It is very important to highlight the presence of the sopranos, not only Tenors. Sopranos and mezzos, also contraaltos which are mostly in northern Mexico and where I have found most gratifying surprises. I insist, not only men, especially women and I think you have to start giving a very important role to women who are very present. But sometimes more presence is given to the tenors and female voices are very important.


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

Klaus Florian Vogt

Before this magnificent representation of Otello, The German tenor's recital pales quite a bit Klaus Florian Vogt, accompanied by pianist Jobst Scheneiderat, that took place yesterday in the Church of Carmen, from Peralada. With a program that included four Lied: "The walk", “Halt!”, "On Feirerabend" y "The Miller Flowers" del Ciclo The Beautiful Miller (The beautiful molinera) from Franz Schubert, correction sung by German tenor, far from the interpretations made by baritones Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau Y Hermann Prey; Y, Of course, of the anthological creation of the tenor Frich Wunderlich with pianist Hubert Giesen. His performance was noticeably improved with his magnificent performance of “Dies Bidnis ist bezaubernd schön” from The Magic Flute of Mozart, followed by “Winterstüme” by Wagnerian La Walkiria, where he widened his voice considerably, offering strong sounds, that contrast with those moments when the tenor's voice sounds excessively sweet, amielada, and with a whitish color. The first part of the concert concluded with his remarkable performance of “In fernem Land” by the also Wagnerian Lohengrin, his most famous title in this repertoire. On both pages, his interpretations are far from those currently offered by his colleague Jonas Kaufmann.

In the second part he remarkably interpreted two lies of Johannes Brahms “Sunday” y “Down there in the valley”. Continuing with his excellent interpretation of "Ein Lied geht um die Welt" central theme of the musical film of the same title 1933, directed by Richard Oswald with music Hans May. The entire last section of the concert was dedicated to operetta pages, where the tenor offered his best performances showing his affinity with this genre: "My Wine" de la opereta Countess Mariza de Emmerich Kalman; Y, especially, the operettas songs of Franz Lehár: “Oh girl, my girl ”de Friederike, junto a “Always smile” en The land of smiles, and from this same operetta the famous “Dein ist mein gances Herz”, where the tenor showed an exquisite singing line.
To the applause of the public he sang two tips: a discreet version of West Side Story's “Maria” from Leonard Bernstein Y, Finally, a brilliant interpretation of another page by Franz Lehár “Freunde, life is lifelong! de la opereta Giuditta. The pianist Jobst Schneiderat I do a good job of accompaniment. At the exit of the concert, lightning and thunder, as a preamble to an intense and prolonged storm, which made the festival organizers fear for the representation of Otello the next day, what, fortunately, could be done.

Diego Manuel Garcia Perez-Espejo