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.
A total of 170 young artists from 33 countries have applied to take part in the 7th Opera (e)Studio. This is a 50 per cent increase over last year. Auditions are starting on Monday, 4 February in Bologna, and will continue in Tbilisi and Madrid, ending at Auditorio de Tenerife on 16 February.
This year -funded by the European Commission under the Creative Europe programme- the singers chosen to take part in this project, led by Ópera de Tenerife in partnership with Teatro Comunale di Bologna and Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre will put on stage L’elisir d’amore by Donizetti. Artists can compete for more than one role which are divided as follows: Adina and Gianetta, for sopranos; Nemorino, for tenors; Belcore, for baritones and Dulcamara, for baritones or bass.
Over half of the applicants have registered to attend auditions at Teatro Comunale di Bologna, reason why three days have been allowed for them. The tests in Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre (Georgia) are taking place on the 8th and 9th, followed by auditions at Escuela Superior de Canto de Madrid on the 11th and ending on the 16th at Auditorio de Tenerife. All the auditions will be supervised by Opera (e)Studio artistic director, Giulio Zappa.
The artists registered come from 33 countries in America, Europe and Asia. Most come from Italy, with 64 candidates followed by Spain, with 24, and Japan with eight. The singers chosen will travel to the Island in early September to get comprehensive professional training on all the disciplines included in the opera genre, from musical to stage aspects. In addition to musical education, Opera (e)Studio pays particular attention to training singers in acting and body language.
The opera L’elisir d’amore will open the next Tenerife opera season in October and will be performed four times at Sala Sinfónica in Auditorio de Tenerife. In 2020, it will be put on at Teatro Comunale di Bologna and at Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre. This show by Ópera de Tenerife has Antonio Méndez as music director, who is the Principal Conductor of Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife, in Tenerife and Bolonga; and Zaza Azmaiparashvii, Principal Conductor of Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre, in Georgia. Stage design is by stage director Pablo Maritano.
The Cabildo de Tenerife through Ópera de Tenerife, has opened the call to take part in the seventh Opera (e)Studio, the academy that offers comprehensive training to young singers. This year it works under the auspices of the European Commission within the Creative Europe programme, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre. The academy for future opera singers will open the next Tenerife opera season with L’elisir d’amore by Donizetti, which was chosen by the academy’s director Giulio Zappa, to show the work done by the singers.
The professional team at Ópera de Tenerife will be working with the singers selected from September through to the production of the opera, to be performed four times from 24 to 27 October 2019 at Sala Sinfónica in Auditorio de Tenerife. The same cast will also perform L’elisir d’amore at Teatro Comunale di Bologna and Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre in 2020.
Opera (e)Studio will be carrying out auditions in four cities on 4, 5 and 6 February at Teatro Comunale di Bologna, in Bologna, Italy; on 8 & 9 February, at Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre, in Georgia; on 11, 13 & 14 February, at Escuela Superior de Canto in Madrid and at Auditorio de Tenerife on 16 February.
Candidates will have to sing all the arias from memory, including extracts of their role in L’elixir d’amore. Singers can enter for more than one role. The titles requested for the five roles are: Nemorino (tenor) the arias Quanto è bella, quanto è cara and Una furtiva lágrima, the duets Caro elisir, sei mio (up to the Terzetto excluido) and La donna è un animale stravagante davvero; Adina (soprano) the arias Benedette queste carte and Prendi per me sei libero (with full cabaletta) and the duet Come sen va contento; Belcore (baritone) the aria Come Paride vezzoso and the duet La donna è un animale stravagante davvero; Dulcamara (baritone or bass-baritone or bass) the aria Udite, udite, o rustici and the duet Voglio dire... lo stupendo elisir che desta amore; and Giannetta (soprano) the aria with choir Saria possibile? Possibilissimo.
For further information please see the regulations on Auditorio de Tenerife website here. Any opera singer who was born on or after 1 January 1987 can apply for the auditions. The deadline to receive applications is 20 January 2019 before 12:00 noon.
This Ópera de Tenerife project was set up to give visibility to the work done on the Island, not just artistically but also stage designing and building as well as local production. Job creation for Canarian professionals is also encouraged by being part of a highly-specialised sector of international scope.
Ópera de Tenerife puts on Lucia di Lammermoor, the most frequently performed opera by Gaetano Donizetti. A coproduction of Ópera de Tenerife with Teatro Colón de Buenos Aires and Fundación Ópera de Oviedo. The second title in the season takes us to one of the most iconic Romantic dramas, Lucia di Lammermoor.
The details were disclosed today, Thursday 15th, by the island director for Culture José Luis Rivero; Ópera de Tenerife intendent, Alejandro Abrante; musical director, Christopher Franklin; stage manager, Nicola Berloffa, and singers Irina Lungu and Celso Albelo, representing a cast that includes Andrei Kymach, Mariano Buccino, David Astorga, Vittoria Vimercatti and Klodjan Kaçani.
In José Luis Rivero’s opinion, “this title is a major turning point for Ópera de Tenerife because it’s a palpable sign of maturity, and shows the artistic and production level achieved, as a result of the work done by the whole team”. “The best operas in the Canaries come from Ópera de Tenerife which are also top level nationally and are very well regarded internationally”, he added to then point out that “Lucia di Lammermoor is an iconic title in Donizetti repertoire and it has great dramatic quality”.
Irina Lungu, who is in Tenerife for the first time, said that “I’m happy to be performing at Auditorio de Tenerife for the first time”. It has great acoustics and a fantastic energy, I feel at ease here; it’s a real discovery and I’d like to thank the professionals at Ópera de Tenerife for treating me so well”. About the role she is performing next week, she highlighted that “every soprano should sing this Lucia because it’s like the beginning of singing, the foundation of it all” and revealed that “this role has two parts: the one written by Donizetti and the cadence given to it by the first performers, which has reached the present through tradition”. Her favourite moment is “madness, where my vocal virtuosity blends with my acting”.
For his part, Celso Albelo admits that “coming back home is an honour and it also involves responsibility: I feel particularly proud because on the Tenerife stage we can now see artists who have opened the present season in great theatres worldwide. Ópera de Tenerife has achieved a lot in very little time. Their Lucia di Lammermoor gives off musical and stage elegance” and says that Irina Lungu “has one of the most beautiful soprano voices in the present”.
Christopher Franklin is the musical director of this production. This is his first time at Ópera de Tenerife after directing in the main opera houses in the world. Franklin highlighted the quality of Sinfónica de Tenerife. “It’s a fantastic orchestra, virtuous”. About the show next week, he pointed out that “we’re dealing with one of the most difficult repertoires in the world” and believes that “Donizetti wrote high-spirited sounds that have to do with life”.
Stage manager Nicola Berloffa, is back at Ópera de Tenerife after working in Die Zauberflöte (2012 and 2018), Cosí fan tutte (2013) and Carmen (2016), to take us with this Lucia di Lammermoor to late 1940s Scotland at the height of the post-war period. Berloffa points out that “this show is extremely difficult for every stage manager because it’s a masterpiece. One must follow both the libretto and the dramaturg, which cannot be changed.
The libretto is by Salvadore Cammarano, based on the novel The Bride of Lammermoor by Sir Walter Scott, and music by Gaetano Donizetti. The story, by means of vocal virtuosity and a difficult score, introduces us into the mishaps and tribulations of ties of blood and love. This story of conspiracies between two rival families and one single fate was premiered on 26 September 1835 at Teatro San Carlo in Naples.
Costumes, designed by Justin Arienti, who is also making his debut in Ópera de Tenerife, have a simple cut and have a low-key colour scheme, in line with the precarious clothing after the war, although there are references to Scottish culture by using kilts.
Lighting is in the hands of Valerio Tiberi, in Ópera de Tenerife for the first time. The Romantic essence of the drama will be conveyed by the use of chiaroscuros. Tiberio, teaches lighting design at Accademia Teatro alla Scala in Milan and has a long career in musical and opera shows.
The show is on Tuesday 20th, Thursday, 22nd and Saturday, 24th at 7:30 pm at Sala Sinfónica in Auditorio de Tenerife. Tickets for the three performances -Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday- can be bought at Auditorio de Tenerife box office from 10:00 am to 7:30 pm, Monday to Saturday, on www.auditoriodetenerife.com clicking here or calling 902 317 327.
Musical Director: Christopher Franklin
Stage Manager: Nicola Berloffa
Stage and Costume Designer: Justin Arienti
Coproduction: Auditorio de Tenerife, Teatro Colón de Buenos Aires and Fundación Ópera de Oviedo
Ópera de Tenerife Choir
Sir Edgardo di Ravenswood(tenor)
Lord Enrico Ashton (baritone
Lord Arturo Buklaw (tenor)
Los cantantes Francesco Samuele Venuti y Esteban Sebastián Baltazar debutarán en Tenerife afrontando dos funciones cada uno el rol de Haly, el joven capitán de la guardia del rey de la composición La italiana en Argel, de Rossini. Los dos llegarán el próximo mes a la Isla para participar en la sexta edición de la academia Opera (e)Studio durante dos meses y que, un año más, se encargará de abrir la temporada de Ópera de Tenerife.
Graduado en el Conservatorio Luigi Cherubini de Florencia, Venuti (Lecce, Italia) nunca ha estado en la Isla, pero tiene importantes referencias de Ópera de Tenerife y concretamente del programa Opera (e)Studio, “gracias a unos amigos que me aconsejaron participar en el proceso de audiciones”, afirma. Considera que se trata de un “brillante programa de formación para jóvenes” y confía en que le haga “crecer mucho desde el punto de vista profesional”.
Baltazar se formó en la Escuela CasAzul Artes Escénicas de Argos y es uno de los aspirantes que realizó las audiciones en el Auditorio de Tenerife, proceso del que también tiene referencias por amigos que han participado en anteriores ediciones. El mexicano sostiene que es “uno de los teatros más importantes de España”. Además reconoce que este programa es “un trampolín para nosotros”, asimilándolo con un “radar para entrar en los grandes teatros del mundo”.
Ninguno ha tenido contacto previo con la ópera de Rossini La italiana en Argel, aunque es un título conocido por ambos. En el caso del intérprete italiano la define como una creación “muy entretenida, pero también desafiante que requiere de mucho cuidado en el estudio”. El artista mexicano coincide al adjetivarla como “divertida” y no duda en definirla como “muy compleja y muy precisa”, que exige mucho trabajo “tanto vocal como físicamente”.
Respecto al rol que van a poner encima del escenario de la Sala Sinfónica del Auditorio de Tenerife, Francesco Samuele señala que el aspecto que entraña más dificultad se encuentra “en las partes concertadas, así como en los recitativos”. Por su parte, Esteban Baltazar hace hincapié “en la afinación perfecta” para un rol que “reclama mucho desde el punto de vista vocal e interpretativo”.
En cuanto a los objetivos que se plantean en un futuro próximo, ambos son realistas y precavidos. Los deseos de Venuti se centran en “mejorar y crecer artísticamente”, no sólo para ganar “competitividad en otros concursos líricos”, sino para “comenzar a trabajar en diferentes compañías”. Baltazar, por su parte, espera también “aprender muchísimo tanto desde el punto de vista personal como profesional” y deja bien claro su intención de regresar a Tenerife “todas las veces que pueda”.
Ambos atesoran en su lista de deseos muchos papeles, aunque si tuvieran que concretar alguno, el artista italiano se decanta por “El barbero de Sevilla o Las bodas de Fígaro”, en este último título coincide con el azteca, quien también añade Don Giovanni.
En la primera semana de septiembre comenzará la sexta edición de la academia Opera (e)Studio donde trece artistas iniciarán un proceso de perfeccionamiento artístico integral. Esta iniciativa, dirigida por Giulio Zappa, concluirá con la representación de cuatro funciones de La italiana en Argel, que tendrán lugar en la Sala Sinfónica del Auditorio de Tenerife del 25 al 28 de octubre.
La italiana en Argel supone el arranque de la temporada 2018-2019 y traerá consigo el debut en Ópera de Tenerife de Nikolas Maximilian Nägele. Esta nueva coproducción de Auditorio de Tenerife con el Teatro Comunale di Bologna contará en la dirección de escena con Giorgia Guerra y transcurre en la década de los ochenta del siglo pasado en la atmósfera surrealista de un spa ubicado en Argel, todo ello aderezado con un vestuario divertido y colorido afín a la época.
Swiss soprano Larissa Alice Wissel got the first prize at the 5th Ópera de Tenerife International Singing Competition, which this year welcomed 38 candidates from 18 different countries. The second prize went to Romanian soprano Alexandra Grigoras and the Korean baritone Insik Choi won third prize. He also got the Extraordinary Audience Award, granted by the attendees at the final gala held on 4 July at Sala de Cámara in Auditorio de Tenerife.
A new feature this year is the “María Orán Award” for best zarzuela aria performance, with which Ópera de Tenerife pays tribute to the memory of the Tenerife singer and encourages the internationalization of opera in Spanish. The award was granted to Spanish soprano Laura del Río who has now secured a role in one of the zarzuela season titles of Ópera de Tenerife.
In addition to the usual synergy of the talent displayed by artists and the different artistic directors present in the event, several special prizes were agreed on as well as roles in productions of their respective seasons. Ópera de Tenerife is hiring soprano Alexandra Grigoras in the role of Liù (Turandot, Puccini), Carmen Mateo as Violetta (La traviata, Verdi) and Mexican bass Alejandro López. Spanish soprano Elvira Padrino gets a zarzuela role. Ópera de Oviedo, on their part, reached an agreement with Alejandro López and Larissa Alice Wissel, who is also wanted at the Teatro Municipale di Piacenza. They are also taking part in a masterclass with maestro Giulio Zappa and sopranos Marta Mari (Italy), Cecilia Rodríguez (Spain) and Olena Sloia (Romania).
The winner this year started to study violin and piano when she was six years old in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, obtaining aged 13 a Julius Stern Institut grant for young talents, being accepted in Universität der Künste Berlin. She furthered her studies at Mozarteum in Salzburg and through masterclasses under the direction of Bernadette Manca di Nissa and Fernando Cordeiro. In 2014 she won three international competitions: As.li.co. in the debut section; the Rheinsberg in Berlin; and the 4th Santa Chiara competition in Naples, where she was awarded first prize and the Audience Prize. In 2016 she was a finalist in the 35th Belvedere Competition in Cape Town.
The competition is closing on Thursday, 5 with the traditional award-winners concert to take place at Sala de Cámara in Auditorio de Tenerife at 7:30 pm. The winners will have the chance to show their different opera skills with maestro Dario Tondelli as accompanist.
The competition has had the collaboration of Acción Cultural Española (AC/E) which, through the Programme for the Internationalization of Spanish Culture (PICE), in the Visitors category, provides a prestigious international jury whose members have a solid artistic and technical reputation. Although it is chaired by As.li.co vice-president Giovanna Lomazzi, on this occasion it will be the artistic director of the Fondazione Teatri di Piacenza, Cristina Ferrari will be taking her place.
Other members of the jury include casting manager and musical director assistant of Teatro Massimo di Palermo, Alessandro di Gloria; the general manager of Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Fulvio Macciardi; the stage manager and artistic production manager of Teatro Argentino de La Plata, Pablo Maritano; the artistic programming manager of Teatro Regio di Parma, Cristiano Sandri; the artistic manager of the Young Artists Ópera del Teatro Bolshoi, Dmitry Vdovin; the member of the Society for the promotion of Chinese Traditional Culture, Qing Xu; the general and artistic director of Ópera de Oviedo, Javier Menéndez; intendant of Theater und Philharmonie Essen, Hein Mulders; and the artistic director of Gran Teatre del Liceu de Barcelona, Christina Scheppelmann.