Nostalgic recital of Argentine songs by Jose Cura at Monte-Carlo Opera

Jose Cura intended to get closer to audience with romantic recital

The famous Argentine tenor Jose Cura returned to the stage of the Opera of Monte-Carlo this past Tuesday, December 2, 2014, after the success of Stifellio in 2013. But this time around Cura gave a recital of Argentine nostalgic songs by well-known poets, accompanied by Swedish pianist Kristin Okerlund and French actress Anthea Sogno as a narrator. He aspired to communicate directly with the public and open his heart.

As well as portraying the relationship between the poet Pablo Neruda and Matilde Urrutia, the love of his [Neruda’s] life, Cura meant to offer a poetic exploration of Argentinean music. The program included music of Hilda Herrera, Maria Elena Walsh, Alberto Ginastera, Felipe Boero, Carlos Lopez Buchardo, Pablo Neruda and Carlos Guastavino.

Cura sang in a softer voice adequate to the songs, but unfortunately the Salle Garnier is meant for Opera performances and not fit for this type of set up, so it was very difficult to hear him and understand the beautiful lyrics. Besides the audience was there to hear the tenor sing grand arias in high notes, so they were disappointed and a few left during the intermission.

But for the majority who stayed for the second act, we had the pleasure of hearing the grand tenor give a romantic rendition of The Rose and the Willow. And he moved us to tears when he passionately sang the main tenor aria of Aurora (Sunrise), the hymn to the Flag by Argentine composer Hector Panizza.

The Rose and the Willow (La Rosa y el Sauce) sang by Jose Cura

Jose Cura singing Aurora in Prague

Aurora is an opera in three acts by the Argentine composer Hector Panizza in 1907, set to an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Hector Quesada. Aurora became the second national opera of Argentina, after Felipe Boero’s more popular El Matrero. The main tenor aria “Alta en el Cielo” (“High in the Sky”), at the finale of the second act was used as a national hymn to the Argentine flag.I was born and grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina, I remember singing the hymn to the flag everyday before class, and now that I realize it was really an Opera, I understand how it was so difficult for us to sing it! I know the lyrics by heart and my husband was mortified thinking I was going to sing along Jose Cura, but I limited myself to lip-singing!

At the end of the performance we went backstage to greet our Argentine countryman and together with my Argentine girlfriend Lorena, we posed for a souvenir photo. I am adding a photo with the flag that was taken during the soccer world cup final.

Viva la Patria!

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