Ópera de Tenerife is taking Der Diktator and Der Kaiser von Atlantis, a double programme in concert version, to nine municipalities of the island through the programme Ópera en Ruta [Itinerant Opera]. In sixty-minute talks the audiences will learn about the main features of these two operas.
There will be a total of nine talks to be held in the afternoon at different venues of the island’s Public Library network. The talks, that started in La Orotava, will be held in Candelaria on Friday, the 29th, at the Biblioteca Pública de Garachico on 2 December, at Biblioteca Adrián Alemán de Armas, in La Laguna on the 3rd; at Biblioteca Pública del Estado de Santa Cruz on the 4th; at Biblioteca Municipal de la Villa de Adeje on the 5th; at Biblioteca de Tabaiba on the 9th; at Biblioteca Municipal de Santa Úrsula on the 10th and finally, at Biblioteca Tomás de Iriarte in Puerto de la Cruz on 11 December.
This double programme brings together two operas that were composed by Austrian authors in the first half of the 20th century. Through the use of sarcasm, they tackle the issue of totalitarian power. When Ernst Krenek composed Der Diktator in 1928 fascism already ruled in Italy and it was to reach Germany soon. Viktor Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis was composed in 1943 at a concentration camp.
Der Diktator [The dictator] is a tragic opera in one act with music and libretto in German by the composer and was premiered at Hessisches Staatstheater in Wiesbaden on 6 May 1928. This short work with a tremendous rhythm and composed in a melodic style that resembles Puccini’s, portrays the irresistible attraction of populist power, represented by a character who many thought to be inspired by Mussolini.
Der Kaiser von Atlantis [The Emperor of Atlantis] is a one-act opera by Austrian composer Viktor Ullmann and libretto in German by Peter Kien. It was composed while in prison at Theresienstadt concentration camp, where they were both jailed for being Jewish. In fact, Der Kaiser von Atlantis, a surrealist legend of a tyrant that is leading humanity to a cruel massacre, pushing Death himself to go on strike, was composed with all the characteristics the Nazis considered as ‘degenerate music’ (atonality, jazz...). When the camp authorities realized the figure of Emperor Overall was a not very veiled parody of Adolf Hitler, they forbade its premiere. Ullmann was deported to Auschwitz in 1944 where he was killed in the gas chamber.
In addition to the learning experience, Ópera en Ruta will also seek to undo some myths about the world of opera such as its supposed elitism or language barriers in performances; dress code and Auditorio de Tenerife’s ticket sale channels will also be dealt with.
Ópera en Ruta is part of the communication strategy of Ópera de Tenerife and Auditorio de Tenerife for the new 2019-2020 season. In addition to spreading opera, it also adds to the economic drive of this Tenerife project, which encourages the local cultural industry.
On Sunday the 3rd at 12:30 pm Ópera de Tenerife is giving a recital in the courtyard of the former Convento de San Sebastián, in the municipality of Los Silos. The concert features opera pieces by Giuseppe Verdi, connected to the second title of the opera season, Rigoletto, that will be onstage on 19, 21 and 23 November at Auditorio de Tenerife’s Sala Sinfónica.
The pieces will be sung by soprano Beatriz de Sousa, mezzo-soprano Guadalupe Barrientos, baritone Lucian Petrean and tenor Biao Li, who will all be accompanied by pianist Claudio Marchetti. Ópera de Tenerife’s intendant, Alejandro Abrante, will present this admission-free show.
The event includes pieces like ‘Sul fil d’un soffio etesio’ [Falstaff]; ‘Stride la vampa’ [Il trovatore]; ‘Dio di Giuda’ [Nabucco]; ‘Re dell’abisso, affrettati’ [Un ballo in maschera]; ‘Questa o quella’ [Rigoletto]; ‘Gualtier Maldé... Caro nome’ [Rigoletto]; ‘Cortigiani, vil razza dannata’ [Rigoletto]; ‘Sì, vendetta’ [Rigoletto]; ‘La donna è mobile’ [Rigoletto] and ‘Un dì se ben rammentomi... Bella figlia dell’amore’ [Rigoletto]
Rigoletto is the first title of the famous “popular trilogy” by the Busseto maestro. Just like the heroes in Il trovatore and La traviata, Rigoletto is a social outcast, a hunch-backed jester who works in the corrupt Court of Mantua in the late 16th century, ruled by the beautiful and young Duke of Mantua, a seducer. When his efforts to safeguard the innocence of his daughter Gilda are shattered by the Duke’s lust, the jester will attempt an impossible revenge.
This activity, in collaboration with Los Silos Town Council, aims to spread the love for opera by giving recitals in different venues on the island. Previous events were held in Puerto de la Cruz, La Laguna, Güímar, Garachico, Santa Úrsula, La Orotava, Santa Cruz and Candelaria. This is the first opera titbit Ópera de Tenerife gives in Los Silos.
The Cabildo de Tenerife presents the opera L’elisir d’amore, by Donizetti, to be performed at Sala Sinfónica of Auditorio de Tenerife from 24 to 27 October. It is a coproduction between Ópera de Tenerife, Teatro Comunale di Bologna and Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre, and this year it is funded by the European Commission programme Creative Europe. The cast on stage are the members of the seventh Opera (e)Studio, the high specialisation academy.
The details of the production were revealed today, Wednesday the 16th at Auditorio de Tenerife by the Councillor for Culture of the Cabildo, Concepción Rivero; the artistic director of the Auditorio, José Luis Rivero; Opera (e)Studio’s artistic director, Giulio Zappa; the musical director, Antonio Méndez, and the stage director, Pablo Maritano.
The ten singers were chosen in auditions held in Bologna, Tbilisi, Madrid and Tenerife last February which were entered by 181 candidates of 33 different nationalities. The singers taking part are María Rita Combattelli (soprano); Beatriz de Sousa (soprano); Klodjan Kaçani (tenor); César Arrieta (tenor); Alberto Bonifazio (baritone); Jacobo Ochoa (baritone); Givi Gigineishvili (bass); Matteo Andrea Mollica (bass); Sofía Esparza (soprano) and Leonora Tess (soprano).
Concepción Rivero admitted that “it’s a pleasure to present L’elisir d’amore”, that will be performed “on this wonderful stage” and that opens Ópera de Tenerife’s new season. For his part, the artistic director of Auditorio de Tenerife, José Luis Rivero, presented this production of Opera (e)Studio, “the academy specialising in opera singing where we are honoured to have had Giulio Zappa as director from the beginning; singers training at the academy in previous years are now following an international career”.
The artistic director explained that “different reasons make this year unique: this is the first time the principal conductor of Sinfónica de Tenerife is musically directing one of our operas, for which we thank Antonio Méndez’s generosity; it is the European debut of one of the most renowned stage directors in Latin America, Pablo Maritano; and this project is a coproduction between Ópera de Tenerife, Teatro Comunale di Bolognia and Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre, chosen among more than 500 European projects in the Creative Europe programme, and the only opera project that was chosen”.
In Giulio Zappa’s view, “this seventh year is special because of the support of Creative Europe”. Opera (e)Studio artistic director stated that “in my over 20-year-long career I’ve never met such a passionate, committed team as the one in Ópera de Tenerife, who I now regard as family”. Regarding the participants, Zappa thanks them for “these two months together in which I’ve also learnt a lot from them”.
Sinfónica de Tenerife’s principal conductor, Antonio Méndez, admits that “I’m looking forward to making my debut with Ópera de Tenerife; it’s a pleasure to be leading this title by Opera (e)Studio, a very interesting and necessary project in the opera world which this year has brought us two great high-level casts. They are all very different from each other which, in turn, offers a richer result as audiences can value each voice, each character”. For his part, Pablo Maritano thanked the invitation from Ópera de Tenerife intendant, Alejandro Abrante, and Jorge Cabrera, head of technical production of Auditorio de Tenerife, and his “tireless” team. “The whole team has surrounded us with their enthusiasm and although this sector is always full of challenges, we’re very happy about how we’ve dealt with them and with the final result”.
This Ópera de Tenerife production is a melodramma giocoso by Gaetano Donizetti with the libretto by Felice Romani, based on the text Le philtre by Eugène Scribe for Daniel François Esprit Auber’s opera. One of the most praised operas by the composer thanks to unforgettable melodies like ‘Una furtiva lagrima’ and a lively plot about the love affair between beautiful Adina and naive Nemorino. It was premiered at Teatro della Canobbiana in Milan on 12 May 1832.
Opera (e)Studio is the high specialisation academy for Ópera de Tenerife artists, which has had Giulio Zappa as artistic director since 2012. This project was set up with the aim of providing training in all the opera disciplines for young artists while at the same time meeting the demands of the present work market. The selected artists arrived on the island last September and have been working on different areas ranging from musical and stage performance techniques to style, diction, body language or dramaturgy which are combined with rehearsals done at the professional pace set by a theatre: costume fittings, make-up and rehearsing with the orchestra.
The performances on Thursday, the 24th, Friday, the 25th and Saturday the 26th are taking place at 7:30 pm. The show in at 6:00 pm on Sunday, the 27th. Tickets can be purchased at Auditorio de Tenerife box office from 10:00 am to 7:30 pm Monday to Saturday; via www.auditoriodetenerife.com or calling 902 317 327.
The sopranos Maria Rita Combattelli and Beatriz de Sousa will bring to life the rich and beautiful landowner Adina, in Donizetti’s comic opera L’elisir d’amore. This title opens the new Ópera de Tenerife season and will be put on from 24 to 27 October at Auditorio de Tenerife. Combattelli will perform on Thursday and Saturday while De Sousa will sing on Friday and Sunday.
Italian Combattelli and Portuguese De Sousa are part of the seventh Opera (e)Studio, which they both learned about from other singers who have taken part in this Ópera de Tenerife’s project. Combattelli believes that “the title this year is very interesting, and I thought I should make the most of this opportunity” and De Sousa admits she was encouraged to take part because of “the opportunity of making my debut in the role of Adina”.
Maria Rita Combattelli, who is a student at the Accademia del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, recalls that “I’ve always liked singing, since I was a little girl. My mum says I knew all the cartoon songs by heart”. De Sousa, who is studying at University of Music Vienna and at the Liceu’s Conservatoire, started her studies when she was sixteen and came to Tenerife in the past to take part in the masterclasses of Giulio Zappa, who is the artistic director of Opera (e)Studio. In contrast this is the first time Combattelli is on the island.
They are both certain that L’elisir d’amore “is a brilliant and amusing work that blends comic and opera features seamlessly”. Combattelli highlights ‘Adina’s complex psychology; she is a strong, independent woman as shown by every word she says”, while De Sousa points out that “the music is wonderful, it’s the type of music that traps your ear at once and remains with you for a long time”.
Regarding the difficulty of tackling a role like Adina, Beatriz de Sousa explains that “Adina greatly develops as a character throughout the opera and the last aria portrays this psychological and musical culmination”. In Rita Combattelli’s opinion, the complexity of the role “lies in the vocal part, as it is a bel canto role, but you must keep up the energy of the character right through the work”.
Combattelli and De Sousa appreciate coming to the Opera (e)Studio training programme. The Italian singer points out, among others, her “surprise at being treated with the professionality and respect due to professionals”. For her part, De Sousa is delighted with the experience and highlights “the high level they demand from us”. The Lisbon soprano says that “in Opera (e)Studio de Tenerife I’ve found the perfect balance between the support a young singer needs and the necessary exposure to start off her career”.
As for future goals, Combattelli prefers not to strive for a specific one but to “go on taking in the work done these months at Opera (e)Studio and doing her very best every day”, while the Italian singer says her goal is to become “a thorough artist, taking care of voice technique and particularly, being a great performer on the stage”.
L’elisir d’amore opens the 2019 – 2020 opera season under the musical direction of Antonio Méndez, principal conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife. This Ópera de Tenerife production -jointly with Teatro Comunale di Bologna and Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre- is funded by the European Commission through its Creative Europe scheme. It is a debut in Europe of stage director, Pablo Maritano, who transports us to Hollywood golden age, adorned with the stage design by Serena Rocco, Lorena Marin’s costumes and lighting design by Virginio Levrio.
This week Ópera de Tenerife is travelling to the municipalities of El Sauzal and La Laguna with two opera recitals. The first one is held today, Tuesday the 1st at 8:30 pm, in Teatro El Sauzal. The second recital is taking place on Thursday, the 3rd at 7:30 pm, at the Paraninfo of La Laguna University. They are organized by the Cabildo de Tenerife with the collaboration of El Sauzal Town Council and the University. Admission to the concerts is free.
The following young singers of the 7th Opera (e)Studio project are taking part in the recitals: Maria Rita Combattelli, Beatriz de Sousa, Klodjan Kaҫani, César Arrieta, Alberto Bonifazio, Jacobo Ochoa, Givi Gigineishvili, Matteo Andrea Mollica, Sofía Esparza and Leonora Tess. The piano accompaniment is by maestros Hana Lee and Claudio Marchetti.
The programme includes some of the most beautiful songs from operas like Il barbiere di Siviglia, La Scala di seta (Rossini), L’elisir d’amore, Poliuto (Donizetti), Falstaff (Verdi), La sonnambula (Bellini), Faust (Gounod), La bohème (Puccini), Die tote Stadt (Korngold), Eugenio Oneguin (Tchaikovsky), Chateau Margaux (Férnandez Caballero) and Carmen (Bizet).
The ten singers arrived on the Island in early September and have been busy attending comprehensive opera training sessions at Auditorio de Tenerife. So far, they have had masterclasses by Opera (e)Studio’s artistic director, Giulio Zappa, soprano Mariella Devia, stage director Pablo Maritano and Ópera de Tenerife’s intendent, Alejandro Abrante.
This artistic improvement training will conclude with the staging of L’elisir d’amore from 24 to 27 October. This title opens the 2019-2020 Ópera de Tenerife season. This is a coproduction with Teatro Comunale di Bologna, and Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre with the funding of the Creative Europe programme.
Ópera de Tenerife started the VI Concurso Internacional de Canto [6th International Singing Competition] on Sunday, 30 June at 4:00 pm in Auditorio de Tenerife. It will go on until Thursday, the 4th when it will close with the Award-Winners Concert. This year, fifty candidates from twenty-five different countries have entered the competition in a contest whose aim is to become a platform for the artistic and professional development of participants.
Most candidates come from Spain, which totals thirteen singers, including five Canarian artists. There are also four singers from the United Kingdom and Russia; three from Germany and two from Belorussia, Chile, South Korea, the United States, and Venezuela, plus one candidate from Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Guatemala, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Turkey.
The candidates have prepared five arias of their choice which will be tested in different tessitura in the qualifying phases from 30 June to 2 July. The final is taking place at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, the 3rd. Each participant will sing an aria chosen by the jury or a zarzuela aria if competing for the Premio María Orán. Admission is free.
The Premio María Orán is for the best interpretation of a zarzuela aria. With this award Ópera de Tenerife does not only pay tribute to the memory of the Tenerife artist, but it also encourages the internationalization of opera in Spanish. Candidates must perform a role of one of the zarzuela titles in the Ópera de Tenerife season, according to the specific needs of each title and voice and stage suitability.
There will be three cash-prices of 5,000, 3,000 and 1,000 euros respectively. There is an honorary Extraordinary Audience Award to be voted by the audience present in the final. Also, the various artistic directors attending the show will offer roles in their season productions according to the artists suitability and the productions’ requirements.
As always, the award-winners will give a concert on Thursday, 4 July at 7:30 pm at Sala de Cámara in Auditorio de Tenerife with maestro Dario Tondelli. Tickets for this concert are now on sale through the usual sales channels of Auditorio de Tenerife – at the box office from 10:00 am to 7:30 pm, Monday to Saturday; via www.auditoriodetenerife.com or by phone on 902 317 327.
The competition has a jury of international prestige led by Giovanna Lomazzi, vice-president of As.li.co.(Italy); Paulo Abrão Esper, general and artistic director of Ópera São Paulo (Brazil); Martín Boschet, executive director of Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires (Argentina); Alessandro di Gloria, casting manager and musical director assistant at the Teatro Massimo di Palermo and casting consultant of the Teatro Real de Madrid (Italy/Spain); Cristina Ferrari, artistic director of the Fondazione Teatri di Piacenza (Italy); Carmen Gloria Larenas, artistic director of Teatro del Lago de Frutillar (Chile); Fulvio Macciardi, director general of Teatro Comunale di Bologna (Italy); Alejandra Martí, executive director of OLA (Chile); Javier Menéndez, director general of Teatro de la Maestranza in Sevilla (Spain); Andrés Rodríguez-Spoerer, artistic director of the Área Música de la Fundación Ibáñez Atkinson (Chile), and Cristiano Sandri, head of artistic programming at Teatro Regio di Parma (Italy).