interview with tenor aquiles machado
The Spanish-Venezuelan singer is one of the attractions of 'Secretos Líricos', a concert that takes place today at 8:00 p.m.
Aquiles Machado returns to the capital of Gran Canaria, where he made his European debut a quarter of a century ago, to participate together with the Mexican soprano María Katzarava and the baritone from Tenerife Augusto Brito in 'Secretos Líricos', an extraordinary concert that brings together this Wednesday at the Hotel Santa Catalina to the Sodre Youth Orchestra of Uruguay and the Atlantic Youth Symphony Orchestra.
-Wanting to perform again in the Canary Islands? Are you aware that the public of the islands feels like 'theirs'?
-The truth is that I really want it and it's not only because the public has shown me so much affection for so many years. I adore the public of the Canary Islands because it is my home. I debuted here. Always helped, supported. Every time I go back it's like coming home. It is my home, in Spain, and I love the islands very much. And, like a good prodigal son, every time I can I return to sing. I am very, very, very happy to be back, and I hope to meet again with many people that I love and that I haven't seen for a little while.
-In 'Secretos Líricos' you will share the stage with the Mexican soprano María Katzarava, in her first performance in the Canary Islands.
-María is a great artist with whom I have already sung on occasion. She is a truly exciting person and passionate about what she does. She is one of the most lyrical voices I have ever heard in lyricism, and meeting her again excites me.
-What would you say you can expect in your debut on the islands?
-I would tell her to take advantage of the emotion and excitement that her voice will produce in the public, because people in the Canary Islands know about voices and I know that when they listen to her they will realize that they are dealing with a great artist. That she receives with emotion that affection that the Canarian public is going to give her and that she try, please, to return to the Canary Islands more times. As many as she can.
-The concert will unite the Sodre Youth Orchestra of Uruguay and the Atlantic Youth Symphony Orchestra. Surrounding yourself with young talent must be refreshing. What repertoire will they give us?
-It's refreshing and it's also promising. Knowing that all these young orchestras are working at such a serious level is something that fills one with hope for the future. The repertoire with which we will be working is none other than Spanish, which is essential for all of us Spanish-speakers. A repertoire that I think should have a much more important place in the international music scene. These meetings are essential for the multiplication, diffusion and growth of the repertoire.
-'Secretos Líricos' will take place in the gardens of the Hotel Santa Catalina. Is it necessary to take more of the lyric out of theaters and auditoriums?
I have always been a kind of supporter of these ideas. There is nothing like enjoying the opera in a theater, which is its original place, but, like everything else, evolving and adapting to the times is also very important. And, above all, adapt to the needs of the people. Bringing academic music to unconventional, more accessible spaces, to spaces that may be more inspiring at a certain moment, magical, or enclavic in a city, makes music part of an environment that is not only cultural, but also urban. By doing it intelligently it is possible to achieve wonderful things that can make people change their perspective, because sometimes people walk away from the theater for fear of not understanding it, or getting bored, or not reaching them.
-The hotel will also host the high performance course 'Zarzuela Estudio', in which you will be one of the speakers. What will you try to convey?
-One of the fundamental aspects within this course is the sensitization by the teachers towards the students of the importance of the repertoire. The expression of 'small genre' does not have to do with it being a less important genre, but rather with its duration. And it's very, very difficult music to make. Giving back that work, that respect, that technical curiosity, that expressive particularity that it must have, and concentrating on it with the seriousness that it requires is something very interesting. Behind the zarzuela there is an enormous amount of work, and the way of seeing it, the way of studying it, has to be as meticulous and as careful as someone who takes the most complex of symphonies.
-How do you see the lyrical reality after the pandemic? What is the biggest problem you detect, and where do you think the solutions may lie?
-There are several problematic situations. Not only for lyrics, but for all shows that require the presence of people in theaters. It is less and less, but people still have reservations to shut themselves up for two hours with other people they do not know. Another is the loss of spaces. Of many. It is no secret that there are entities, agents and cultural companies that have taken over spaces that were closed during the pandemic and have in their hands sites that were previously more plural. The consequence is that now the theater posters all look alike. One of the wonderful things about opera and theaters is the identification with the individual, with the region, with the place. We hope that in the coming years we will meet again with the closest artists and grow culturally with them.
- Has your perspective changed somewhat after your appointment as artistic director of the lyrical programming of A Coruña? What plans does he have for his 70th birthday?
-One thing has changed, and it is that one becomes aware that time passes. We singers have the mania that we continue to think that at eighty years of age we are with a rose. What happened in A Coruña gives me the opportunity to think and to be aware that as time goes by, different responsibilities have to be assumed. I have always liked to lend a hand, help the generations to come. From A Coruña I hope to be able to open spaces and give opportunities to many young people and to be able to make them coexist with artists who already have a career. Because new formulas come from there, new generations of great artists.
-What authors and genres are you currently exploring?
-When they ask me what repertoire I'm working on, normally what I say is that in which my voice allows me at that time. I have followed the evolution of my instrument and at the moment it leads me to work on another type of repertoire. I am currently opening a large part of the authors of the 'verismo' that I had yet to open. I have to explore this repertoire of full lyrical tenor, and I'm on it; studying while waiting for the opportunity to release it. It's always difficult to convince people, as happened to me with the leap from 'bel canto' to singing Verdi, to singing Puccini. Now we are in that moment of convincing people that this is the new space in which I want to work.
-How do you take care of your voice?
-The care of the voice is more linked to common sense than to a very strict thing. You have to be careful in the places where you are, not to shout like crazy with life, watch a little the things you eat, that you are not affected by the acids in the strings, the spicy ones, the smoke... The secret more Rest is important. There is nothing like resting your voice to recover it. And that is something that is important. Learning to manage dates over the years is to the benefit of vocality.
-Any recording on the horizon?
-I'm preparing an album with my friend Aquiles Báez. It is an album of unreleased song, own song, based on the formal song genre, accompanied by guitar and voice. We are working to record a cycle of fifteen songs. All with my poetry and music by Aquiles Báez. We hope to bring the work to market in February or March of next year.