María José Montiel, from Majorca to Palermo
The Spanish mezzo-soprano, in the female leads of María Moliner in Palma and Werther in Palermo
After her triumph in Carmen at the Gran Teatro in Cordoba, the Madrid-born mezzo-soprano María José Montiel will sing two of her favourite roles: María Moliner in the opera of the same name at the Teatre Principal in Palma, Majorca and Charlotte in Werther at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo.
The Spanish diva, who is currently one of the most important Hispanic representatives of opera, will once again perform the role of María Moliner in the Majorcan capital. The role was created especially for her and the opera had its world premiere at the Teatro de La Zarzuela last April. María Moliner is by the Majorcan composer Antoni Parera, and produced by the director and acclaimed scenographer Paco Azorín. Montiel was leading lady in the world premiere and now takes the role again at the Principal. For the Spanish singer Moliner is “a very complex character, whose work should be more widely known. She was a strong woman whose struggle took place during a very difficult period in Spanish history and who, despite the situation of political repression that she found herself in, managed to make some incredible achievements, such a publishing a dictionary.” According to Montiel, this contemporary opera has meant that the life and work “of this very special woman has had a revival nowadays. I hope that more theatres within Spain and also on the international panorama will be interested in programming it.” The dates for the performances in Palma are the 5th, 7th and 9th May and will use the spectacular and acclaimed set by Paco Azorín, adapted specially for the stage of the Teatre Principal.
Later, María José Montiel will go to Sicily (Italy) to perform Charlotte, in Werther, one of the French composer Jules Massenet’s masterpieces. The singer confesses that she has a weakness for this character, who, owing to the circumstances that Goethe created for her in the novel that inspired the opera, “lives a very sad and tormented life, full of pain and melancholy. She has a completely repressed passion within her. Certainly, when I sing Charlotte, I feel her with enormous emotion and passion. The text and the marvellous music by Massenet are a perfect mix, something which really helps me to get into the feelings of the character.” There will be two performances on the 27th and 31st May.
First and foremost, of course, Carmen needs a formidable singer in the title role, and FGO has one in María José Montiel. The Spanish mezzo-soprano effortlessly produced rich, sensual tones in the famous Habanera and Seguidilla, lowering her voice in the final renditions of the Habanera melody, in a manner that made the aria less showy and more insinuatingly intimate. In her stage manner, she communicated Carmen’s sexual mastery subtly, in the easy confidence of her walk and gestures, without the over-the-top posing and exaggeration often portrayed.South Florida Classical Review, South Florida Classical Review
"María José Montiel has true class and gave an excellent concert. The singer had ample resources to deal with an undoubtedly challenging programme and, especially, exquisite sensitivity in her singing, thick with pianissimos and filati, swathed by the chamber ensemble which accommodated the particular romanticism of her expression".Levante
- 2017: May 5, 7, 9
- María Moliner (Antoni Parera)
Teatre Principal, Palma de Mallorca
- 2017: May 27, 31
- Werther (Massenet)
Teatro Massimo, Palermo