When she turns 25 years old, the Jove Orquestra Nacional de Catalunya (JONC) has received a commission that is in itself a test of maturity: interpreting a staged opera, an arduous undertaking that she had not yet had the chance to face. The event will take place in the German town of Weikersheim. The Musical Youth of Germany have invited the Catalan group to put the music in a new production of this title of Puccini directed musically by maestro Fausto Nardi. It is a five-week residence and will offer nine functions. But before leaving, the group of Manel Valdivieso wanted to offer a semi-staged version in their land: yesterday, Thursday, it was shown at the L'Atlàntida theater in Vic and today at the Palau de la Música in Barcelona.
"Making opera means for these young talents to expand the natural repertoire of the orchestra, which has already passed through the most important symphonies. It is opening a door to a repertoire that requires a different planning, which requires care because it is about coordinating in the previous rehearsals with the soloists, etc. ", explains Valdivieso. "The main lesson is to listen to the voice and know the role of each singer. The truth is that in many rehearsals I make the musicians sing the singer's phrases, because if you connect well with the text it is much easier to accompany and bend the vocal performer. They are talented people and the trial runs a lot. "
Some of the members of this youth group have already participated in small opera productions, but here it is a question of going to a very high level of detail. The solo voices are young people between 21 and 34 who have been chosen for the first JONC Opera Academy. The protagonist, Mimì, is a young student of the Conservatori Superior del Liceu, Violeta Alarcón, and seconded in the role of Rodolfo the Mallorcan tenor Antoni Lliteres, whose voice demonstrates real career possibilities, according to Valdivieso.
Among the performers of secondary roles, Marta Bauzá stands out as Musetta, a young woman from Majorca who has trained in Barcelona and has already passed through the Liceu and Valencia, and has sung oratorios and small operas. And Guillem Batllori and Ferran Albrich will take turns as Marcello.
The actor and stage director David Selvas assumes a semi-montage, as the one in the Palau today is a concert version sprinkled with scenes. It is about the singers having the opportunity to improve from the dramatic and theatrical point of view. "Not only is it a question of moving, but of making sure that the character is well described and explained, and that they interpret it with intensity," says the head of the JONC.
"It's the first time I've been working in an opera, and I'm excited to contribute to that pedagogical display so that young artists have the experience of playing complicated materials and setting goals," says David Selvas. "The problem that we faced was how to explain this opera without editing or subtitles, that is, with a minimum conceptual mise-en-scene so that people understand it".
In Germany the staging is complete. There they put their own singers and their own scenic montage, with the help of the Leipzig Opera. The JONC is, in short, the guest orchestra.