Bravo Cura

Celebrating José Cura--Singer, Conductor, Director

 

 

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We are back, and boy, did a lot of things happen while we were on vacation!

José Cura returned to Oman after his success in 2018 (Pagliacci) and this time he brought a few friends with him.

Cura was able to negotiate with the theater to have the entire orchestra and chorus from Teatro Colón journey to Oman to play for Bizet's Carmen.  In between performances, they also performed Beethoven's 9th for Maestro Cura. 

We can't imagine how exhausting it must have been for everyone but they triumphed!

It's been an intense couple of months for Cura so we hope he will be able to head home to Madrid and just relax for a while before he gets back into his hectic schedule and heads to Shanghai in October.

Onward to the 2020-2021 Season!

 


 

"Israeli-American violinist Pinchas Zukerman will partner with Adelaide Symphony Orchestra for a concert at Shanghai Symphony Hall on October 20. On the same day, Argentine tenor Jose Cura will perform with the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra for a concert at Shanghai Oriental Art Center."

 


Carmen - Muscat

[Excerpt]

 

Muscat: An Oscar winning art director has praised His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said for bringing the Royal Opera House to Muscat and connecting everyone from across the world through it.

Speaking to Times of Oman during rehearsals before the new season kicks in on Wednesday, September 11, Gianni Quaranta said that he always talks about Oman when he is with his friends.

The director, who has bagged several awards during his lifetime including an Oscar in Art Direction for the film ‘A Room with a view’ said: “When I am back home, something that I really love to share with my friends is how happy I am that His Majesty the Sultan, being a lover of opera himself, had this amazing idea of opening the Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM). It is not just a theatre but also a place where people come together, and this is what music does all over the world: it brings everyone and any culture together. So, I would like to thank him as this is something really wonderful”.

Returning to Oman after a gap of eight years, Quaranta is the director, set and costume designer for one of the most frequently performed operas in the classical canon, Carmen, which came to the ROHM as a specially commissioned production for the landmark Inaugural Season in 2011.

[...]

Speaking about how he feels about reconnecting with the lead performer – José Cura, who will appear as Don José - Quaranta said that no one better than him could have done it.

“I am glad to be working with Cura again. I remember 25 years ago when he won a singing competition at the festival in Argentina, we got an opportunity to work together back then. It is absolutely wonderful to see him again as a grown man as he was a very young boy the last time I saw him.

“I am really excited about the fact that Cura will be a leading character in Carmen as I really wanted to represent the character of José in a deeper way, and no one better than him could have done it,” Quaranta said.

 

Reviews

 

Note:  this is an excerpt.  Please read David's complete, fascinating, and insightful review at

https://operawire.com/royal-opera-house-muscat-2019-20-review-carmen/

 

Royal Opera House Muscat Review: Carmen

 

Buoyed by Vibrant Artists, Gianni Quaranta’s Production is Glorious To Behold

 

OperaWire

David Salazar

 

(Photo credit: Khalid AlBusaidi / ROHM)

This review is for performances on Sept. 11 and 14, 2019.

 

Writing a review after an initial performance of any run is a challenging proposition. You are essentially recording your views on a first impression without really getting a chance to see the full picture. There are many reasons why this is the case, but in taking on some productions, it is truly possible to get a more panoramic view of a production and its development to fully understand the artistic intentions.

This was undeniably the case with the Royal Opera House Muscat’s production of Bizet’s “Carmen,” which opened on Sept. 11, 2019 and featured two subsequent performances over three nights. OperaWire saw the opening and closing night shows, which were completely different in how they told the story.

The production, a revival of Gianni Quaranta’s vision, is a visual spectacle that rivals the imperious opera house itself and its own imposing elegance and vibrancy. Quaranta’s set design is Zeffirelli-esque in its incredible detail, immersive nature, and adherence to a traditional approach to the French opera.

 

Glorious Hyper-Realism

As audiences entered the hall, the stage represented the outside of a bullring with three archways in the center. During the overture, a few towns people, dressed in Spanish garb of the 1800s would walk to and fro. Immediately, this established the world of the story, but also emphasized the motif of the bullring as central to the story. It also teased the opera’s final scene in which José and Carmen’s fateful confrontation would take place in the exact place where the opera started.

The bullring would then open up to reveal the distinct locations of the four acts, each opening frame an assault on the senses, in the best of ways. For Act one, we got to see the town square, with a glorious backdrop that rendered the town expanding into the distance. In Act two, Lillas Pastias’ Inn was rendered gloriously with chiaroscuro lighting. Perhaps the most incredible image to materialize when the bullring parted was the two level mountains of Act three with caves and alcoves embedded to create a sense of increased claustrophobia. Set against blue lighting, the coldness of this environment only furthered the increased distance between Carmen and José. Finally, Act four opened up to the inside of the bull ring itself with a massive chorus seated all over. The parade itself entered, with horses from the Omani Sultan’s own stable joining in, adding to the sense of spectacle and hyper-realism at hand; the varied color of the distinct wardrobes added to this overwhelming experience.

The set then closed up again for the final confrontation, emphasizing the circular nature of the story.

[...]

 

The Tragedy of Don José

But the most questionable aspect of the production was the narrative shift to portraying the opera globally as the tragedy of Don José.

As the overture shifts to the Andante moderato in A minor, a man limps on stage, seemingly running away from some oncoming attacker. As he nearly makes his way from stage left to right, his attacker reveals himself – Don José. The opera’s tragic hero suddenly runs across the stage, behind the columns and stabs the man. The overture comes to an end with that image, suddenly transforming the entire story and subverting audience expectations in a truly uncomfortable way.

Per Quaranta’s program notes, José is wanted for this murder and thus enlists in the army to redeem himself and show himself to be a man of honor. As such, the opera’s formal narrative becomes, as Quaranta notes, “a drama about the impossibility of escaping one’s temperament.”

We get closer looks at José’s monstrous behavior as he impulsively kills Zuñiga at the end of Act two and abuses Carmen right from the start of their reunion in Act two; his famed aria “La fleur que tu m’avais jetée” is not a declaration of love but an apology after having grabbed Carmen and thrown her violently to the floor. It only goes downhill from there.

A dark vision of José is in and of itself not problematic, especially in the #metoo mileu.

Tenor José Cura, who interpreted the character, noted in conversation that he sees José’s love for Carmen as nothing more than sexual awakening for a teenager and that his possession arises not from a sense of love, but machismo insecurity. Quaranta’s argument, also expressed in conversation, furthers this assessment of José as an exploration of a social attitude, noting that the character’s murderous tendencies needed to come from somewhere and as depicted in the opera, it is hard to believe that a man of virtue could stoop so low without antecedents of such behavior. Furthermore, by being forgiven for his crime, he was being supported by the social structure. Finally, he pointed to Merimée’s darker vision of the character in the original novella.

And this is all well and fine, but it comes at a cost – Carmen. 

Any potential “love” between them does not exist in this production. The opera itself doesn’t present many chances for creating a credible sense of connection between the two and the choices here only furthered the audience from any such notion. Quaranta has explained that Omani regulations forbid that he have the characters engage in any suggestive behavior, with even kissing completely off limits. This undeniably hindered this aspect of the production, but with no other workaround, the result only emphasizes the emotional void between the two; the choice to make physical abuse the defining aspect of the relationship only exacerbates it.  So one ends up asking why she even bothers with him in the first place?

The story thus turns Carmen into someone that keeps coming back for more, even though she knows that she can’t control the guy and that he’s just going to keep doing the same thing again and again. One might argue that the entire final duet in this production happens because she goes looking for a rendez-vous with José and that’s why she leaves the stadium. Furthermore, her understanding of his abuse comes to a head when Carmen even toys with those limits and her understanding of them. When he points the dagger toward her, she laughs in his face, suggesting that she knows he won’t do it; he’s done the same thing in Act three and wouldn’t go further. He bullied her in Act two and then apologized. So when he does stab her, she’s surprised by his action. She wasn’t ready to die and now the system of control and violence has finally destroyed her.

And yet, she doesn’t end up the tragic heroine of the piece. He does.

Despite the depictions of her as a victim at the hands of a monstrous society, she is but a pawn in the hands of a greater fate that made the monster realize that he will always be subject to his unchanging nature no matter how hard he tries to get away from it. As at the beginning of the story, José was destined to kill again and it could have been anyone. And he might do it again in that very machista society. Carmen, in the larger narrative of Don José’s tragedy as depicted in this production, is as much a footnote in his life as the anonymous man he murdered at the opera’s beginning.

 

 

Violent Vocal Acting

The opera’s main cast handled the challenges of this production rather well with Cura likely the standout on stage. During the habanera he maintained a sense of isolation, keeping his distance as best as he can. At one point, with her staring him down during the Habanera, he unsheathed his sword, a subtle suggestion to keep away from him. But when she threw the flower in his direction, something changed in him. He stood frozen in his place, his back to the audience. And yet you could sense the energy shifting around him. As people left the stage, his frozen position suggested some internal turmoil unspooling from the character.

And this is where the performance across both nights diverged most readily. On opening night, Cura was distant and a bit removed from Micaëla during their duet. But on the closing evening, he was more open emotionally to her, even looking on affectionately and staring into her eyes, creating a beautiful connection at the close of the duet. As such, opening night would be defined by a more socially awkward and violent José with the closing performance hinting at his more tender side.

With this particular opera, the tenor himself noted that he has more interest in exploring the emotional essence of José as a character, instead of falling into the trap of letting the deceptive nature of Bizet’s lush and romantic melodies take the lead. To that end, Cura’s voice is more an instrument for characterization instead of an instrument in and of itself. So we get harsher vocalization and phrasing, not always aesthetically pleasing [in] the traditional sense, that is furthered by the cruder colors of his Argentine tenor.

So with such moments as the end of Act one, José’s line “Je suis un homme ivre,” which signaled a loss of his control and the next phase of his fall, was jagged and increasingly forceful, the high A sharp pushed with all its might. During the opening performance, Cura’s top notes had a frayed vibrato, but as the night went on, the squillo in the upper range was more controlled and poised. On the closing night, the squillo on the highs, despite some inconsistent intonation, was often solidly placed and resonant throughout the night.

“La fleur” was affecting in unexpected ways. After having thrown Carmen down to the floor violently in an equally aggressive vocal display, the tenor walked away from her and sat on the table, his body closing up in shame. In this position, he sang the aria with very quiet and gentle tone, each phrase but a whisper. Opening night featured some unevenness of phrasing and inconsistent intonation with some of the lower notes coming off as accents next to the gentler middle line, but the effect was involving nonetheless; on closing night, the line was immaculate and beautifully constructed vocally. The aria, on both nights, became an apology and a character tending to a wound at the same time, with Cura increasingly ramping up the intensity throughout. The closing night performance featured a breathtaking crescendo on “un seul desire, un seule espoir” to the high A flat. The high B flat at the climax was delivered forte (and absolutely enthralling on the final show) with the ensuing “Carmen, je t’aime” sung with a glorious piannissimo diminuendo.

Cura’s third and fourth act performance on opening night were his strongest by far, with closing night’s final Act perhaps even more intense in many ways. During the first performance, he unleashed the violence. There is nothing quite like the intensity emanating from Cura’s eyes as he grabbed Carmen and blasted out the passages “Tu me dis de la suivre” and “Je te tiens fille damnée” with increased passion. It was frightening to witness, the physical power furthered by the voice’s own dagger-like phrasing and forceful enunciation; it was quite surprising to see the third Act of the closing night lacking somewhat in this passion, which was one reason why, on that night, Act three was the least effective (it was the most impactful on opening night).

While he had moments of gentle and tender singing in the fourth Act, Cura’s José snapped quite quickly and kept pushing himself further and further physically and vocally as the passage developed. His big “Pour la dernier foi” was the breaking point with the tenor leaning against the wall in frustration, before propping himself up, turning to Carmen and suddenly transforming into a monster in his physicality and glare. The high B flat on “Démon” was violent in its attack and the following text and musical line were crazed in delivery and execution.

And despite Cura creating this sense of inevitability about José the entire night, he managed to express his tragedy in one very telling moment. Carmen stood right in his face, readying herself for him to kill her. He had his knife at the ready and then he stopped himself. He backed away, confused, and seemingly locked in internal battle with himself. It is when she laughed at him that he suddenly felt that he wouldn’t let her win. It was then, at the smallest of humiliations (albeit a public one), that the tragedy of José expressed itself and he murdered her.

On closing night, the entire staging was changed with the two artists further apart on stage and Cura begging instead of imposing. It reflected more of a character desperate for love than a possessive macho.

 

 

Mesmerizing Ensembles

The chorus of the Teatro Colón was truly mesmerizing the entire evening, particularly in the fourth Act where the combined voices were a tidal wave of effervescent sound. There was a lot of joy and excitement emanating from the chorus in this section.

The orchestra was also having quite a fine evening, delivering one of the most energized and nuanced performances of “Carmen” that I have heard in a while. All the notes were the right place and under maestro Antonello Allemandi, everyone seemed to be taking the same breath both on and offstage. His only miscalculation was in the balance of the big ensembles. In solo passages and duets, he managed to keep the singers at the forefront. But in larger ensembles, the orchestra would always swallow up whatever sound came from behind.

It is worth mentioning Christian Peregrino’s Zuñiga, Stacey Alleaume’s Frasquita, Laura Verrecchia’s Mercédès, Gustavo Feulien’s Dancaïre, and Sergio Spina’s Remendado for their involved portrayals. Peregrino was robust in his vocal interventions and matched Cura’s José during their intense duels. Alleaume’s high notes were pristine every time she unleashed them. Verrecchia, Spina, and Feulien were all solid in their respective ensembles.

On the whole, this was an exciting series of performances that served as a sharp reminder of the ever-changing nature of theater and the freedom of exploration that a smart director can allow his thespians. This production was, on paper, as traditional as they come. And yet, the artists found ways to create unique interpretations of the same work and context on different nights.

 

 

 

‘Subtle yet traditional’ Carmen opens new ROHM opera season

 

Oman Daily Observer

Georgina Benison

14 September 2019

 

The Royal Opera House, Muscat opened the 2019/20 season with the Teatro Colón Buenos Aires 2011 production of Bizet’s opera, “Carmen”. The opera about a seductive gypsy girl in southern Spain is almost a victim of its own success in contemporary times. It is the most frequently performed work in the repertoire and as such making a fresh impact with each production becomes ever harder. That decisive role fell to Teatro Colón’s Oscar winning Director, Set and Costume Designer, Gianni Quaranta who worked alongside Franco Zeffirelli for seventeen years. Quaranta aimed for an understated, subtle yet traditional interpretation of the drama through massive proportions: enormous set creations, careful attention to lighting and beautifully authentic wardrobe.

The whole performance of four Acts separated by three intervals lasted a whopping three hours and forty five minutes, largely to enable set changes. Each Act began with the iconic Bullring front which slid, sometimes squeakily, to reveal the impressive scenery within. In the production which opened on Wednesday evening to a packed house there was a cast of nine hundred performers, including thirty child and forty five Omani adult extras. This year’s revival included brilliant new choreography by the famous Spanish dance company, Antonio Gadès, in a wild and energetic flamenco diversion to Act II, the tavern scene of Lillas Pastia. Female dancers were dressed in flamboyant colourful costumes, swirling red shawls as they clicked their heels.

The show opened with the famous ‘Carmen Overture’ from the 70-strong Teatro Colón Orchestra in the pit, under the supervision of renowned Milanese maestro, Antonello Allemandi. The score is fiendishly difficult and taxing for any orchestra, especially for the brass section, with some very challenging, exposed passages. Extras set the tone for a Sevillian market beside the Bullring colonnades as Don José slipped between them to kill his fist victim. The opening scene sported a real fountain which was used variously for children to splash in, the soldiers to sit by and Carmen herself to suggestively dangle her toes in. Don José was performed by internationally acclaimed tenor, conductor and composer, José Cura, developing his character from irreproachable, disinterested soldier to a jealous, murderous lover. The role was invested with superb psychological insight by Mr. Cura throughout his considerable performance.

The local children were touching, marching on stage unaccompanied like small soldiers, to an off-stage chorus. But the arrival of the women in their beige petticoats from the cigarette factory provided the compelling, sleazy highlight. Together with the soldiers in yellow uniform, the swell of the whole choir in a feisty street brawl confirmed the Teatro Colón Chorus’ reputation as being the best, most powerful in South America.

[…]

Perhaps one of the most intimate moments of the opera was José Cura’s heartfelt, impassioned ‘Flower Song’ when he makes Carmen understand how much he loves her, thinking only of her during his two months imprisonment through the sweet scent of the flower she had first thrown him, ‘like a bullet’. The audience was spell-bound into silence as Cura reached the height of impassioned emotion in, ’La fleur que tu m’avais jetée’.

Act IV, the shortest, opened in Escamillo’s bullring amid pomp and ceremony – complete with two horses from the Royal Cavalry of Oman. It ended with Carmen and Don José’s final Duet, ‘C’est toi! C’est moi!’ where José must, inevitably, stab the contemptuous Carmen out of a possessive jealousy from which he could never escape. This most tragic epilogue was metred out again on Thursday and Saturday nights to packed houses of Muscat’s faithful opera-goers who await another tragedy in ‘La Bohème’ next month.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read the full review on the web at the following URL:

http://bybattaglia.com/criticas/862-carmen-bizet-la-royal-opera-house-de-muscat-teatro-colon-de-buenos-aires-jose-cura-gianni-quaranta-version-memorable?fbclid=IwAR3skiFakUMD_o07kjanaXN1Ex9Ceh3u8T54cl_4UVf0PMpa4p__cQcVEtI

 

Carmen, opera del célebre compositor francés George Bizet, posee música que el público en su mayoría reconoce, requiere en su generalidad gran escena como de un elevado número de participantes (hablamos entre solistas, coro, orquesta, figurantes, bailarines, más de 300 en esta ocasión).

La Royal Opera House de Muscat, resolvió todo de manera monumental, esta reposición de la mencionada ópera (producción 2011), es la primera producción de Oriente Medio de la ópera de George Bizet, lo cual hace que sea un logro para la mencionada Institución.

Carmen es la historia de una mujer gitana independiente que seduce a un sargento del ejército, Don José, al cual le advierte que no se enamore de ella y que claramente no es su tipo. Don José en cambio por su “obsesión” con ella, termina en la cárcel, luego de mostrar un perfil psicópata de asesino que finaliza en un salvaje crimen.

El personaje de la sevillana del barrio de Triana, irá perdiendo interés en él “enamorándose” de un torero aventurero, Escamillo, el cual se adapta mucho mejor a ella. Don José dentro de su “obsesión “niega a dejarla ir matándola en una furia celosa.

Dirigida por Gianni Quaranta, Carmen, inauguró la Temporada 2019/2020 del Primer Coliseo Omaní .Tuvo algunos aspectos destacados notables, como la brillante dirección del maestro milanés Antonello Allemandi , decoraciones realistas y ricas que transportaron a la audiencia a principios del siglo XIX a la Plaza de Toros de La Maestranza ( España). También vale la pena mencionar algunas actuaciones notables y una iluminación perfecta.

La música es la clave para establecer el tono de una ópera, y Allemandi, que ha trabajado en los mejores teatros de ópera del mundo, es claramente un maestro, ya que logró liberar las emociones ideales y, a diferencia de la mayoría de los directores, nunca dejo que la orquesta domine a los cantantes.

La mezzosoprano rusa Elena Maximova tomó la delantera como Carmen. Con el pelo castaño y largo y un descarado paseante, definitivamente parecía su rol. Durante el primer acto y medio, su energía brilló y retrató a una Carmen maravillosamente juguetona pero seductora, una mujer que sabe exactamente lo que quiere y cómo hacer que los hombres la adoren. Su voz con un centro extraño en definición, dio un crescendo rico mientras cantaba la famosa aria Habanera (“El amor es un pájaro rebelde”) en la que advierte a los hombres sobre su amor: “¡Si te amo, es mejor que tengas cuidado!”(dejo aclarado que este cronista asistió a las tres funciones, en donde pudo comprobarse una evolución vocal como escénica de dicha protagonista), no es una voz con amplio squilo, pero si dúctil en manejar matices.

El papel de Don José fue interpretado por José Cura. Su hermosa voz robusta como brillante dio con una amplia gama de colores, siendo notable su fuerza como actor. Su Don José era débil e incapaz de resistir a una mujer cautivadora. Dejó que sus emociones obtuvieran lo mejor de sí mismo, y cuando perdió el control, arremetía, generalmente con un cuchillo. Cura parecía atormentado y frustrado, ¡un Don José perfecto!

A medida que avanzaba la opera (salvo en el ultimo rendimiento) Maximova parecía perder el espíritu de Carmen y debilito un poco al personaje. Uno puede presuponer que quisiera mostrar un lado más vulnerable, lo cual atenuó su desempeño.

La unión entre Maximova y Cura, fue ambivalente, Don José siempre en “defensa y ataque” fue mostrando habilidad para sacar el brutalismo de un ser desquiciado, frente a una Carmen que solamente se proyectaba en la unión carnal del deseo.

Esto se vio en la escena final, donde Don José le suplica que lo amase nuevamente. Carmen se niega, y con una “carcajada fatal” elige la muerte para liberarse de él.

La Orquesta Estable del Teatro Colón de Buenos Aires fue de un rendimiento ideal. El Coro Estable tuvo un fuerte desafío en la presente versión, pues debían interpretar de manera realista sin caer en lo absurdo y sumar el canto, pues mis estimados lectores, lo lograron absolutamente, me atrevo a decir luego de su rendimiento global que estamos ante el mejor Coro de América del Sur y de algunas regiones del mundo seguramente , lo cual entre la Orquesta , Coro y Solistas, da la pauta de una historia que vuelve al podio a la “Catedral de la Música” como otrora se lo denominaba al Teatro Colón emergiendo en esta gira por Oriente de manera superlativa. Lo cual llevo a la armonía absoluta en los impactantes escenarios, diseñados por Quaranta.

En esta reposición 2019, pudo verse a la Compañía de Antonio Gades, que durante el II acto, realiza un zapateo flamenco con cruce, que da mayor dinámica a la escena, pero que resta en demasía la caja escénica ante tanta gente. Asimismo, es como que la acción pasa de la opera al musical en lapso rápido.

Quisiera referirme a las voces que acompañaron a los dos protagonistas centrales. El bajo argentino Christian Pellegrino como el Capitán Zuniga, recibió un aplauso rotundo cada noche lo cual da pauta de su excelente trabajo vocal como actoral; Sebastián Angulegui como el descarado y encantador cabo Moralès fue correcto en su interpretación.

La soprano australiana, Stacey Alleaume fué una deslumbrante Frasquita y la mezzosoprano italiana, Laura Verrecchia como la Mercédès más oscura, formaron un formidable trío junto a Maximova. Cuando el barítono Gustavo Feulien (argentino) entró en la refriega como el bandido Le Dancaïre junto al tenor, Sergio Spina (argentino) como Le Remendado, las cosas se animaron, Carmen mostró sus verdaderos colores coquetos y el famoso Quinteto demostró ser absolutamente ideal.

En contrapunto dramático como vocal a la naturaleza voluble y evasiva de Carmen, apareció la figura de la prometida novia de José, Micaela. La soprano lírica rumana, Anita Hartig, de un “refinamiento vocal exquisito” logró en Muscat el silencio absoluto de la sala, una voz clara, de fraseo bello y de pianísimos bien terminados.

Para completar el triángulo amoroso, el famoso torero, Escamillo, apareció en el Acto II en la célebre “Canción del torero”. Ejecutada con una fuerte impronta escénica por el barítono rumano George Petean, el cual emite sin problema alguno con claridad sus partes, pero es en su fisiqueé du rol y en su escaso margen escénico un escaso torero seductor, un problema que debió tenerse en cuenta dando marcaciones más abiertas y desplazamiento al célebre barítono.

El momento de mayor emocion de las tres funciones fue la apasionada “La fleur que tu m’avais jetée” de José Cura cuando hace que Carmen comprenda cuánto la ama, “pensando/obsesionado” con ella durante sus dos meses de prisión a través del aroma de la flor que ella le arrojo. Los espectadores y el que les escribe sintió la emoción a piel.

Ahora regresemos al marco escénico creado por el Mtro. Quaranta. El escenario estaba enmarcado por el antiguo edificio español de azulejos y yeso desgastado de la plaza de toros. La pared, se separa revelando las diversas escenas inspiradas en el pintor español Goya.

Acto I, una plaza con una fuente de agua corriente, en la que soldados y transeúntes se mojan. Los tejados en su fondo parecían desvanecerse en la distancia. El acto II fue en el interior de una taberna, con mesas de madera y calidad paredes amarillas. Cuando los gitanos comienzan su baile, cambia la escena de la opera ay se transforma en un musical que es ahí en donde el público se puede llegar a identificar con el realismo cinematográfico de esta producción.

Acto III una enorme ladera de montaña con un camino que conduce a las cuevas de los gitanos. Oscuro y misterioso, proporcionó el lugar perfecto para que Carmen prevea su muerte en las cartas del tarot.

Las paredes circulares que abren y cierran los actos, se convirtieron en protagonistas del drama del acto final.

Se abrieron para mostrar una plaza de toros con asientos y cuando las paredes se cerraron, formaron el exterior de la escena del crimen, la gente del pueblo mira hacia abajo la corrida de toros mientras afuera del muro el drama entre Carmen y Don José llega a su clímax. Los sets no solo dieron realismo, sino que reflejaron los estados de ánimo en cada acto. El iluminador A. J. Wiessbard transformó con su impronta la ópera en una película por su dinamismo. El cielo cambiaba constantemente, desde la luz del día hasta el anochecer. Lámparas y antorchas proporcionaban un ambiente romántico o un esplendor inquietante.

La ROHM revisionó una producción de excelencia para la inauguración de su temporada 2019/2020. Pasión, locura y brillo fue su resultado, junto a un elenco de notables sumados a la brillante dirección de la Orquesta Estable del Teatro Colon por el Mtro. Antonello Allemandi y el Coro Estable (del histórico Teatro de Argentina) dirigido por el Mtro. Miguel Fabián Martínez.

La ROHM, plantea una ubicación en el mundo de la lirica mundial de primer nivel, y con esta inauguración , en poco tiempo se consolidará dentro de los primeros Teatros Líricos del Mundo ante temporadas de excelencia como la que se acaba de inaugurar.

By BATTAGLIA

Note:  This is a machine-based translation.  We offer it only a a general guide but it should not be considered definitive.

 

 

Carmen (Bizet), Royal Opera House De Muscat, Teatro Colón de Buenos Aires

 

José Cura, Gianni Quaranta ... Memorable Version

Crònicas By Battaglia

15 September 2019

[Excerpts]


Carmen, the famous opera by French composer George Bizet, is full of music that the majority of the public recognizes and requires a large stage due to the number of participants (we speak of soloists, choir, orchestra, extras and dancers of more than 300 on this occasion).

Directed by Gianni Quaranta, Carmen inaugurated the 2019/2020 Season of the First Omani Coliseum.  It has some notable highlights, such as the brilliant conducting of the Milanese Maestro Antonello Allemandi and realistic and rich decorations that transported the audience the bullring of La Maestranza (Spain) at the beginning of the 19th century. It is also worth mentioning some notable performance and perfect lighting.

[…]

 

The role of Don José was played by José Cura. His beautiful voice, robust as well as brilliant, came with a wide range of colors but it was his strength as an actor that was remarkable. His Don Jose was weak and unable to resist a captivating woman. He let his emotions get the best of him and when he lost control, he would lash out, usually with a knife. Cura seemed tormented and frustrated, a perfect Don José!

[…]

The moment of greatest emotion in each of the three performances came with José Cura’s passionate "La fleur que tu m'avais jetée" during which he makes Carmen understand how much he loves her, how he was "thinking/obsessed" with her during her two months in prison through the aroma of the flower she threw at him. The audience and this writer felt the emotion in the skin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most photos by Sergio Sosa Battaglia

 

                                   

 

 

 

 

 

Quick and dirty translation via computer....

 

Café con José Cura desde la Royal Opera House de Muscat

 By BATTAGLIA

 10 September 2019

 

A majestic place, the Royal Opera House of Muscat, carried out the so-called "coffee" among the subscriber and referents of the Omani culture with the famous Argentine tenor José Cura.

His interviewer was the General Director of the ROHM, Mr. Umberto Fanni. During the talk, which lasted about an hour, Cura commented on the beginnings of his career from his city of Rosario and Europe.

His comments on the current opera and the new audiences mark a reality, the audiences will continue to come to see opera as to listen to pop music--probably no longer in traditional places but in outdoor places…the public is looking for modernity.

Then he continued telling his activity as a composer to which he has recently dedicated his time, among his latest works is his oratory ECCE HOMO, a work of magnitude that was admired in the Müpa of Prague in 2016.  It is divided into three parts being a symphonic piece where José Cura leaves the podium to take the role of Jesus in the final. It is a piece we hope to be able to hear soon in Argentina, for the quality and imprint with bravery that has its score of high demand both at the choral and instrumental level. He has also finish writing his opera Montezuma with a comic character.

Cura discussed with the management when he was asked about the possibility of returning to the ROHM (remember that he had already played Pagliacci in last season) to play the role of Don José about the possibility of using the stable orchestra and choir of the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. Thus, the project was launched, a highly complex proposal and very difficult to see in any other theater in the world because of the costs. Likewise, the production was created especially for the ROHM from the famous director and designer Gianni Quarenta (winner of an Oscar for the production of A Window in Florence, film by James Ivory). 

Between Carmen's performance, which will be on September 11, 12 and 14, Cura will conduct the 9th Beethoven Symphony with soloists, choir and Stable Orchestra of the Teatro Colon de Buenos Aires.

This was a milestone for the musical history of our First Colosseum, a tour that prestige the Colón and its member figures, which is an honor as an Argentine witness in a Theater that is emblem of the Sultanate of Oman, and that is a small jewel in the aridity that surrounds the city of Muscat.

 

 


 

 

Beethoven - Muscat

 

 

 

 

 

Rehearsing Beethoven’s 9th. Of course my t-shirt doesn’t have such number but the photographer added it as joke... 😂 But it’s a sweet joke that shows the atmosphere of great harmony and trust on my lead by these amazing group of artist. ❤️  -- José Cura Official

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  En el primer movimiento dominó una lectura vertical, que vino marcada por un fuerte ritmo y un especial protagonismo de los vientos. Las cuerdas, por su parte, con más tendencia a lo lírico, ofrecieron un fraseo muy equilibrado. A lo largo del movimiento se fue construyendo una tensión, que poco a poco y muy controlada, incrementaba el carácter dramático hasta cerrar de forma rotunda el movimiento. Durante el segundo movimiento, que se llevó a un tiempo más bien rápido, se continuó construyendo esa tensión que nos dirige al clímax de la obra. El momento oda del Scherzo, ese en el que atisbamos una pista del canto final, sonó claro y enérgico, apuntalando una estructura que está a la mitad de su construcción. En general, el Scherzo fue muy rítmico en las cuerdas y de una gran delicadeza en los vientos: los momentos fugados sonaron magníficamente, con un timbre y un empaste preciosos.

Tambien es cierto que con los movimientos más enérgicos, la construcción de su sonido extrovertido y dinámico reluce con mayor atractivo y así sucedió con el Molto vivace. Vistoso el diálogo de vientos y su respuesta con el timbal. El obstinado de las cuerdas volvió a tener el brillo propio de la formación, y el atractivo rítmico del movimiento relució con renovada sonoridad. Se hicieron notar las trompas con un sonido limpio y certero, así como la belleza del solo de oboe, siempre meloso y de trabajo impecable. Los pizzicatti y acordes pretormentosos de las cuerdas anunciaron con efusividad la alegría rítmica de los temas, Cura iluminó de nuevo la formación con una gestualidad efusiva sin caer en el narcisismo ni la autocontemplación. De nuevo resonaron esas trompas que recuerdan a las futura llamada de las walkirias wagneriana. El acorde final del movimiento fue quizás demasiado tímido antes de pasar a la nobleza insondable del Adagio molto cantabile, andante.


La contemplativa belleza del tercer movimiento se desarrolló con suavidad y búsqueda de un sonido camerístico. Pero otra vez pareció que el sonido le faltó tensión melódica, no por falta de calidad de los instrumentistas, pero si por falta de emoción poética en las grandes frases de la cuerdas, la sutilidad irreprochable de los vientos sonó algo rutinaria. ¿Por qué de nuevo esta lectura irregular de la sinfonía? Quizás la búsqueda de una visión novedosa del movimiento por parte de Cura, se quedó en un intento más que en un logro, pues el Adagio careció de magia.


Al inicio marciale y tormentoso del Finale: presto, relució el sonido potente de los contrabajos. Las cuerdas dejaron fluir con un sonido orgánico el nacimiento y preparación del tema que prepara la entrada de los solistas vocales y luego el coro. Hubo contención y bonito fraseo, con una lectura casi sensual de la melodía del himno antes de que este se verbalizara con los solistas. Por fin apareció de nuevo la alegría interpretativa con el fugado de los violines, y ese nervio tan propio y atractivo. La incorporación del Coro sonó compacta y bien equilibrada, no así los solistas a cuatro,que fueron cubiertos en sonoridad entre el coro y la orquesta (en detrimento de ellos fue su colocación entre ambos y no en proscenio). Impactante pese a todo el tutti de las fuerzas conjuntas antes de iniciar de nuevo el tema del solo del tenor. Los solistas Maria Belen Rivarola, Guadalupe Barrientos, Christian Pellegrino y Enrique Folger cumplieron con su papel de forma certera, como correcta, a pesar de lo anteriormente expresado.


José Cura en un excelso interprete lirico, un modelo de cantante lirico, pero que como conductor le falta o sobra temperamento, sobre todo en los matices de esta tan conocida obra del Maestro de Bonn.

 

Note:  This is a machine-based translation.  We offer it only a a general guide but it should not be considered definitive.

 

 

9th. Beethoven Symphony "Coral"

Orchestra and Choir of the Colón Theater in Buenos Aires

Royal Opera House Muscat

Director: José Cura

[Excerpt]

[Note:  this is a rough translation …]

The first movement was dominated by a vertical reading, which was marked by a strong rhythm and a special prominence of the winds. The strings, on the other hand, with a more lyrical tendency, offering very balanced phrasing. Throughout the movement a tension built, little by little and precisely controlled, increasing the dramatic character until the movement ended in an emphatic way. During the second movement, which was taken at a rather rapid pace, the tension continued as we were directed toward the climax of the work. The Scherzo, that moment in which we glimpse a trace of the final song, sounded clear and energetic, underpinning a structure that is halfway through its construction. In general, the Scherzo was very rhythmic on the strings and very delicate on the winds: the fleeting moments sounded magnificently.

It is also true that with the most energetic movements, the construction of its outgoing and dynamic sound shines with greater appeal and so it happened with the Molto vivace. The pizzicato chords of the strings announced effusively the rhythmic joy of the themes and Cura again illuminated the formation with effusive gestures without falling into narcissism or self-contemplation. 

[…]

The incorporation of the Choir sounded compact and well balanced.

The powerful sound of the double basses shone at the beginning of the martial and stormy Finale. The strings let the birth and preparation of the theme prepare the soloists and then the choir flowed with an organic sound. There was beautiful phrasing, with an almost sensual reading of the hymn melody before it was verbalized by the soloists. At last the interpretation of joy appeared again with the release of the violins. The incorporation of the Choir sounded compact and well balanced …

 


 

Posts

 

https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-1/p50x50/14079722_1215609058490513_222995167946932214_n.jpg?_nc_cat=103&_nc_ht=scontent-iad3-1.xx&oh=a5e2eaa82c84c55c7af7226b6715f467&oe=5D8CB0B6   José Cura (official)

May 28  

Dear all, here's the announcement and links of my first year of concerts with the Hungarian Radio Art Groups as their Principal Guest Artist:

 

November 13, 2019 Verdi – Requiem at Müpa – Palace of Arts, Bartók Béla National Concert Hall, Budapest, Hungary (This is the first concert of the Romantic Portraits Concert Series)

https://www.jegymester.hu/…/81…/Romantikus-portrek-I-2019/20

 

January 29, 2020 José Cura: Montezuma and the Ginger Friar – World Premiere at the Liszt Music Academy, Budapest, Hungary (This is the second concert of the Dohnányi Concert Series)

https://www.jegymester.hu/…/8180…/Dohnanyi-berlet-II-2019/20

 

April 21, 2020 Leoncavallo: Pagliacci – concert version at Müpa – Palace of Arts, Bartók Béla National Concert Hall, Budapest, Hungary (This is the third concert of the Romantic Portraits Concert Series)

https://www.jegymester.hu/…/…/Romantikus-portrek-III-2019/20

 

 

 

 

 


 

Concert at the Christmas Theater in Athens, starring José Cura.

Concert at the Christmas Theater in Athens, starring José Cura

 


 


 

2019 Performance Calendar

 

Month

Dates

Work

Theater

City

January

19

Conductor:  Rodrigo & Beethoven 4th

Auritori Municipal Enric Granados

Lleida

 February

4

Singer / Conductor

Union Hall

Ljubljana

February

24

Singer:  Argentinean songs

Music Academy Grand Hall

Budapest

March

8, 9

Conductor:  Piazzola, Cura, Rachmaninov

La Filature / Grande Salle

Mulhouse

March

14

Concert: Singer

Tchaikovsky Conservatory Big Hall

Moscow

March

26, 28

Concert: Singer

Smetana Hall

Prague

April

27

Conductor: Rozycky’s Anhelli – Puccini’s Suor Angelica in concert

European Music Center Krzysztof Penderecki

Luslawice

May

2, 3

Jury Member, Concorso Internazionale di Canto Lirico Vittorio Terranova

Sala Puccini Conservatory G. Verdi

Milan

June

7, 9

  Turandot

Margaret Island

Budapest

June

15 - 22

BBC Cardiff Singer of the world / Member of Jury

St David's Hall

Cardiff

June

20

BBC Cardiff Singer Master Class

Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama

Cardiff

June

30

  Tosca

Cologne Opera House

Cologne

July

2, 5, 11, 14

  Tosca

Cologne Opera House

Cologne

July

12, 13

Nabucco / José Cura Production

Courtyard Castle Thurn and Taxis

Regensburg

July

26

   Otello

Teatro Antico Plovdiv

Plovdiv

August

2, 11, 18

Tosca

Gran Teatro AllÁperto Giacomo Puccini

Torre del Lago

September

11, 12, 14

Carmen

Royal Opera House

Muscat

September

13

Conductor / Beethoven's 9th Symphony

Royal Opera House

Muscat

October

20

Concert:  Singer

OAC Music Hall

Shanghai

November

4

Conductor: Beethoven's Egmont & Cura's Modus

St Stephen Basilica

Budapest

November

13

Conductor:  Verdi’s Requiem

Müpa (Palace of Arts Budapest)

Budapest

November

22

Singer:  Opera Arias

Christmas Theater

Athens

December

31

Singer and Conductor

Grand Hall of Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory

Moscow

 

 

 

Resources

 

José Cura Facebook PR.

 

José Cura Web Site.

 

 

 

 

Find Cura on Wikipedia!

José Cura on Wikipedia.  

Want to know more about José Cura?  Check out his Wikipedia page (click on the photo and find out such neat things as.....

  • Full name:  José Luis Victor Cura Gómez
  • First starring role:  Bibalo's Signorina Julia, Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi, Trieste, Italy, 1993
     
  • First performance in US:  Giordano's Fedora, Chicago Lyric, USA, 1994

 

 

This page is an UNOFFICIAL fan pageMistakes found in these pages are our mistakes and our responsibility.    

 

This fan page is dedicated to promoting the artistry of  José Cura.  We are supported and encouraged by Cura fans from around the world:  without these wonderful people, we wouldn't be able to keep up with the extraordinary career of this fabulous musical talent. 

 

If you have something concerning Mr. Cura you would like to share, contact me at bravocura@cox.net

 

Note that some of the material included on these pages are covered by copyright laws.  Please respect the rights of the owners.

 

 

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Last Updated:  Sunday, September 15, 2019  © Copyright: Kira