The Auditorio de Tenerife stages Lorca’s own production 'La casa de Bernarda Alba'
The opera composer, Miquel Ortega, conducts the Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife and Silvia Paoli, the stage director, proposes a rocky dessert as a scenario
The Auditorio de Tenerife is a cultural space linked to the Department of Culture of Tenerife Island Council that is managed by the island's Minister of Culture Enrique Arriaga. Tenerife opera's season 21-22 kicks off next week with 'La casa de Bernarda Alba'. Next 19, 21 and 23 October at 7:30 p.m., the stage director Silvia Paoli will turn the Symphony Hall into a rocky dessert to receive this opera. It is inspired by Lorca’s drama and composed by Miquel Ortega, who will also conduct the Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife. The presentation of this new production took place on the 13th of October 2021 with the attendance of Alejandro Krawietz, the island's Director of Culture; Miquel Ortega, the composer and musical director; Silvia Paoli, the stage director, and the nine cast members.
Krawietz declared that "it is a pleasure to open the season with this own production that represents our opening to the contemporary operatic field. In this case, we have worked in the tradition of verism and opened new doors to unusual lyric languages". "Last year it was difficult to get opera shows back on track. Although the situation is more relaxed now, we still have many measures to fulfil. I am grateful to the team for the effort and involvement in facing these new challenges," declared the island's Director of Culture.
On his side, the composer Ortega stated "what a pleasure it is to work with this extraordinary Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife (Tenerife Symphony Orchestra). I am very grateful to my musical team for the effort they are making." The composer also acknowledged that "this opera was not a commission. I composed it because I wanted to. I have been fascinated by Lorca since I was young, so I knew it would take me years to finish it". As for Paoli's proposal, he praised its "plastic beauty, Lorca's symbolism and its resemblance to the great Greek tragedies".
According to Silvia Paoli, "I didn't design this staging because I wanted to do something different, but because it is how I feel about this opera. It is the way I understand the work of Master Ortega and of García Lorca." She also stressed that "it is the first time that I work with a 100% female team, and I think this is what Lorca would have loved to have: to represent women through women." Regarding her proposal, the stage director underpinned that "we are in the 21stcentury, in the year 2021. We were not just going to build a house, as I consider it rather interesting to represent the feelings inside that house. Those are the most important fact of the historical moment we represent."
Nancy Fabiola Herrera spoke on behalf of the singers and recommended all people “to come and enjoy opera to experience again a show that can only be understood live." "This cast is working in total connection. I believe this is how it should be because if you want to represent on stage a dysfunctional family like Bernarda Alba's, you have to work rather connected like a functional family behind the scenes. And that has been achieved in this production." The mezzo-soprano will play the role of Bernarda. She forwarded that "this production will keep you in tension from the first to the last minute".
Apart from Herrera, this show will feature soprano Carmen Acosta as Adela, Beatriz Lanza as Martirio, mezzo-soprano Marina Rodríguez-Cusí as Amelia, mezzo-soprano Belén Elvira as Magdalena (also reprising her role) and soprano Melody Louledjian as Angustias. The baritone Luis Cansino plays once more the role of Poncia, the housekeeper. The soprano Carmen Mateo will be one of the servants, and the actress Marga Arnau will be María Josefa.
After many years of work, the first Spanish operatic version of this piece was completed in 2006. Premièred on 13 December 2007 in its symphonic version at the Brasov Theatre in Romania, it was performed for the first time in Spain in 2009 at the Santander and Perelada festivals. The debut at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in 2018 has meant a relaunch for this contemporary opera, which has already been performed in July 2021 at the Teatro Cervantes in Málaga as a closing show of its 32nd season. Likewise, it was staged at the Teatro Villamarta, Jerez de la Frontera, a theatre that opens its operatic season 2021-2022 during this month (October) as Opera de Tenerife also does.
The poet and playwright Federico García Lorca could not see ‘La casa de Bernarda Alba’ on stage. He finished his last drama in June 1936, two months before being killed. Everything, life and performance, was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War and his death. The play had to wait until 1945 to be premiered at the Teatro Avenida, in Buenos Aires. Lorca described his work as "a women's drama."
This is the story of several women who are practically imprisoned by an authoritarian and harsh mother. After the death of her second husband, she forces her daughters - in their youth - to follow rigorous mourning during eight years. The writer used this argument to criticise double standards, stifling religiosity, hypocrisy, violence, repressed desire, the control of female sexuality and the relegation of women to secondary and insignificant status.
Opera de Tenerife offers a double opera package with a 20% discount. Choose one show of "La casa de Bernarda Alba" (Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday) and one of "Attila" (23, 25 and 27 November) with the possibility of sitting in the same seat.
Tickets can be purchased until one hour before the show on the website www.auditoriodetenerife.com and by dialling the phone number 902 317 327 from Monday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. During the purchase process, the user will have to choose between one or two pre-set seats distributed throughout the hall. The audience is requested use of at the venue well in advance to enter the Auditorium in staggered "waves".
By purchasing tickets, you accept the measures implemented by the cultural centre to combat Coronavirus, such as the correct use of masks and the attendance at the event only with people you live with. All of the measures, as well as the contingency plan certified by AENOR, can be consulted on the Auditorium’s website.