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In the fourth production this season, stage director Giuseppe Frigeni blends tradition and reinterpretation

Ópera de Tenerife presented on Friday, the 15th the production of Turandot, to be put on next week at Sala Sinfónica in Auditorio de Tenerife. Performances are taking place on Tuesday, the 19th, Thursday, 21st and Saturday, the 23rd at 7:30 pm. This opera by Giacomo Puccini is one of his most-widely performed titles. Set in the Far East, this posthumous work by Puccini includes arias like ‘Nessun dorma’, ‘In questa reggia’ or ‘Signore, ascolta’, which have reached beyond the stage and are now part of popular culture.

The details of this production were revealed by the Cabildo’s Director for Culture, José Luis Rivero; Ópera de Tenerife’s intendant, Alejandro Abrante; musical director Giampaolo Bisanti, and stage director, Giuseppe Frigeni.

José Luis Rivero said that “we have the best cast possible to perform this opera, which is nearly sold out in all three performances”. “We have exceptional guest artists, who often perform with us, in addition to Auditorio de Tenerife team, who do an excellent job”. “We’re proud of this title, we were looking forward to putting it on”, he stated, and revealed that “this title left a lasting impression when it was premiered, which we’ll bring back with this staging in Tenerife”.

Alejandro Abrante explained that “since opera seasons are held in Tenerife, from 1965 to the present, Turandot has been put on three times: in 1991, 2007 and now, 2019”. The last two were staged at Auditorio de Tenerife during the Ópera de Tenerife season and were directed by maestro Frigeni. “Turandot is a very complicated opera, as there are 80 people, just in the choir, in addition to the orchestra plus the cast, so it makes up quite a large group”, Abrante admitted.

Giuseppe Frigeni thanked Ópera de Tenerife for placing their trust on him and revealed that “although I did this title here in 2007, there will be some differences, for instance, in lighting but also in the performance”. The maestro said that “the quality of the artists and their predisposition has led to characters being adapted to their singing characteristics. “They were open to the director’s conceptualization, which is something that is not very common, so it’ll show in the performance”, and highlighted “the readiness and generosity of Auditorio de Tenerife’s technical team, which is not very usual in today’s show business”.

For this Turandot production, Giuseppe Frigeni has put together not very loud stage and visual elements so that they allow the music to resound rather than illustrate what it evokes: transparencies and effects seen against the light, a fluid sliding of planes and dimensions, dynamic contrasts, rituals and a somewhat engrossed atmosphere. Although he does take into account the oriental nature of the context, he has gone for abstraction, avoiding an excess of exotic elements or Chinese ornaments.

Maestro Giampaolo Bisanti, who works at Ópera de Tenerife for the first time, stressed the mutual respect and good vibes with maestro Frigeni, “which is quite unusual between a stage director and a musical director in an opera”. “I wish to personally thank Ópera de Tenerife because they have made me feel at home, and again, I’ve experienced this quite unusual situation, not only with my theatre colleagues but in the city too”.

Bisanti admitted that there has been a bidirectional relationship with Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife, which he thinks is “professional and disciplined”. “Tenerife people will have the chance to see a top-quality product”, he promised.

This Ópera de Tenerife’s production includes the voices of Tiziana Caruso (Princess Turandot), Carlo Ventre (Calaf), Alexandra Grigoras (Liù), Carlo Malinverno (Timur), Blagoj Nacoski (Altoum); Alfonso Mujica, Biao Li and David Astorga (Ping, Pong and Pang, respectively), Aleksandr Utkin (a mandarin), Néstor Gálvan (Prince of Persia); María José Torres and Sara Ingrid Acosta (maids).

Costumes are by designer Amélie Haas. Her main inspiration is in the sober and pure Eastern designs, especially those from Japan; they agree with the intentions and principles of the aesthetics and dramatic direction, and the formal approach of the stage design so that her costumes go on stage in simple and pure abstract shapes, which are not didactic.

Performances are at 7:30 pm on Tuesday, the 19th, Thursday, the 21th and Saturday, the 23rd at Sala Sinfónica in Auditorio de Tenerife. Tickets can be booked at Auditorio de Tenerife box office from 10:00 am to 7:30 pm, Monday to Saturday; on www.auditoriodetenerife.com or calling 902 317 327.

Inspired in a Persian poem, the libretto in Italian is by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni, and the music is by composer Giacomo Puccini [Lucca 1858 - Brussels 1924]. It tells the story of the cruel princess Turandot, who will only marry the suitor who deciphers the three riddles she suggests. If the answer is wrong, the candidate dies.

The opera was premiered at Teatro alla Scala in Milan on 25 April 1926 with director Arturo Toscanini. Since the composer did not finish the score, it was his pupil, Franco Alfano, who completed it.

There are several anecdotes about the premiere. Perhaps the best remembered is when the part for choir reached ‘Liù...Bontà!’,  conductor Toscanini, to pay homage to his friend of many years, put down his baton and turning to the audience said: ‘This is where the opera ends, because the maestro died at this point’, and ended the performance without including Alfano’s composition, which was played the following day.

 

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The Cabildo -through Ópera de Tenerife- and the University of La Laguna -through Institute on Women Studies, Pedro Cabrera cultural forum and the vice-chancellor office for Relationships with the Community- have organized the second Primavera Violeta [Purple Spring]. A project that aims at training for gender equality values through culture by means of a broad interdisciplinary programme of cultural activities dealing with different cultural, social and philosophical issues, that will last till May. Admission to all the activities is free.

The head of the University’s Institute on Women Studies and vice-dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Philosophy section of La Laguna University, Inmaculada Perdomo, will open on Thursday, the 14th, the series of lectures to take place at different venues across the island until 2 May. Her paper is entitled Ciencia y género. Ellas toman la palabra [Science and Gender. Women take the floor], held at Antiguo Convento de San Francisco de Garachico, at 7:00 pm.

The next lecture is taking place at 6:30 pm on 4 April, at Salón de Grados of the Philosophy section at Faculty of Humanities of La Laguna University. Inmaculada Blasco Herranz, Contemporary History lecturer at ULL, will read the paper ¿Y antes de Clara Campoamor? Los feminismos en la España del primer tercio del siglo XX [Before Clara Campoamor. Feminisms in early 20th century Spain].

At the same venue, at 6:30 pm on Thursday, the 11th, Dr. Eva Palomo, visiting lecturer at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos de Madrid, will talk about El sufragismo y su entorno. Presencia y reivindicación feminista a comienzos del siglo XX [Suffrage and its environment. Feminist Presence and Demands in the early 20th century].

The next lecture is by French Philosophy professor of Basque Country University, Lidia Vázquez. It will take place on 25 April at 6:30 pm at Museo Municipal de Bellas Artes de Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Her talk is called Las vanguardias tienen nombre de mujer [Avant-garde is a woman’s name].

The last lecture scheduled in the Primavera Violeta programme will be at 7:00 pm on 2 May at Centro Cultural de Guía de Isora. The speaker is Alejandro Abrante, Doctor of Philosophy and Ópera de Tenerife’s intendant. La imagen de lo invisible en el reflejo de las tres mujeres que inspiraron a Verdi La traviata: Alphonsine Duplessis, Marguerite Gautier y Violetta Valéry. [The image of the invisible reflects on the three women who inspired Verdi’s The Traviata: Alphonsine Duplessis, Marguerite Gautier and Violetta Valéry] His paper deals with the male-centred basis of 19th century society, depicted by Verdi through a broad view on the love fortunes and misfortunes of a woman.  

The programme of this year’s Primavera Violeta closes with the performances of Giuseppe Verdi’s The Traviata, which is travelling to two municipalities on the island. It will be put on at Magma Arte & Congresos, in Adeje, on 11 and 12 May and in the grounds of former Hotel Taoro, in Puerto de la Cruz on 18 and 19 May. This new production, which is entirely made on the island, is part of Ópera Pocket, an Ópera de Tenerife’s initiative.

Ópera Pocket is a project by Ópera de Tenerife and follows the cultural lines of the Cabildo’s Tenerife 2030 strategy, which aims at bringing opera to new audiences by putting it on at different venues across the island.

Ópera de Tenerife’s intendant, Alejandro Abrante, is the production’s stage director and he faithfully portrays the atmosphere and characters Verdi used to describe a male-centred society. He also deepens on this issue through the psychological features of the three women Verdi took into account to compose this opera: Alphonsine Duplessis, Marguerite Gautier and Violetta Valèry.

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The artists, selected out of 181 candidates, will perform L’elisir d’amore in October

Ópera de Tenerife has chosen the ten singers who will take part in the 7th Opera (e)Studio. The artists were chosen out of 181 candidates who attended auditions in Bologna, Tbilisi, Madrid and Tenerife last February, under the supervision of the programme’s artistic director Giulio Zappa. This year Teatro Comunale di Bologna and Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre are partners in the project, which is funded by the European Commission programme, Creative Europe.

The organizers have chosen ten singers who will be landing on the Island in early September in order to get intensive comprehensive training that will lead to four performances of Gaetano Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore at Auditorio de Tenerife.

The singers chosen and their role are as follows: Maria Rita Combattelli and Beatriz de Sousa (Adina); Klodjan Kaçani and César Arrieta (Nemorino); Alberto Bonifazio and Jacobo Ochoa (Belcore); Givi Gigineishvili and Matteo Andrea Mollica (Dulcamara); Sofía Esparza and Eleonora Boaretto (Giannetta). This year, there have been 181 candidates from 33 different countries and the singers chosen come from Albania, Colombia, Spain, Georgia, Italy, Portugal and Venezuela.

While on the Island, the singers will learn about all the different disciplines involved in opera; they will work on different musical and stage performance techniques, style, diction, body language, theatrical nature of the role, historical context of the composition, dramaturgy, or libretto studying, among other aspects. After being performed in Tenerife from 24 to 27 October, next year the production will travel to Tbilisi, where it will be put on four times (between 25 February and 1 March) and Bologna, with six performance between 5 and 11 April.

Ópera (e)Studio is a programme set up by Ópera de Tenerife in 2013 with the aim of boosting young talent through comprehensive artistic improvement. Its permanent base is at Auditorio de Tenerife and in the previous six years it staged Così fan tutte [2013], La Cenerentola [2014], Le nozze di Figaro [2015], Don Pasquale [2016], I Capuleti e i Montecchi [2017] and L’italiana in Algeri [2018].

L’elisir d’amore is Donizetti’s highly popular opera buffa and it includes the most famous aria for tenor ‘Una furtiva lagrima’ in addition to a lively plot where the love troubles of beautiful Adina and gullible Nemorino meet with the ploys of trickster Dulcamara and Sargeant Belcore’s jealousy. Pablo Maritano is the production’s stage designer and his scenography will transport us to the golden age of cinema. The musical director is Antonio Méndez, principal conductor of Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife.

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At 12 noon, La Casona de San Luis hosts the performance of some of the most outstanding arias of Puccini’s opera repertoire

Ópera de Tenerife, in collaboration with Santa Úrsula Town Council, is giving an opera recital on Sunday, the 10th at 12 noon.  Different pieces by composer Giacomo Puccini’s [Lucca 1858–Bruselas 1924] opera repertoire will be performed. The event is taking place at La Casona de San Luis, located at 5 Camino Antiguo Calvario, in the municipality of Santa Úrsula.

The recital features tenor Alessandro Goldoni and soprano Alexandra Grigoras, who will be accompanied by maestro José Miguel Román. Paolo Montanari, of Ópera de Tenerife production, will be presenting the show.

Different pieces from our next title this season will be performed, like ‘Sì. Mi chiamano Mimì’ (La bohème), ‘O soave fanciulla’ (La bohème), ‘E lucevan le stelle’ (Tosca), ‘O mio babbino caro’ (Gianni Schicchi), ‘Tu che di gel sei cinta’ (Turandot), ‘Nessun dorma’ (Turandot). There will be an aperitif at the end of the show.

This activity, which started last season, aims at spreading the love for opera by giving recitals in different venues across the island of Tenerife. Santa Úrsula is the latest place to be visited by Ópera de Tenerife’s opera tidbits, which have already been held in Puerto de la Cruz, San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Güímar and Garachico.

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Cabildo continues its policy of touring the island with Ópera de Tenerife’s season operas. In May, The Traviata will be put on at Magma Arte & Congresos, in Adeje, and in the gardens of the former Hotel Taoro, in Puerto de la Cruz. The performances take place on the 11th and 12th in the south (Adeje) and on the 18th and 19th in the north (Puerto de la Cruz). The Regional Ministry for Tourism of the Government of the Canary Islands and Puerto de la Cruz Town Council collaborate with the Cabildo in this initiative.

The details were revealed today, Friday, 1st by Island Director for Culture, José Luis Rivero; regional deputy minister for Tourism, Cristóbal de la Rosa; Culture councillor of Puerto de la Cruz, Sandra Rodríguez, and the production stage director Alejandro Abrante.

Rivero explained that “this is the second of the three-year Ópera Pocket performance of this opera; this scheme has three goals: first, it must be a quality local production made entirely in Tenerife; the second goal set out by President Carlos Alonso, is to spread  cultural elements across the island; it’s been a real challenge to devise a way of producing an opera and performing it out of the Auditorio, even in the open air; thirdly, bring opera to new audiences; the best way of doing it is taking opera to places where there is usually no opera following”. In short, the Island director for Culture added that, “we want to bring opera to as many people as possible”.

Cristóbal de la Rosa pointed out that “Magma belongs to the Government of the Canary Islands and the company that runs the venue was very happy to host this great quality product”. The Regional Deputy Minister pointed out that “we want opera to attract both tourists and local people; we want to blend tourist and cultural activities, in order to become a destination-experience”.

Puerto de la Cruz councillor, Sandra Rodríguez, said that “we’re delighted to welcome an opera, especially to the gardens of former Hotel Taoro, a landmark in our municipality”, and added that “it’s a great opportunity to showcase a story like this, with the current feminist spirit”.

Alejandro Abrante said that “it’s been a very exciting project from the start; we’ve been faithful to Verdi’s score”. The stage director stated that “we’ve had the help of La Laguna University and of students of CIFP Las Indias, who have collaborated in making the costumes”. Abrante pointed out that “culture must encourage feminism and remove the male-centred values of society. The Traviata has a lot to say in this regard”.

This Ópera de Tenerife production has been made on the island entirely and will be put on as part of the Ópera Pocket scheme, which follows the cultural lines set out in Cabildo’s Tenerife 2030 strategy, whose aim is to bring opera to new audiences by taking it to different venues across the island. The Traviata was first presented in the 2017-2018 Ópera de Tenerife season, being performed at Paraninfo of La Laguna University and in Garachico.

Alejandro Abrante portrays the atmosphere and the characters Verdi employed to depict the details of a male-centred society. Abrante also looks into this aspect through the psychological features of the three characters Verdi took into account to compose the opera: Alphonsine Duplessis, Marguerite Gautier and Violetta Valèry.

Jorge Cabrera’s stage design, which has been technically conceived to take the opera out of the usual stage, will transport viewers to a 19th century Paris where constructive elements and the new materials brought by the industrial revolution, like forged iron or glass, blend together.

Alessandro Palumbo is the musical director, his fifth time in Ópera de Tenerife after participating in Don Quichotte (Massenet) in 2014; Hänsel und Gretel (Humperdinck) in 2015, Don Pasquale (Donizetti) in 2016 and The Traviata (Verdi) in 2018. This is his second time leading Orquesta de la Ópera de Tenerife [Ópera de Tenerife Orchestra].

The cast includes Julia Muzychenko (soprano); David Astorga (tenor); Nina Solodovnikova (soprano); Gillén Mungía (tenor); Daniel Terenzi (baritone); Pablo Gálvez (baritone); Christina Campsall (mezzo soprano); Francesco Venuti (baritone); Borja Molina (barítono); Aleksandr Utkin (bass); María José Torres (soprano); Badel Albelo (tenor); Ángel Silva (bajo); Árgel Campos (tenor) and Néstor Suárez (tenor). The production also features Coro de la Ópera de Tenerife, directed by Carmen Cruz.

Costumes are by Tenerife designer Javier Caraballero and have been made by the Auditorio de Tenerife dressmaking team with the occasional collaboration of students of CIFP Las Indias, following a detailed study of the uses and customs of the period, in order to make them as realistic as possible. 

Based on Alexandre Dumas’s novel Camille, The Traviata is one of the best-known compositions by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901). It begins at a party taking place in a luxurious hall, where courtesan Violetta Valéry meets young Alfredo Germont. The act ends with the popular toast Libiamo ne’Lieti calici. This piece praises the hedonistic life in 19th century Paris, that succumbs to the material pleasures of life.

From that moment on, viewers will feel a range of emotions, from joy to frivolity, gender violence to sadness, through a succession of situations that will make them feel all the phases of deepest love. The lovers will suffer the consequences of their social milieu, highly male-centred. The mishaps in their romantic adventure will lead them to an unavoidable dramatic outcome.

Tickets for this show will be available shortly at Auditorio de Tenerife box office, from 10:00 am to 7:30 pm Monday to Saturday; on www.auditoriodetenerife.com or by telephone, calling 902 317 327.

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Ópera de Tenerife has organised a talk on the stage design work involved in the production of an opera. The meeting with Jorge Cabrera (Ópera de Tenerife’s stage designer, technical director and technical production coordinator) is taking place at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, 19th February at Sala Alisios in Auditorio de Tenerife.  Admission is free but registering in advance is required. Please write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. indicating in subject Ópera Fórum and including name and telephone number of the participant.

Ópera Fórum is a new means of communication to bring opera to citizens. This new project aims to explain the ins and outs of opera in different meetings to be held throughout the season where different opera aspects will be dealt with using a holistic approach. These sessions are carried out by different opera professionals and will help to pull down misconceptions and prejudices about opera.

In the first Ópera Fórum talk this season, which took place in December, Ópera de Tenerife’s intendant Alejandro Abrante, talked about the history of opera in the Canary Islands and the buildings for opera on the islands.

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