Thu. Nov 14th, 2019

The ‘athlete’ operatic Javier Camarena, after the brands of Alfredo Kraus | Culture


For the Mexican tenor Javier Camarena (Xalapa, Mexico, 43 years old), the ultimate dream would be to sing Rough, as did his admired Alfredo Kraus, who only played Mario Cavaradossi at the opera by Giacomo Puccini at the beginning of his career, in 1956, at the debut of the Canarian singer at age 29 in Cairo and, months later, in Cannes. "One and no more," Spanish must have thought. And something the Mexican must think when it comes to telling his two highest aspirations: “On the fantasy level, like Kraus, sing a Rough it would be like that wow! On the conscious level, I know that I may not arrive, but at least think about doing sometime La Bohème (from Giacomo Puccini) ”. In fact, he has already been doing some rehearsals in concerts, such as with Che gelida manina, the aria of the first act of the famous work of Puccini. Exercises that serve to make "an idea of ​​where the voice is", although with a clear conclusion: "It's good, but not yet."

Javier Camarena, cropped beard and glasses framing a jovial face, spoke Thursday at the Royal Theatre before several media to present his next appearances at the Madrid Coliseum, where he faces the role of Nemorino on Saturday L’elisir d’amore, by Gaetano Donizetti, in one of the 12 functions of this work, and, later, between November 30 and December 20, that of Gualtiero in Il pirateby Vincenzo Bellini. In between, the Mexican will be the protagonist on Wednesday November 13 of the Grand Gala 2019 of the Royal Theater, where he will offer a lesson on the history of the opera with pieces ranging from Giacomo Carissimi (1605-1674) to Jacinto Guerrero (1895- 1951), going through composers like Bellini, Donizetti or Gioachino Rossini.

Javier Camarena, in 'Lucía de Lammermoor', by Gaetano Donizetti, at the Teatro Real in 2018.


Javier Camarena, in 'Lucía de Lammermoor', by Gaetano Donizetti, at the Teatro Real in 2018.

In the act he explained some of the secrets of his career planning to take care of his voice and achieve an intelligent evolution in the repertoire, always with papers planned for years to come. "It is not secret my relationship with Kraus," said Camarena, "I have always mentioned it as a great reference in terms of intelligence when selecting the repertoire. It is true that one must have a full awareness of the vocal possibilities. As you mature, the voice also changes and you have to adapt to these changes, and it is not always easy. Things that made me complicated because of weight, voice color, today I find them very easy, and the things I did before that were super easy today are not so much. It is a constant work of investigation and work as for the own knowledge of the instrument ”.

The tenor explained that for him the most important thing, apart from the voice training exercises, is knowing how to respect his rest needs. “Since my debut 15 years ago, everything has been vertiginous, very very fast, one is constantly traveling to different environments, climates … Respecting my need for rest means equating it to the activity of a high performance athlete. Whoever runs a marathon is not going to run another the next day, and another the next, obviously his performance is going to be less and less. ”

Another of its rules is to consult with specialists, with phonátras, from time to time: “I have almost almost my doctors in each city.” Experts who go to the mechanic as if: “I go to do a checkup, like the race car that goes to the workshop and they will do a tight, a check, to keep it in optimal condition. ”

As for his next steps in the world of opera, he explained that although he still feels very comfortable in the world of belcanto, He wants to evolve towards the French repertoire. And when asked about specific operas, he replied: “Lakmé (Léo Delibes), Romeo and Juliet (Charles Gounod), Manon (Jules Massenet) ". Then add with a laugh:" I'm out there looking for a Splendor (Gounod). " His prospect goes even further: “After this, which will be a period of four years, I will see if I encourage myself at some point to make a Werther (Jules Massenet) and, from here in eight years, if God, life and everything permit me, do my best when facing the French repertoire, which would be The tales of Hoffmann. " Although he added that Jacques Offenbach's opera really sets it as a separate chapter.

Asked if he would dare to do, within the French repertoire, a William TellCamarena confirmed the fame of Gioachino Rossini's opera: "She's a matavoces, that's why I didn't want to do it." And he added: “I only sang it in Italian once in a concert in Budapest, but it's the same: I study it, try it and say‘ it takes a little more time ’, especially to give color to the voice. It is a role that I could consider studying it, rehearsing it and maybe singing it in four or five years. ”

Although he made it clear that he doesn't want to leave the belcanto: "There are still many things I can work on in that part of the repertoire before thinking about other kinds of things." That is why he was very satisfied with the works he has on the bill now at the Teatro Real. So, he explained that L’elisir d’amore It was the first work that was learned completely while still in college, and that is why he has a very special affection: "Having the opportunity to sing it here is something that excites me a lot." Like returning to the Teatro Real, which considers it has a very demanding audience. "I feel really lucky and blessed by the love I feel from the public." And within this beautiful relationship with fans, he recalled the two bises he had to do in November 2014 of the aria Ah, month amis from Regiment's daughter, of Gaetano Donizetti. "There have been memorable and very very exciting nights here at the Royal Theater."

Javier Camarena, in 'The Daughter of the Regiment', at the Teatro Real in 2014.


Javier Camarena, in 'The Daughter of the Regiment', at the Teatro Real in 2014.

As for the next premiere of Il pirate, He said that although it corresponds to a Belcantist composer, Vincenzo Bellini, his composition, his writing, went more towards a romantic style, with much more dramatic tones for the character. His character, Gualtiero, the hero in love with Imogene, who is married to his “arch nemesis” Ernesto, enters, he explains, of “the typical fight of the tenor's belcanth against the baritone for the love of the soprano.”

Finally, on a personal level, the Mexican tenor confessed that in his house, near Zurich, he does not listen to opera: "I love opera but I come to my house and I want something else, I want to rest." That is why, I assure, it is easier to listen to the guitar pieces that his wife plays or the songs of Katy Perry or Ariana Grande that her daughter listens to: "The least that is heard in my house is opera."

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