Meet our Car­men – a no-com­pro­mise cast for Aurora’s 40th spe­cial sea­son

Malta Independent - - NEWS - Na­dia Krasteva

As the Aurora Opera House gears up for its up­com­ing opera pro­duc­tion, it is pleased to an­nounce a world-class cast that sees ma­jor opera houses across the globe con­ven­ing in Gozo as their lead­ing singers as­sem­ble in one cel­e­bra­tory cast.

This year’s Car­men, on Satur­day 15th Oc­to­ber at 7:30pm, will mark the launch of a spe­cial an­niver­sary sea­son that cel­e­brates the Aurora Opera House’s 40th an­niver­sary, (fall­ing on 9th Oc­to­ber) and the 40th an­niver­sary of opera re­nais­sance in Malta, with the first-ever opera in Gozo (7th Jan­uary 1977), at the Aurora. This is a piv­otal date in the his­tory of opera in Malta since it broke a long pe­riod of hi­ber­na­tion for the op­er­atic genre on the is­lands and cre­ated a re­newed en­thu­si­asm across the na­tion.

To mark this spe­cial an­niver­sary in style and class, the Aurora ad­min­is­tra­tion made no com­pro­mise with this year’s cast. In­deed, it sought to bring out the best lead­ing el­e­ments out of the world’s most prom­i­nent opera houses.

The ti­tle role of Car­men will be in­ter­preted by the Bul­gar­ian-born mezzo-so­prano Na­dia Krasteva. “The rich, smoky col­ors and earthy sen­su­al­ity of her voice were matched by the nat­u­ral­ness of her act­ing and a fiery tem­per­a­ment at one with this touch­stone mezzo role”, John Von Rhein writes in the “Chicago Tri­bune” about the de­but of Na­dia Krasteva as Car­men on the stage of the Chicago opera.

The au­di­ence has also ap­plauded to Na­dia Krasteva´s bravura role, on lead­ing opera stages all around the world as the Vi­enna State Opera, the Arena di Verona, the Bol­shoi The­atre, the Deutsche Oper in Ber­lin, the Na­tional Opera Am­s­ter­dam, the “O2 Arena” in Ham­burg, the Na­tional Opera Riga, the Na­tional Opera Sofia, New York’s Metropoli­tan and Mi­lan’s La Scala.

She will be ac­com­pa­nied by the Ital­ian world-class tenor Roberto De Bi­a­sio, who amongst other no­table ap­pear­ances is com­ing from fresh suc­cesses at the MetOpera in New York. Es­camillo at the Aurora will be none less than La Scala’s own Es­camillo – Marcin Bronikowski who also starred in Lon­don’s renowned Royal Opera House of Covent Gar­den.

The main quar­tet will be rounded up by a cham­pion upand-com­ing Ital­ian so­prano by the name of Gi­u­liana Gian­fal­doni, re­mem­bered amongst other roles for her al­ready ac­claimed role of Ad­ina with Leo Nucci.

Bizet’s Car­men means an ex­ten­sive cast with a fur­ther sec­ondary quar­tet. Here we see Gabriele Ribis who has also per­formed Dan­cairo at the Arena di Verona, Ed­uardo San­ta­maria as Re­men­dado, Lara Rotili as Mercedes and Mad­ina Kar­beli (as Frasquita) who has re­cently per­formed as Ad­ina – the lead­ing role – in Elisir d’Amore at the Ma­noel The­atre in Val­letta. Gian­luca Breda, who has al­ready ap­peared at the Aurora (2013) and as Zu­niga at the Arena di Verona (2016) to great ac­claim will be the first lieu­tenant, while Francesco Baioc­chi will ac­com­pany him as Mo­rales.

This strength and con­sis­tency in a no-com­pro­mise pol­icy when it comes to cast is ac­tu­ally why au­di­ences keep on trust­ing the Aurora so much so ticket sales go strong even be­fore cast in nor­mally an­nounced.

In fact, less than a 100 seats re­main, with a hand­ful of €80, €70 and €60 re­main­ing. Other tick­ets are €45, in­clud­ing newly-re­leased ones on the 4th floor, avail­able on­line via www.teatru­au­, via email teatru­au­ or via the 24/7 ticket helpline 79045779.

Colin At­tard, on his 25th an­niver­sary at the Aurora leads the Malta Phil­har­monic Orches­tra while cast and choirs will be di­rected by Novella Ta­bili (Rome).

Fur­ther in­for­ma­tion is avail­able via www.teatru­au­

Gi­u­liana Gian­fal­doni

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