Sunday, May 29, 2016
With a voice that could soar over any orchestra and that is beautiful in the extreme, the Mexican tenor is proving his credentials on the world stageLast month, the Mexican tenor Javier Camarena caused a stir at New York’s Metropolitan opera house when he encored the second section of Ernesto’s aria Cercherò lontana terra during a performance of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale. Encores during a complete performance of an opera, as opposed to a recital, remain rare in most houses. But such was the excitement generated by Camarena’s singing, and in particular the electrifying top D flat with which he ended the aria, that he was allowed, during a Saturday matinée broadcast, to repeat it. It is not the first time it has happened: twice in 2014, he encored Ramiro’s showstopper from Rossini’s La Cenerentola. But he’s only the third tenor to be permitted to repeat arias at the Met since 1942, the other two being Luciano Pavarotti and Juan Diego Flórez.The UK has yet fully to get the measure of him, though you can hear him at this year’s Proms in Opera Rara’s performance of Rossini’s Semiramide, and next season at Covent Garden, when he makes his Royal Opera debut as Almaviva in The Barber of Seville. Last night, however, he appeared at the Wigmore Hall in one of the Rosenblatt recitals, the series that showcases singers, familiar or otherwise, in a repertory of their own choosing. It was quite an occasion, and one that proved Camarena’s growing reputation to be entirely justified. Continue reading...
Rome Opera has launched a young artist programme in a bid to address the lack of Italian singers – tenors most particularly. It’s not just talent that’s lacking; it’s looks – and application. Elisabeth Braw reports on the shortage in this week’s Economist: Ernesto Palacio, a Peruvian tenor and veteran artist manager, has noticed the change during several decades living in Italy. “There are good voices in Italy,” he says, “but many of them think a good voice is enough and don’t want to learn the other aspects such as acting.” With the proliferation of opera simulcasts, opera singers are expected to act well and look good too. Despite his glorious voice, Pavarotti may not have made the cut today. Read the full article here.
Like the Pope in St Peter’s Square, the maestro has given his annual interview blessing to Corriere della Sera. In in, Riccardo Muti laments the decline of the essence of Italy, its savours, its habits and its music. He has a nice way of evoking an image: The Alps separate the world of frost and suet from the sun and the oil. Our blood circulates differently. And the essence of our spirit is melody. Pavarotti was the greatest of the past half-century not just for voice, but because he sang with a mixture of joy and sadness that is in our nature. Unfortunately Italy today can no longer either suffer, or smile. … I remember the first time I went to the Bellini (Theatre). It was 1966, and Catania was filled with the scent of orange blossoms; today you smell only kebab. I owe everything to Italy. In particular, I owe it all to the South.
50 Best Placido Domingo Arias! Performed by Placido Domingo (tenor) This 3-CD set contains 50 tracks featuring one of the greatest tenors of this age: Plácido Domingo . Born in Spain in 1941, Domingo spent his early life in Mexico where his parents, both singers, ran a company that presented Spanish light operas and other musical shows. His career has spanned the entire world in a wide range of operas in which he has sung over 120 roles, and in 1990 he made history when, with José Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti, he first appeared in Rome as one of the “The Three Tenors”, whose subsequent concerts and recordings broke all records for television viewing and record sales. The three CD’s provide us with the following wonderful music: CD – 1 is mainly a collection of arias and duets by Verdi. It begins with the ‘Celeste Aida’, which is followed by favorite arias from Un Ballo in Maschera, La Forza del Destino, Don Carlo, Macbeth, Ernani, and Otello. Then there is a light-hearted performance of the Brindisi from La Traviata recorded at the end of a Covent Garden Gala and Domingo invites the audience to join in. The CD concludes with two arias by Puccini from La Bohème and La Fanciulla del West. CD – 2 carries on with highlights from Puccini’s Manon Lescaut and Tosca and then moves on to arias from Boito’s Mefistofele and Mascagni’s Nerone, plus the delightful ‘Cherry Duet’ from Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz. All really marvelous singing for any Opera fan! CD – 3 starts with some favorite arias from French opera including ‘Salut! demeure’ from Gounod’s Faust and ‘Ô paradis’ from Meyerbeer’s L’africaine. Then comes Lensky’s Aria from Eugene Onegin by Tchaikovsky, four of Mozart’s most lyrical tenor arias from Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte and Die Zauberflöte, and finally two typically Viennese pieces: ‘Wien, du Stadt meine Träume’ and ‘Dein ist mein ganzes Herz’ from the operetta Das Land des Lächelns. This is a great variety of music, beautifully performed by one of the great tenors, and now he’s also making a name for himself as an orchestral conductor. Here is Placido Domingo in “La Paloma”:
St George’s Hall, LiverpoolNigel Osborne’s arrangements of folk songs by inhabitants of the Bosnian town were dark, complex and moving, without ever overwhelming their material When Nigel Osborne was requested to write a piece marking 20 years since the conclusion of the war in Bosnia he declined, claiming he would be unable to do it justice. That may seem surprising, given the composer experienced the conflict as a humanitarian volunteer (he was instrumental, with the charity War Child, in establishing the Pavarotti Music Centre in Mostar), and subsequently created a music theatre trilogy, Sarajevo, and an opera, Europa. What he has done, however, is produce arrangements for Bosnian Voices, a suite of songs written by inhabitants of the town of Srebrenica. It draws from a remarkable cross section of the population, including Romany children, rape victims and rock musicians; and though Osborne’s accompaniments are dark and complex, influenced by the chiming of the Orthodox church bells and the Muslim call to prayer, they never threaten to overwhelm the direct expression of these fragile, contemporary folk songs. Continue reading...
Great opera singers