Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (EFE).- The Latvian mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca makes her debut this Friday at the Canary Islands International Music Festival performing, together with the Gran Canaria Philharmonic Orchestra (OFGC), the “Wesendonck lieder” by a Wagner « in its plenitude”, which he will perform as a soloist with the “tremendous breath control” required by this work, which is not sung frequently.
This is how the lyrical singer explained it this Thursday at a press conference in which she was presented as “one of the most important voices of the 21st century” by the director of the Canary Islands Music Festival, Jorge Perdigón, who celebrated that this work, which Garanca has recently recorded for the Deutsche Grammophon label, will be played for the first time at this competition in its 39th edition.
Together with the OFGC, under the baton of Karel Mark Chichon, her husband, Garanca will offer, this Friday in Gran Canaria and on Saturday in Tenerife, an introductory talk by Ricardo Ducatenzeiler on this last island, and a repertoire that also includes the Overture of the opera “Rienzi”, also by Wagner, and the “Symphony No. 1”, by Gustav Mahler.
Perdigón has highlighted that Chichon has managed in five years, as head and artistic director, “to bring the OFGC to an extraordinary artistic level”, while considering that this concert will be “one of the most beautiful of the last editions of the Festival International Music of the Canary Islands».
The mezzo-soprano, described by the New York Times as “the best Carmen -by Bizet- in 25 years” and who characterizes her ability to adapt to diverse repertoires, has admitted that it is something very important and special to do the composer’s “Wesendonck lieder” German, who until now had played the piano, with the OFGC.
«Wagner shows himself in this work in his fullness and for the singer it represents a challenge, since he needs to show the maximum in five songs that have their particular world. I love singing it again with the OFGC, and with my husband, and making my debut with it at this festival”, he said.
About this “program”, Chichon has highlighted its “demand” because its pieces are “extremely delicate” and that it requires “a lot of flexibility from everyone”, a quality that, in his opinion, “now distinguishes the OFGC”, which, In addition, he will perform it “at his home: in the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium”, which offers him “an advantageous situation, acoustically and musically”.
The director has estimated that the OFGC “has a more German than Mediterranean sound and a type of discipline in the way of playing that makes Wagner and Mahler suit him very well”, which is why he approaches this repertoire with great enthusiasm and with the desire to give the public a “memorable night”.
The Latvian lyric singer was pleased that the OFGC accompanied her on this occasion when it came to interpreting Wagner, whose music, she has said, has many colors, which is why, in her opinion, “it needs to be accompanied by an orchestra”.
On the technical difficulty of this work, he explained that it lies in the “breadth” that Wagnerian music has, which therefore requires the vocal soloist to “exceed” the orchestra, which can generate “uncomfortable situations” from this point of sight.
“I would say that to do Wagner’s music well, many years of experience are needed because you have to have tremendous control of your breath,” the artist asserted. EFE