Normalcy appears in Gran Canarian opera with the "perfection" of 'Un ballo in Maschera'


From left to right, Daniele Piscopo, Judit Kutasi. Ramón Vargas, Rebeka Lokar, Tilman Kuttenkeuler, Carlos Álvarez, Ulises Jaén and Francesco Ivan Ciampa, yesterday. / COVER

Ramón Vargas, Carlos Álvarez and Rebeka Lokar lead the cast of the Verdi production on April 26, 28 and 30, at the Pérez Galdós Theater

Victoriano Suarez Alamo

After two years of operatic productions developed with multiple technical, artistic and capacity restrictions to fight against the covid-19 pandemic, the capital of Gran Canaria is once again looking at the old normality by the hand of
'Un ballo in maschera' (A masquerade ball)considered to be one of the most “perfect” pieces in the Verdi repertoire.

Ulises Jaen, artistic director of the 55th season of Ópera de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Alfredo Kraus, organized by the association
Canary Friends of the Opera (ACO), is all praise for this tragic melodrama in three acts that will be performed without cuts and with the breaks of yesteryear.

“This is the seventh time that ACO has done it. It's from the operas
best known and most beautiful, thanks to the succession of melodies and wonderful numbers that it has. The solo parts are very well written and I think he has the best written tenor role ever. It is a difficult role, but the writing is perfect for a lyrical tenor, although other types of tenors have also interpreted it », he assures.

That
role is that of Riccardowhich in this production is assumed by the Mexican Ramón Vargas for the performances scheduled for the days
April 26, 28 and 30, always at 8:00 p.m., at the Pérez Galdós Theater in the capital.

«Verdi intended this role for King Gustaf III of Sweden, who was injured at a masquerade ball. But they advised him not to write it for a king because he might incite someone to attack.
That's why he moves him to Boston and it's about an earl», explains the prestigious Mexican singer who is very happy and at the same time aware of the responsibility that comes with making his debut on an island «with a great cultural and musical tradition».

Vargas defends the value of opera productions since, beyond the beauty of the music and the arias that compose them, they count
“true stories and emotions”something that, he believes, "has not changed since the Greeks."

It also highlights the fact that art strengthens ties like no other activity is capable of achieving. «It unites us, something that religions, politics and sports do not do. We are all together, coming from different places, to harmonize and offer a work that touches hearts with true stories”, emphasizes the tenor.

Ulises Jaén points out that the cast of the production, which is completed with
Rebeka Lokar, Carlos Álvarez, Judit Kutasi, Leonor Bonilla, Manuel Fuentes, Miguel Ángel Zapater, Fernando Campero, Manuel García and César Morales, is of "the highest category and would be signed by any theater in the world". Share this assessment Francesco Ivan Ciampa, who holds the reins in the pit of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Gran Canaria. «It is very difficult to create a 'cast' of voices of this level. Audiences are very lucky not to have to take a plane or two to London or Vienna to see a cast of this caliber," he notes.

Ciampa he also highlights the fact that 'Un ballo in maschera' is an opera "very difficult because it is really perfect". Unlike others in the repertoire, his productions cannot be "cut down" because all the music
"It's perfect," he reiterates.and because "each character is conceived with incredible care and attention to detail."

From his point of view, one of the most complex sections for its development consists of "managing the different atmospheres" that arise during its development.
«The orchestra has to be like a velvet floor that allows the voice of the singers to be transmitted to the public»says the Italian director, who considers that the beauty of this Verdi opera should be used by the public in the next three performances to "heal the soul" in these dark times marked by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

Daniele Piscopo signs a scenography that seeks to respect Verdi's music and Antonio Somma's libretto from the present. «The first thing you think about is doing something new and modern that makes an impact. But I opted for a classic mise-en-scène, because
it has to be what Verdi wrote and my contribution consists of a new vision without touching the details, respecting the singers», he advances.

Carlos Álvarez highlights "the full relevance" of aspects of the plot

The Spanish baritone Carlos Álvarez returns to the capital of Gran Canaria, where he premiered for the first time 32 years ago, to give life to the role of Renato in 'Un ballo in maschera'. "It's like starting over, because the important thing is here and now, the moment you go on stage. In this case I do it with this family, since we singers spend a third of our lives with our partners. What we feel among ourselves is very important because we transmit it to the public”, assures this artist with a prestigious and extensive international career.

He emphasizes that this opera develops a story of "intrigues, disappointments, love and revenge". Issues, he says, that "have not changed over time and that are fully current." He gives as an example of his affirmation one of the moments that Renato will experience him on stage: «He is betrayed by his friend and his wife and his first idea is revenge. He tells his wife that he will not take revenge on his son but that he will look for the blood elsewhere. Now that there is so much talk about vicarious violence, this has to make us reflect.

For her part, the soprano Rebeka Lokar gives life to Amelia for the third time in her career, a role with which she debuted on stage. "For me it is a blessing to be with these singers and to be able to convey everything that my character feels to the public with them," she says.

The functions are with the capacity at 100%, the breaks are recovered and the public is recommended to keep the masks.



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