Manuel Hernández-Silva returns to Pamplona to conduct Manon Lescaut, by Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924), in the Baluarte Lyrical Season with the collaboration of AGAO, Asociación Gayarre de Amigos de la Ópera. The performances will take place on February 5 and 7. Hernández-Silva will lead a first-rate cast with Ainhoa Arteta in the leading role of Manon Lescaut; Roberto Aronica as Renato des Grieux; José Antonio López, who plays Lescaut; Carlos Chausson as Geronte de Ravoir; and Pablo García-López in the role of Edmondo. The Navarra Symphony Orchestra, of which Hernández-Silva is Principal and Artistic Director, will be in the pit, and they will have the participation of the Lyric Choir of the Gayarre Friends of the Opera Association (AGAO).
A title much loved by Hernández-Silva, Manon Lescaut was Giacomo Puccini’s third opera and his first great success. Inspired by the homonymous novel by the Abbé Prévost, it is a very sensual and emotional work, faithful to the principles of verismo. It tells the tragic story of the courtesan Manon and the Chevalier Des Grieux. With the passionate and heartmoving music so characteristic of Puccini, the work has arias of undeniable beauty such as the famous ‘Sola, perduta, abbandonata’ and ‘Donna non vidi mai’.
Before this Manon Lescaut, Hernández-Silva had already conducted a concert version of Beethoven’s Fidelio at the opening of the OSN season, which he had previously done with great success at the Teatro Cervantes in Malaga in a production of the Teatro de la Maestranza with the stage direction of José Carlos Plaza and Berna Perles and César Gutiérrezin the main roles. Hernández-Silva also conducted Cosí fan tutte by Mozart in Málaga, as well as a still remembered production of Don Giovanni at the Gran Teatro de Córdoba, which he did later in a semi-staged version at the Quincena Musical in San Sebastián. Hernández-Silva recorded Haydn’s La vera costanza for the label Capriccio, with the WDR Rundfunkorchester Köln and singers such as Paul Armin Edelmann, Chen Reiss, Reiner Trost, etc.
Venezuelan conductor Christian Vásquez returns to Spain to lead the OSPA, Symphony Orchestra of the Principality of Asturias, in a program that includes Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture, Grieg’s Piano Concerto with Vadim Kholodenko as soloist, and Brahms Symphony No. 3. The concerts will take place on February 11 and 12 at the Prince Felipe Auditorium in Oviedo and the Jovellanos Theater in Gijón, respectively.
Christian Vásquez has been Principal Guest Conductor of the Gävle Symphony Orchestra in Sweden and the Het Gelders Orkest in The Netherlands, as well as Principal Conductor of the Stavanger Symphony in Norway, and continues to lead the Teresa Carreño Symphony Orchestra in Venezuela. In the upcoming months his engagements will take him to four continents: Asia, Oceania, Europe and America. Vásquez has conducted important orchestras such as the philharmonic orchestras of Los Angeles, Rotterdam, Helsinki, Tokyo, Luxembourg, Arnhem, Turku and Poznan, the Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Danish Royal Orchestra, Residentie Orkest, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Camerata Salzburg, Royal Northern Sinfonia, National Arts Center Orchestra of Ottawa, Warsaw Beethoven Festival Orchestra, Vienna, Prague, and Norway Radio Symphony Orchestras, RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Singapore, New Jersey, and State of Russia Symphony orchestras, Estonian National Orchestra, and the Norwegian and Danish National Operas. He also appears on the album Cantar by Pacho Flores with the Berlin Konzerthausorchester.
Christian Vásquez, who has already conducted the Galicia Symphony Orchestra, the Castilla y León Symphony Orchestra and the Gran Canaria Philharmonic Orchestra in Spain, appears for the first time with the Orchestra of the Principality of Asturias and will soon make his debut with the Navarra Symphony Orchestra, which had to be cancelled last season due to the lockdown declared to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic.