The Marriage of Figaro, an opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Lorenzo de Ponte, was the occasion of a meeting to announce its presentation within the Festival Cultural Mazatlán 2023, on Friday, November 17th and Sunday, November 19th, at 8:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. respectively at the Ángela Peralta Theater.
Raúl Rico González, General Director of the Instituto de Cultura, Turismo y Arte de Mazatlán; Ragnar Conde, Stage Director; Abdiel Vázquez, Musical Director and part of the cast explained this innovative staging with the participation of around 130 artists, including musicians from the Camerata Mazatlán, voices from the Ángela Peralta Choir and soloists.
“We have singers from practically all of North America, North America, South America, Central America and what becomes very interesting is that, for a work like this, it is extremely important to find the right cast,” said Ragnar Conde, regarding the opera. “The Marriage of Figaro.”
The original story will be respected but will have a contemporary adaptation, the plot will take place in the hotel environment; All this work that talks about power struggles, the fight between social classes, gender struggles and between generations, can be accommodated by any company, any institution, but in this case we also find the opportunity to develop it here in the hotel industry, he added.
The Stage Director explained that on this occasion the Count of Almaviva will be the owner of the hotel, of the “Villas de Almaviva”, and from then on all the rest of the people who are there, except for some people who are guests, will be the workers of that hotel.
The co-production of Vincerò Academy, Escenia Ensamble, A.C., and the Instituto de Cultura, Turismo y Arte de Mazatlán; tells the story of Fígaro, who is the Count’s servant, but Fígaro comes from a lower social class, and has always been much more successful, more intelligent, more confident and he is advancing much further than the Count.
The Count comes from a privileged family, he has inherited everything, he is not really a very proactive person and Figaro is going to marry Susana, a servant of the Countess, the wife of the Count of Almaviva, but the Count wants to sleep with Susana before Figaro marries her, then all this develops a comedy of entanglements where he will do everything possible to make Susana give in in the middle of a series of situations and confusions, a comedy of entanglements. It is a very entertaining opera, there are many lines of action and many thematic lines, explained Ragnar Conde.
In this staging Abdiel Vázquez (Pianist-Founder of Vincerò Academy-México) has the musical direction, Ragnar Conde (Playwright-Screenwriter-Stage Director-Founder of Escenia Ensamble), is the stage director.
Students from the School of Music and Singing of the Instituto de Cultura de Mazatlán and the Vincerò Academy participate: Daniela Yurrita (Soprano-Guatemala), Esteban Baltazar (Bass Baritone-Mexico), Cristina Nakad (Soprano-Mexico), Emma Robertson (United States ), Andrés Ascencio (Baritone-Peru), Hannah Hall (United States), Rebecca de Almeida (Mezzo-soprano-Brazil), Juan Carlos Villalobos (Bass Baritone-Mexico), Alonso Sicairos-León (Tenor-Mexico), Luis Cornejo (Tenor -Mexico), Roberto Ituarte (Baritone-Mexico) and Rosa Ferreiro (Contralto-Mexico).
What factors and what values do you consider in the selection and construction of the cast and the work itself because there are different cultures, there are different talents, and then how do you work and fulfill a commitment like the one you have ahead?
– Speaking for Vincerò Academy, in the three years of our foundation we have had more than 100 students around the world from 24 different countries, so those who are here were selected by audition, in which Ragnar and I were involved, arduous auditions where they had to prove their knowledge of the character and also their vocal mastery, so here we are seeing a rigorous selection, now, the criteria are, vocal mastery and knowing and respecting the music, what the authors did and from there is what they present to us, because each culture, each country, each person, has its own world and its own universe that is reflected in the character, and that is very interesting for us.
In fact, what makes an artist interesting is seeing how they connect, their respect for the score, their vocal technique with the internal universe that they bring to the character, and who do it in a more sincere and more interesting way, because sometimes even I learn from them, every time I see them I say Wow! I had never thought about that way of seeing the character, that way of singing that line, so when they bring it it doesn’t matter where they are from or it doesn’t matter what ideas one brings to how it should be, I think it is the most valuable, and we have that in abundance with this cast.