1 July 2024


Ángeles Blancas will star in 'Medée' by Luigi Cherubini at the Festival Internacional de Teatro Clásico de Mérida  

Mérida, 26 June 2024

Ángeles Blancas Gulín will star in Luigi Cherubini's Medée which will innaugurate the 70th edition of the Festival Internacional de Teatro Clásico de Mérida. The Spanish soprano, recognized as Best Singer of the previous season by the Ópera XXI Awards, will perform this opera in three acts with scene direction and scenography by Paco Azorín, the Orquesta de Extremadura conducted by Andrés Salado, and the Coro de Extremadura leaded by Amaya Añúa, after gaining great success at the Teatro Petruzzelli di Bari, Auditorio de Tenerife, Teatro Real de Madrid, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Teatro de la Maestranza de Sevilla or the Brno Festival. Tickets for both nights are almost sold out.

The opera, with libretto in french by François-Benoît Hoffmann and recitatives by Alan Curtis, is a coproduction of the Teatro Real de Madrid, the Festival de Teatro Clásico de Mérida and the Abu Dhabi Festival. It debuts at the Festival de Mérida and addresses the classic from the point of view of her children and vicarious violence.

Cherubini's opera, complex in its writing and dramaturgy, is inspired by the namesake tragedy by Pierre Corneille, Seneca and Euripides, in which the main character, humiliated by the second marriage of her husband Jason with Glauce, kills her rival out of jealousy and kills her children to revenge Jason. The role of Medea, which demands great power and vocal control, is character of romantic inspiration admired by composers like Johannes Brahms, Franz Schubert or Richard Wagner, and has been interpreted by María Callas, Montserrat Caballé, Eileen Farrell or Gwyneth Jones, among others.

The Teatro Real opened the 2023-24 season with Medée to pay homage to Maria Callas on the centenary of her birth with the opera that the Greek soprano interpreted on many occasions and which left us with some of her most remembered performances.

Fascinating character

Ángeles Blancas highlights that “Medée is a dramatic opera with a heartrending vision, tragic, full of darkness but also light; here we find love, offence, betrayal, vengeance, despair, death...” Blancas considers that “Medée should be represented more often as it is a great operistic classic, always performed by great singers. Her character is fascinating but very demanding, and the same applies to this production, so we are working very hard to address this artistic challenge”.

The artist remarks that “playing the role of Medea at the renowned Festival de Mérida, and in a place like the Roman Theater where the actress Margarita Xirgu interpreted this role with a text by Miguel de Unamuno, is marvellous; I am so hyped with this production and I'd like to thank the public in general for the warm reception of this operistic proposal and for their intersest on not missing the two performances we'll offer”.

Authentic privilege

Jesús Cimarro, the Director of the Festival de Mérida, who presented the season last Monday along with Victoria Bagaza, the Counselor of Culture of the Junta de Extremadura, and Antonio Rodriguez Osuna, the Major of the city of Mérida, praised the cast and assured they'll “shake up the whole audience”, and remarked that “this opera returns in grand style” with a production that is “an authentic privilege and that will surprise everyone”, and remarked “the great reception by the audience” with tickets almost sold out by now”.

The cast, along with Blancas, is integrated by Noah Stewart, Esteban Baltazar, Nancy Fabiola Herrera, Leonor Bonilla, Mercedes Gancedo, Karina Demurova, Cosmin Marius, Daniel Mellado, Max Iniesta, Carla Rodríguez, Ismael Palacios and Verónica Moreno. The artistic and technical crew is integrated by Ana Garay (costume design), Pedro Chamizo (lightning and multimedia), Carlos Martos de la Vega (stage movement), Íñigo Santacana (assistant directo) and Pedro Sáenz Almeida (histoy & mythology adviser).

Liceu, ABAO and Teatro de la Zarzuela

The soprano will perform at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, the ABAO Bilbao Ópera and at the Teatro de la Zarzuela of Madrid during the upcoming seasons of these three venues which have recently updated their programmes. The artist will have the leading role in the operas Lady Macbeth by Dimitri Shostakóvich at the Catalonian capital, Puccini’s Il Trittico at the Basque capital, and in the program La fuerza del porvenir at the Spanish capital among other artistic projects.

In the production at the Liceu she’ll play the role of Katerina Ismailova in an opera premiered in 1934 in Leningrad, and in 2002 at the Catalonian venue, with libretto by Aleksandr Preis and Shostakóvich himself, based on the original text by Nikolai Leskov, on September 27th and October 5th and 7th. Josep Pons will be the conductor of the Orquesta Simfònica del Gran Teatre del Liceu currently managed by Pablo Assante; Àlex Ollé will be in charge of the stage direction; Alfons Flores in charge of the scenography; costumes by Lluc Castells and lighting by Urs Schönebaum. Withing the main cast are singers like the bass Alexei Botnarciuc, the tenor Daniel Kirch, or the soprano Sara Jakubiak who’ll play the same role as Blancas on September 25th, 28th and on the 1st, 3rd and 6th of October.

Puccini's Il Trittico

The Asociación Bilbaína de Amigos de la Ópera (ABAO) will program Il Trittico for the first time to commemorate the centenary of Puccini’s death, on the 23rd, 26th and 29th of November and on the 2nd of December. With death as the common thread, it is part of a trilogy of three short operas: Il Tabarro, Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi, inspired in Dante’s Divine Comedy. The Italian composer wanted to represent Hell on the first triad; on the second, more lyrical and melancholic, Purgatory; and Heaven on the third, using a comedy tone.

The titles in this new production, created by Paco Azorín will be stared by Carlos Álvarez, Ángeles Blancas and Sofía Sparza in Gianni Schicchi. Pedro Halffter will be conducting the Bilbao Orkestra Sinfonikoa.

Madrid’s Teatro de la Zarzuela includes on its next agenda the program Festejando el porvenir with Ángeles Blancas and the tenor Alejandro Roy on the 4th of January 2025. Álvaro Albiach will be in charge of the musical direction conducting the Orquesta de la Comunidad de Madrid, and Antonio Fauró will conduct the Choir.

The Fiery Angel

The Italian press echoed Ángeles Blancas’ performances at Bari’s Teatro Petruzzelli, where she played the main role of Renata in the opera The Fiery Angel by Serguéi Prokófiev, and remarked that she "was capable of instilling the obsessive impulses and contradictory emotions of the character, in a conversational singing that occasionally dilated in lyrical oasis of poignant beauty"; her “great artistic quality", just as her "ferocious and all-enveloping vocal timbre and monumental high notes".

The critics, in line with her previous performances, did not pinch pennies in their analysis and emphasized her "magnetic presence" and her interpretation rated as "magnificent and haunting". The specialized press remarked her "splendorous voice, of great quality and potency" and admitted they were surprised by "her disarming choral skills, powerful scenic dynamism and the alterity vibes she transmitted", which she fully displayed in this production by the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma that was premiered in the Italian venue with the Orchestra and Choir of the Teatro Petruzzelli, under the baton of the renowned conductor from Valencia Jordi Bernàcer and the stage direction by Emma Dante last April.

Rusalka, Lear, Jenůfa           

The artist premiered in Bari after interpreting Dvořák’s Rusalka at the Auditorio de Tenerife; achieving an "undisputed success" with "an enormous Lear" by Aribert Reimann at the Teatro Real de Madrid in February and which dozens of critics and press echoed in their reviews; being recognized as Best Singer by the Ópera XXI Awards for her celebrated performances of Leoš Janáček’s Jenůfa at the Teatro de la Maestranza de Sevilla in February 2023, regarded as a historical performance at the Andalusian auditorium; just as her success at the Deutsche Oper Berlin with Il Teorema di Pasolini by Giorgio Battistelli and at the Brno Festival with The Makropulos Affair by Leoš Janáček at the Welsh National Opera.

Many national and international publications echoed these performances and reference international media such as The Times, The Guardian and The Telegraph and specialized press have been outstandingly praising her work.

International Career     

Ángeles Blancas is an artist with a long and consolidated professional career, both national and international, and a dramatic soprano specialized in the repertoire of authors like Richard Strauss, Wagner, Berg, Janáček, Reimann, Rhim, Schönberg and Messiaen. In the terrain of symphonic and chamber music she has also been prodigal. Her repertoire covers from Brahms, Schumann, Mahler, Debussy, and Ravel to Messiaen, Vaughan Williams, Richard Strauss, Sibelius, Dutilleux or Kurt Weill. She has worked with renowned conductors like Antonio Pappano, Fabio Luisi, Philippe Auguin, Juraj Valčuha, Lothar Zagroseck, Nello Santi, Marco Armiliato, Rafael Frübeck de Burgos, Alberto Zedda, Álvaro Albiach... and stage directors like Graham Vick, Robert Carsen, Andrea Breth, David Poutney, Calixto Bieito or Emilio Sagi among others.

Ángeles Blancas has also received praises from the critics after her performances at theaters like Covent Garden, Opernhaus Zürich, Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona), Teatro Real (Madrid), La Monnaie (Bruselas), Washington Opera, Carnegie Hall, La Fenice di Venezia, Hannover Staatsoper, Teatro Massimo di Palermo, Opéra de Marseille, San Carlo di Napoli, Santa Cecilia and Ópera di Roma, Teatro Regio di Torino, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Opèra de Monte-Carlo, Teatro Colón de Buenos Aires and many others.


  • 01 Angeles Blancas 07 © Ricardo Rios.jpg - Caption: Soprano Ángeles Blancas. Author: Ricardo Ríos




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