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

Malta Independent - - LIFESTYLE & CULTURE -

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, to be held on Sat­ur­day, 15 Oc­to­ber at 7.30pm will mark the launch of a spe­cial an­niver­sary sea­son that cel­e­brates the Aurora Opera House’s 40th an­niver­sary and the 40th an­niver­sary of opera re­nais­sance in Malta, with the first-ever opera held in Gozo in 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 Bul­gar­i­an­born mezzo-so­prano Na­dia Krasteva. “The rich, smoky colours 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 Ms Krasteva as Car­men on the stage of the Chicago opera. The au­di­ence has also ap­plauded to Ms Krasteva’s bravura role, on lead­ing opera stages namely 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 among other no­table ap­pear­ances, is com­ing from his lat­est suc­cess 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 among other roles for her al­ready ac­claimed role of Adina with Leo Nucci.

Bizet’s Car­men means an ex­ten­sive cast with a fur­ther sec­ondary quar­tet. Other artists in­clude 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 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 in 2013 and as Zu­niga at the Arena di Verona to great ac­claim will be the first lieu­tenant, while Francesco Baioc­chi will ac­com­pany him as Mo­rales.

The 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 that tick­ets are bought well be­fore the cast is an­nounced. Colin At­tard, on his 25th an­niver­sary at the Aurora, leads the Malta Phil­har­monic Orches­tra while cast and choirs will be di­rected by Novella Ta­bili from Rome.

In fact, less than a 100 seats re­main with a hand­ful of €80, €70 and €60 re­main­ing. Other tick­ets are avail­able at €45 on the fourth floor.

Car­men at the Aurora is be­ing sup­ported by the Gozo Cul­tural Sup­port Pro­gramme; a joint ini­tia­tive be­tween Arts Coun­cil Malta and the Min­istry for Gozo.

For book­ings visit www.teatru­au­rora.com; email: teatru­au­rora@leone.org.mt or phone the 24/7 ticket helpline 7904 5779.

Gi­u­liana Gian­fal­doni

Marcin Bronikowski

Na­dia Krasteva

Roberto De Bi­a­sio

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