“The favorite” by Donizetti. Interpreters: Nancy Fabiola Herrera, Carlos Álvarez, Ismael Jordi, Pavel Shmulevich, Luis Pacetti, Lucía Millán, Daniel Romero de la Rocha. Málaga Philharmonic Orchestra and Málaga Opera Choir. Curro Carreres, stage director Salvador Allemandi, musicial director. Cervantes Theater. Malaga, 4-III- 2020.
«La Favorita» is one of the classics of belcanto, a title that requires a great mezzo, a great baritone and a great tenor, in addition to an important bass. One of those titles in which to make scenic virguerías is very complicated. They say that man proposes and God disposes. This happened in the Scala in 1974, in one of those representations that one cannot forget. They sang it no less than Fiorenza Cossotto, Piero Cappuccilli, Luciano Pavarotti and Ivo Vinco. This one, who was the mezzo’s husband, was not very well tuned and she became nervous. Baritone and tenor were infected and the representation ended with boos after which Pavarotti withdrew from the remaining representations and Cossotto swore not to return to the Scala. Malaga bet very strongly for this title, announcing María José Montiel, Carlos Álvarez, Ismael Jordi and Pavel Shmulevich. The first one fell off the poster long ago due to illness, being replaced by a no less excellent mezzo, Nancy Fabiola Herrera, but it came to the first rehearsal and did not have time to recover for the premiere.
In that first rehearsal he infected the tenor, who could only intervene in the general despite debuting the role, but fortunately he recovered for the premiere. The indisposition of Fabiola Herrera was not initially announced, although it was obvious during the first part, in which he also tried to sing while the children on the scene played and talked to each other. It was announced after the break and she, with all her professionalism and good will, tried in vain to sing. It was an ordeal, first of all for her and then for the rest of the cast and the public. Something like that is never pleasant and from here my mood and best wishes for the recovery of the untimely flu for Nancy Fabiola Herrera. Carlos Álvarez wore his privileged baritonal timbre, powerful and clearer than before, in a solid Alfonso XI, although the bel canto is not his most appropriate repertoire. Pavel Shmulevich composed a worthy prior and the rest of the cast kept up a good tone. Who was perfect in his role was Ismael Jordi, with a voice of increasing flow, an impeccable line of Belcantist singing, taste and multiple details in half voices, rowy and reliable reminiscent of those of Kraus, Aragall or Corelli in this role. Exciting his “Gentle Spirto”, the great aria of that final act that at the time was said written by God. Salvador Allemandi is always safe, arranging and solving shortcomings thanks to his proven experience, with a volunteer Philharmonic of Malaga and an improvable Choir of the Opera of Malaga. The scene presented a first part as one day the opera was made, based on cardboard stone, in the second want to reflect the way it is done today. The addition of the ballet pretended to be a bond of union, but did not contribute anything, despite the deserving efforts of the dancers, and unnecessarily lengthened a performance that we all wanted to respond to the excellent initial purposes. The public understood and cheered everyone warmly.