Raquel García Tomás, Barcelona, 1984, is not a newcomer to the opera universe. Of his five productions made, we had already seen two in Madrid before this Je suis narcissiste. He signed a part of DIDO reloaded, collective project of four composers, and half of another, DISPLACE, in collaboration with Joan Magrané and with the librettist Helena Tornero, with whom he repeats in Je suis narcissiste, su first solo opera, that it was expected with expectation in the seats of the Madrid Spanish Theater.
Je suis narcissiste, music by Raquel García Tomás; libretto by Helena Tornero. Musical direction, Vinicius Kattah. Stage direction, Marta Pazos. Soloists of the Royal Theater Orchestra. Interpreters, Elena Copons, Toni Marsol, Maria Hinojosa, Joan Ribalta. Production of Butxaca i Nova Creació, in co-production with Teatro Real, Teatro Español and Teatre Lliure. Spanish Theater of Madrid, 7 to 10 March.
Je suis narcissiste It is, in principle, a comic opera, quite a risk. In it, Raquel García Tomás performs a portentous music that shows a composer full of resources and imagination. García Tomás, from the outset, abandons any complex in relation to stylistic loans or appointments and shows that there is no comic opera possible from experimentalism, enough experiment is already to try. The consequence is a sovereign music that sparks its small orchestra of eleven performers. It will be necessary to follow with attention any new adventure of this Barcelona creator in full maturity.
But a comic opera is not a piece of funny theater and the libretto by Helena Tornero does not get the right tone for the miracle that is always the lyrical theater to take place. The connection with the language has to be impeccable from the musicality. The moments in which this occurs give the key to a fusion that when it stops performing, suffers; they are excellent, for example, the principle, dazzling without hardly saying anything, the second intervention of the elevator operator, the accumulation of words that evoke those crazy texts of Les mamelles de Tiresias (the work of the writer Guillaume Apollinaire, opera by Francis Poulenc). Anyway, the fact of trying it and having partially achieved it deserves an applause without restrictions, only that way a space for the lyrical theater in our language (or languages) will be obtained that will take us out of the experimental limbo.
The staging of Marta Pazos It is professionally excellent, but, by not positioning itself before the essential pulse of the proposal, it tends to excess. No jokes and gracietas are added without stopping that tend to blur a music that oscillates between the effectiveness and the technical portent. In reality, García Tomás is a victim of his own talent, capable as he is of supplying musical environments to any situation, it seems as if his collaborators felt her as a creator of incidental music. Anyway, Je suis narcissiste It is an opera of very high voltage and those who do not feel the urge to finally reach a current lyric theater adapted to all its means, surely enjoy it more than me.
The four singers interpreters deserve a separate chapter. They tell us the vicissitudes of Clotilde assuming that the current singer should sing well without leaving aside any scenic challenge. The musical direction of Vinicius Kattah moves the eleven soloists of the Orquesta Titular del Teatro Real. Magnificent also the technical team that, in a choral way, illuminates, dresses and moves the elements of the staging.