Jerez de la Frontera, (EFE).- The cantaora Esperanza Fernández celebrates this Saturday at the Festival de Jerez her 40 years of dedication to cante, a career in which she has been with the greatest, in which she has become a one of the most respected and versatile voices in current flamenco and which, he says, still has a long way to go.
“I have been here for 40 years and I hope to be another 40 more, because I will die with my boots on. So far all my dreams have been fulfilled, but I still have many to fulfill ”, she says, in an interview with EFE, Esperanza Fernández.
For her, she says, dreams are marked by time, as if they came to her alone. At the moment she is “very happy and nervous” to celebrate this “milestone” today at the Festival de Jerez with “Esperanza Fernández: the voice of flamenco”, a show in which she traces her career and in which she will premiere an unpublished song composed for she by Maria Carrasco.
Four decades of career have left her many lessons, but she remains with a particular privilege: “Having started so young and having been able to share the stage and dressing room with so many great maestros has been the greatest luck I could have had.”
From the girl from Curro to Esperanza Fernández
Born in the Seville neighborhood of Triana into a family of important singers, guitarists and dancers. Esperanza Fernández appeared as the first singer in the show “Amargo”, by Mario Maya.
“My beginnings were beautiful, but I was always Curro Fernández’s girl. Until finally in 1994, at the Teatro Maestranza, with one of the great maestros, Enrique Morente, I made the leap. When I left the theater that day, I was no longer Curro Fernández’s girl, I was Esperanza Fernández”.
Camarón de la Isla and Paco de Lucía were other of the many flamenco greats who wanted to have their voice close.
His versatility has also allowed him to travel from flamenco more to the roots to other worlds, such as jazz, and even to join chamber and symphony orchestras, such as the National Orchestra of Spain, the Barcelona and National Orchestra of Catalonia, the Philharmonic Orchestra de Málaga, the Orquesta Joven de Andalucía or The Wesleyan Ensemble of the Américas.
Based on his experience and career, he can affirm that “flamenco’s state of health is very good. A lot of young people are coming out who are pulling the people from behind, which is the source from which we have to drink, from the roots. Young people are aware of this and so many crazy things are no longer being done. It is merging, but with sanity, with a different approach, before people went more crazy and that is appreciated.
The leading role of women in flamenco
“I am in favor of everything that is done well because from a very young age I have merged and I continue to do so, but with my feet on the ground and knowing where you want to go”, he affirms.
In 2022 she presented her album “Singing is prohibited” and now she is about to launch another one on the market, but she qualifies what the music industry means to her: “Now everything has changed and we must sell records to have a letter of introduction. I have not been a product of a record company, I recorded my first album when I was almost 15 years old and I have not stopped working.
I don’t have many records on the street and I haven’t needed it. Now the records are not sold, it is a reality, but it is important to have them because it is the evolution of life”.
The Festival de Jerez is impregnated in the 2023 edition by the Centenary of Lola Flores and Esperanza Fernández considers herself an admirer of the Jerez-born. “She hasn’t been a flamenco singer, but all of us artists have seen ourselves reflected in her at some point in our lives. She is a great benchmark for flamenco or copla because she is known worldwide”.
In the opinion of the Sevillian, the role of women in the world of flamenco today has a greater depth thanks to the legacy of the past: “Lola Flores or Pastora Pavón, ‘La niña de los peines’, were fighters and vindicated the role of the women. We have paved the way for today’s women. There are still some bumps, but things are looking much better. Thanks to them we have more freedom to be ourselves”. EFE