Javier Camarena: «Alfredo Kraus has been a reference for me, almost perfect»

«The format of the piano recital is much more intimate. It is much more exposed than the opera, where there are costumes and a scene, among other elements, or a concert-orchestra, simply because the voice is given with a single accompanying instrument.. I will make a program that takes us through a roller coaster of emotions always accompanied by wonderful music”, pointed out the tenor Javier Camarena during the presentation of his performance on Thursday, January 20, at the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium, which was also attended by the Deputy Minister of Culture of the Government of the Canary Islands, Juan Márquez, and the director of the International Music Festival of the Canary Islands, Jorge Perdigón. He added that he did not have the opportunity to meet Alfredo Kraus in person, but that he “would have loved to hear him live. There remains a whole phonographic heritage that he left throughout his history, some videos and records of his way of treating and conceiving singing, it is one of the main references in my operatic work, for being practically perfect».

Camarena, considered one of the best tenors in the world, joins the 38 FIMC with two recitals in the two capital auditoriums. The Mexican artist is one of the prestigious soloists who coincide in this edition, claimed on all stages for the elegance of his voice, the beauty of his sunny timbre and natural virtuosity.

The artist was grateful to be back in Las Palmas where he had already had the opportunity to perform at the Pérez Galdós Theater performing The daughter of the regiment and he already performed at the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium paying homage to the great master. «The piano recital is much more exposed than the opera, simply the voice with a single accompanying instrument that, with maestro Ángel Rodríguez, looks like an orchestra». He added that “we have prepared a program with a very well thought out recital, with two very well defined parts. The first includes opera, where works by Jules Massenet and Léo Delibes, Cilea, Verdi and Donizetti will be presented. We will make a journey through these two different styles: French and Italian opera in a chronological way, starting from bel canto and reaching verismo with Frederick's Lament».

neapolitan song

There will be a second part dedicated to the Neapolitan song that also «can only refer us to a or only mine, a light song, but in reality there are many songs like the ones we have chosen, with a dramatic and interpretive depth in great demand, which include I voglio so much good or Core 'ngrate». Afterwards there will be a part dedicated to Spanish music singing the Parakeet Serenade of the zarzuela the guitar player and «we close with a song by Antón García Abril from his Tribute to Gayarre I sing because I'm happy». It is a program that "takes us on a roller coaster of emotions always accompanied by wonderful music." Ángel Rodríguez will interpret some piece of his own authorship as arranger of the Havana of Carmen and Luis Alonso's wedding.

Camarena has been working in this format since she has been performing with maestro Rodríguez for 11 years. The recital is not always well received by the singers because it is very exposed. «Normally German or French song cycles are made, something much more specific in terms of chamber music. When speaking of intimacy I mean only the presence of the singer in front of his audience. I love it because it allows me a much more direct communication, I have the possibility of monologuing with the spectators during the concerts, referring to some feeling, making a point about some of the topics».

"The piano recital is much more exposed than the opera and more intimate," said the artist


“This is the third year that we have toured Spain. We have passed through several rooms and looked for the possibility of presenting ourselves in the different forums of the country. In Tenerife I have been with a great Canarian tenor, Celso Albelo. I love having the opportunity to return to Las Palmas, ”said the prestigious voice yesterday. «I have always been very cautious in choosing the repertoire, a fundamental part of caring for vocal health. I protect her more and more." Above C high the tenor will not sing, except for encores, perhaps. “The do I will use for the gentle spirit and I will issue notes below. It will be the only time that I will use this high pitched voice since this recital has other virtues, difficulties and ways of showing off that not only the impact of a high pitched voice. There is a lot of dramatic depth already from the end of the first part of the program. Towards the tips we will see if something comes out ».

Javier Camarena, in the center, during the presentation of his performance today at the Alfredo Kraus, together with Juan Márquez, on the left, and Jorge Perdigón, on the right. Andrew Cruz

When he came to perform for the first time in Gran Canaria with The daughter of the regiment worked with a wonderful team and created a great atmosphere. He had the opportunity to coincide for the first time on stage with one of the sopranos he most admires, Jessica Pratt. «It was a very nice production where we enjoyed. María was a military mechanic and I was the attaché who wanted to make her fall in love. Sing oh! month friends climbing into a bunk bed was a challenge.” As for the new roles that he is going to play in the near future, Lucia of Lammermoor, a new production at the Met, a Magic Flute at the Liceu, his debut in the role of Tamino, «which will not be one of great fireworks in terms of treble, but which has a poetic and dramatic intensity that really catches my attention». The remainder of the year is planned for a participation, to resume some Donizetti opera for the festival of the same name in Bergamo. «There is a lot of belcanto, but for the next season three roles will be released: Alfredo de the mischiefGrieux from the opera Manon by Massenet and towards the end of next year I will try to debut Romeo from the play Romeo and Juliet of Gounod. It's about two French operatic roles which is where I'm trying to take my repertoire in the next few years."

«I will not use the treble much because the virtues of this concert lie in the dramatic charge»


Among the works that Camarena likes the most are Petrarch's sonnets by Liszt for the expressive possibility that he finds in the text, which blends perfectly with the melodic treatment that the composer brings to these themes. «It is one of the works that I enjoy singing the most, I also like Bellini's chamber songs a lot, I think more than his operas, which are beautiful, but they are not without their share of complexity, more because, in the specific case of Bellini, he made many more compositions for the singer of his time who was Rubini. At that time the vocal technique was different and it was sung in a different way. That is why we find all these overtones that make it practically impossible to execute it». The tenor enjoys Bellini more in his chamber compositions, but also Agustín Lara, María Grever, Álvaro Carrillo, José Alfredo Jiménez, all these bolero composers, "all my part of the Mexican soul."

"A career is based on the artist's ability to recognize his possibilities, but also his limitations to, based on that, decide how to make up his repertoire," concluded the tenor.

concerts of the week

The Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra made its debut last night at the Tenerife Auditorium in the shelter of the Canary Islands International Music Festival, after beginning its tour of the islands on La Palma, and will disembark this Sunday, June 23, at the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium. They are accompanied by acclaimed violinist Sergei Dogabin. For its part, the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra will perform tomorrow in Tenerife under the direction of maestro Gustavo Gimeno, with Beatriz Rana on piano. The group will perform the following day at the Alfredo Kraus in the capital of Gran Canaria. Likewise, the tenor Manuel Gómez Ruiz and the Trio Arbós culminate this week their tour of the islands within the framework of the festival, which continues next week with concerts on the different islands. | LP.


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