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Emperor Moctezuma and Hernán Cortés are in Miami

Miami / “Motezuma”, an opera by Antonio Vivaldi about the meeting between Emperor Moctezuma and the Spanish conqueror Hernán Cortés who was lost more than two centuries, arrives in Miami with Mexican, American and Canadian artists, to demonstrate that classical music ” It is not only European. ”

“The original was made from the European point of view, but this is a way of giving more importance to the Latin American and Aztec side,” said the associate artistic director of the work, Marco Real-D’Arbelles, in an interview with EFE. Miami with Nicaraguan and French origins.

The three-act opera “Motezuna”, with music by Vivaldi and libretto by Alvise Guiste, premiered in 1733 in Venice.

The libretto was preserved thanks to the copies that were distributed during the performance, but the score disappeared until it was found in the archive of the Berlin Singing Academy by musicologist Steffan Voss in 2002.

However, it was incomplete and certain arias were missing.

The artistic director of the Bach Society of Minnesota, Matthias Maute, has completed it and added some “recitative”, an operatic term to refer to the spoken spoken language, specifically for this production that will be represented at the International University of Florida (FIU ).

The story tells the first meeting between the Spanish conqueror Hernán Cortés, called “Fernando” in the play, and the Aztec emperor “Motezuma” (Moctezuma), whose daughter falls in love with her enemy’s brother.

Formerly it was the castrates who represented this work in the Vivaldi opera company.

Unlike other works of the lyric genre such as La Traviata or Carmen in which the acting component prevails, the baroque opera has the peculiarity that the characters and the plot serve as an excuse for the singers, who are allowed a greater improvisation during “the competition”.

“Whenever you get a score that is a virgin, which has been interpreted little or only a few parts, you have more possibilities because people do not know it, and it is as if they heard it premiere so it allows more artistic licenses,” he explains the Spanish mezzo-soprano Nerea Berraondo, the exception in an American cast, which acts as “Mitrena”, the emperor’s wife.

International cast

In addition, this production has two Moctezumas, the Latin actor Pedro Juan Fonseca, who acts as a narrator, and the Mexican baritone Marduk Serrano López.

The Mexican Lisa Rodriguez and Nayelli Acevedo, and the Americans Nelle June Anderson and Nicholas Chalmers complete this international cast that uses music “as a way to connect”.

“Given that this project is using musicians from Canada, singers from the United States and Mexico, what we are trying to show is an example of collaboration between different cultures,” explained D’Arbelles.

The tour, which includes functions in four US states. and in Montreal (Canada), he arrives in Miami thanks to the “Bach Society” of Minnesota and the baroque orchestra “Ensemble Caprice”, who want to commemorate the 500 years of the encounter between two worlds represented by Moctezuma and Cortés.

The orchestra of this little known opera by Vivaldi is smaller than a symphony and the musicians use instruments typical of this period in which the strings of violins and cello are made of animal guts.

Singers and athletes

“There is no rest here, you have to always be practicing, always learning because in the end if you do not train the muscles are not prepared,” says Berraondo.

The mezzo-soprano, who since the age of nine already knew that she wanted to be an opera singer, says that his is a profession that requires sacrifice, but that it is worth it to “do what you like”.

The “Bach Society” is carrying out a project in Miami schools to bring students the music of the German composer and baroque music in general, as well as dances and the history of the opera.

“One of the most important things you can do for artists is to play for a young audience. When they listen to it at an early age it truly has the potential to change their lives, ”says Real-D’Arbelles, who was also a violinist in the Miami Orchestra. (February 14, 2020, EFE / PracticaEspañol)

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