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.
María José Montiel returns to the Maestranza in Seville for a recital.
- The mezzo from Madrid will be accompanied by the pianist Rubén Fernández Aguirre and will include a wide range of repertoire in the programme
After three months spent in the shoes of one of her pet characters, the title role of Bizet´s Carmen, with which she triumphed at Miami Opera and at the Saint Sebastian Kursaal, María José Montiel will return to Seville on the 25th February to give a recital with the pianist Rubén Fernández-Aguirre, an expert in accompanying great singers. The engagement falls within the opera recital cycle which the Maestranza in Seville has programmed over the last few years, and will include repertoire that Montiel knows very well: songs by Enrique Granados – in the 150th anniversary year of his birth – as well as pieces by other Spanish composers such as Ernesto Halffter and Joaquín Turina. There will also be classical Brazilian songs by the composers Jayme Ovalle and Heitor Villa-Lobos, and French song by Reynaldo Hahn, Claude Debussy, Ambroise Thomas and Camille Saint-Saëns. This will be María José Montiel´s latest appearance in Seville, where she performed most recently in April 2016 in an Opera Gala to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Teatro de La Maestranza.
Upcoming engagements will take her to the Basque Country to perform Mahler´s Second Symphony alongside the Bilbao Orkestra Sinfonikoa at the Palacio Euskalduna, to Cordoba to sing her famous version of Bizet´s Carmen once again, and to Palma, Majorca, to take the title role of María Moliner, by Antoni Parera Fons and Paco Azorín, an opera which had its world premiere last year at the Teatro de La Zarzuela in Madrid with Montiel in the role of the great Spanish lexicographer.
María José Montiel will be Carmen in San Sebastián
· The Spanish mezzo-soprano will once again take the title role in Bizet´s popular opera in San Sebastián after her triumphant return from the United States in the same role
Reviewers were unanimous: María José Montiel´s Carmen at the Florida Grand Opera in Miami (United States) was “unforgettable”. The Spanish diva, winner of the 2015 National Music Prize, opened the season at the American opera house in November in the title role of Bizet´s popular opera, to great personal success with critics and audiences alike. “Spanish mezzo Montiel in her FGO debut…. credibly portrays a woman who would choose death over the loss of independence. The audience are goners the moment that saucy voice launches into the iconic melody of ‘Habanera’ as if she is pouring some rich thick liquid from a silver chalice. Exuding a joie de vivre, Montiel´s Carmen impudently rolls consonants as if her tongue is savouring a gourmet dish. Even if someone turned off the spotlight, she would glow.” (Bill Hirschman for Florida Theater on Stage).
The emblematic role has become one of the acclaimed singer´s calling cards over the five continents, and in February she will be Carmen again in Spain when she performs in the San Sebastián Auditorium Kursaal in the Opus Lírica season (on the 10th and 12th February). This will be an Ekaitz González Urretxu production which opts for a “contemporary vision of the character, while at the same time fully respecting Bizet and Merimée´s opera,” according to sources reporting on the production. The opera will be conducted by Andrea Albertin, and María José Montiel will share the stage with the tenor Eduardo Sandoval (Don José) and the director of Opus Lirica, Ainhoa Garmendia (Micaëla).
Beforehand, on the 25th January, María José Montiel will give a recital in Madrid at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, accompanied on the piano by Miquel Estelrich. They will be paying homage to the musicologist and historian Federico Sopeña.
María José Montiel will be Carmen in Miami
-The Spanish diva will open the American city´s season with the character that has made her famous throughout the world
Florida Grand Opera in Miami (United States) will open its season towards the end of November with the Madrid-born mezzo-soprano María José Montiel as the supreme leading lady: The Spanish singer returns to America with her sensual, temperamental and unparalleled rendition of operas most famous gypsy, the title role of Bizet´s Carmen. With this role, Montiel, winner of the Spanish National Music Prize 2015, has performed in some of the most prestigious theatres in Europe, Asia and the USA. She is recognised as one of the great performers of this complex role. Last year she opened the season at the legendary Teatro di San Carlo in Naples (Italy) with Carmen, conducted by Zubin Mehta, and this year she will be opening the new season at this up and coming American company. “They will be unforgettable performances, that is for sure, because I have heard a lot about how effusive Miami opera-goers are. That is why I am really pleased that my debut in this fantastic city will be with Carmen, a character I really love and who I know will please everyone, especially as in Miami a large percentage of the audience are Hispanic. Also, it is an honour for me to open the season,” the singer affirms.
María José Montiel is one of the greatest singers of Carmen of her generation; her version of the role at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona earned her the Campoamor Prize for Best Singer of the Spanish season. “Ever since I made my debut as Carmen she has become my sister. We have travelled all over the world together and I have been Carmen in dozens of productions, each one with a different point of view. I am very interested in the personality from a psychological point of view, because of her race, because she is a brave woman. She is ahead of her time and loves her liberty above all things, even though this costs her her life. For this reason, I find her fascinating.”
Performances will take place on the 12th, 15th and 19th November and the 1st and 3rd December, the first opera in the FGO season, which has chosen María José Montiel as its image for its entire opera year.
María José Montiel returns to Majorca with Mahler´s Third Symphony
- The Spanish mezzo-soprano will open the Illes Balears Symphony Orchestra season by performing Mahler´s Third Symphony
Her affinity with Gustav Mahler´s music has taken the mezzo to the main concert halls of Spain, Italy and Portugal to perform work by the bohemian composer. This time María José Montiel, winner of the 2015 National Music Prize, will take her passion for Mahler to Palma de Mallorca, with the Illes Balears Symphony Orchestra, where, conducted by Pablo Mielgo, she will perform the monumental Third Symphony. The Madrid-born diva knows the piece very well, having performed it most recently in Milan (Italy). “Mahler moves me as much as he impassions me”, the renowned artist explains, “and his symphonies are a compendium of all his revolutionary musical language, but also his quality as a human being, with his many problems and anxieties. This is why I feel he is so close and universal. He is certainly one of my favourite composers.” The performance will take place at the Palma Auditorium on the 20th October. Montiel will be accompanied by the Illes Balears Coral Universitat, the Acadèmia Simfònica and the Coral Infantil Onzequinze Joventuts Musicals de Palma choirs.
María José Montiel returns to the Auditorio Nacional and sings “Edgard” at the Teatro Monumental
- The diva from Madrid will be performing in her home city again, before returning to the United States with her exemplary Carmen, by Bizet.
Montiel, winner of the Spanish 2015 National Music Prize, gave a tour of concerts and recitals in July and August in various venues around Spain including the Benicàssim Opera Festival, alongside soloists from the Orquesta de Valencia, the Chopin Festival in Valldemossa (Majorca) and the Santander International Festival. This September María José Montiel will perform a concert with the Orquesta de la Comunidad de Madrid conducted by Víctor Pablo Pérez with pieces by Alberto Ginastera and Enrique Granados at the Auditorio Nacional de Música in Madrid (27th September). On the 7th and 8th October she will open the RTVE Orchestra and Choir season with an early opera by Puccini, Edgar, conducted by Miguel Ángel Gómez Martínez, at the Teatro Monumental in the Spanish capital.
This month, on the 20th, the mezzo will perform the Third Symphony by Gustav Mahler, one of her favourite composers. This will be alongside the Orquestra Simfònica de Balears conducted by Pablo Mielgo at the Palma de Majorca Auditorium, all of this before travelling to the Florida Grand Opera (Miami, United States) to perform her sought after Carmen by Bizet.
A summer full of music with María José Montiel, 2015 National Music Prizewinner
-The mezzo from Madrid will be awarded her medal on the 1st June by TRH the King and Queen of Spain, and she will later embark on a recital tour of Spain.
Still basking in her triumph as the title role in the opera María Moliner by Antoni Parera Font in its world premiere at the Teatro de La Zarzuela, and her subsequent return to the Teatro Real in Madrid (Luisa Miller), to the Palau de la Música in Valencia (concert with the Orquesta de Valencia) and to the Teatro de La Maestranza in Seville (gala to celebrate the opera house´s 25th anniversary), the Spanish mezzo-soprano María José Montiel will be awarded the National Music Prize at a ceremony on 1st June in Palencia Cathedral, presided over by TRH the King and Queen of Spain. The award recognizes a career which is always progressing and has great international reach. “I feel grateful and honoured by this prize, which comes to me at a very positive time which is bringing me a lot of success. I would like to thank the jury, here, for thinking about me and my professional career,” the diva from Madrid notes.
Afterwards, María José Montiel will go on tour, giving recitals in various cities in the country, beginning in Asturias, where she will give a recital alongside the renowned soloist Iván Martín –one of the great Spanish pianists– they will premiere pieces by the composer Guillermo Martínez at the Selgas Fagalde Foundation in Cudillero (Asturias). Later she will go to Segovia to perform alongside Miquel Estelrich on piano; to the Benicassim Opera Festival where she will sing a programme of songs and arias accompanied by the soloists from the Orquesta de Valencia before returning to the Valldemossa Chopin Festival (Majorca) where she will once again perform alongside Miquel Estelrich. Montiel will end the tour – and the summer – at the Santander International Festival, this time accompanied by Rubén Fernández Aguirre on piano.
María José Montiel returns to Valencia to give a concert with the Orquesta de Valencia
- The Spanish diva will sing a spectacular selection of her French repertoire alongside the Orquesta de Valencia at the Palau de la Música of Valencia
After her acclaimed performances in the title role of María Moliner in the world premiere of the Antoni Parera Font opera at the Teatro de La Zarzuela, as Queen Federica in Luisa Miller (Verdi) at the Teatro Real and at the gala to celebrate 25 years of the Teatro de La Maestranza and the Seville Royal Symphonic Orchestra and 20 years of the Maestranza Choir, the mezzo-soprano María José Montiel, winner of the 2015 National Music Prize of Spain, returns to the Palau de la Música in Valencia on the 5th May to perform a selection of arias and concert material from her French repertoire alongside the Orquesta de Valencia conducted by Jordi Bernàcer.
Montiel will arrive in Valencia on a wave of excitement at a job well done at the two opera houses of Madrid. In both she gained unforgettable triumphs in the space of a few days. Full of energy, she now returns to the Orquesta de Valencia season with Shéhérazade, the delicious cycle of symphonic songs by Ravel, as well as a selection from her French operatic repertoire: “Connais-tu le pays” from Mignon by Thomas, “Va! Laisse couler mes larmes”, from Werther by Massenet, “Mon Coeur s’ouvre à ta voix” from Samson et Dalila by Saint-Saëns and, of course, a taste of the role that has made her famous all over the world, Carmen, by Bizet, from which she will perfom the “Chanson Bohème”.
On the 7th May, with the same programme and also in Valencia, the singer will participate in a homage to the legendary Teresa Berganza. Upcoming engagements include solo recitals in Cudillero (Asturias), Valldemossa (Majorca) and at the Santander International Festival.
María José Montiel returns to Madrid to perform in high profile productions both at the Real and at La Zarzuela
-The star from Madrid will perform in April at the two most important theatres in the Spanish capital while she finishes off her next record.
Spanish mezzosoprano María José Montiel, winner of the 2015 National Music Prize, returns to her city of birth in April for two important productions. Firstly, from 13to 20 April she will be the leading lady in the world premiere ofMaría Moliner, an opera by the composer Antoni Parera with libretto by Lucía Vilanova, which will take place at the Teatro de La Zarzuela and is inspired by the famous Spanish lexicographer. Later, on the 23 and 26 April, she will appear at the Teatro Real in Luisa Miller, by Giuseppe Verdi.
With regard to the new opera, a commission from the Teatro de La Zarzuela itself, María José Montiel explains that “the music is very demanding, especially taking into account that my character is always on stage. It is a fascinating role, as Moliner was a very strong woman with a great deal of fortitude and determination, and it was a dreadful historical injustice that she was blocked from entering the Royal Spanish Academy just because she was a woman. The text and music are adapted to perfection. I have had to study for many hours, but being already very familiar with Antoni´s music and aesthetic has helped me a lot as I have sung many of his song cycles. The opera has very attractive melodies and I think that all sorts of different people will like it a lot. His music is very expressive, full of soul and feeling. The great luxury of this production is that I can work on the music and the character directly with the composer, which does not often happen in opera.”
After this world premiere, the Spanish diva will once again take the stage at the Teatro Real, this time to take the role of Federica, from the opera Luisa Miller, by Giuseppe Verdi. The opera will be performed in concert format and conducted by James Conlon with Leo Nucci in the role of Miller.
Later on, in May, María José Montiel will perform once again in the Orquestra of Valencia season, in which she will sing Ravel´s Shéhérazade, in the Valencia Palau de la Música.
María José Montiel to sing Verdi’s Requiem in Milan
After being awarded the 2015 National Music Prize by the Spanish Ministry of Culture and garnering triumphs in an intense start to the season which included her debut as the female lead in Samson et Dalila (Saint-Saëns) in Mexico and a recital for the Concert Society of Alicante alongside the French pianist Laurence Verna, María José Montiel is returning to Milan (Italy), this time to perform Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem in the regular annual engagement which she has had for several years with the Milan Giuseppe Verdi Symphony Orchestra (LA Verdi). The Italian composer’s immortal masterpiece is included among the closing events of the 2015 Milan Expo, with performances on the 29th and 30th October and on the 1st November in the city auditorium. The diva from Madrid will share the stage the soprano Sara Rossi Daldos, the tenor Danilo Formaggia, the bass Enrico Iori and the La Verdi orchestra and choir, conducted by Jader Bignamini.
Noteworthy among María José Montiel’s upcoming engagements is her debut at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples with one of her pet roles, the title role of Bizet’s Carmen, conducted by Zubin Mehta, with whom she has already performed the opera in Israel.
María José Montiel, 2015 National Music Prize in Spain
- The Spanish National Institute of Performing Arts (Inaem) has just announced that the National Prizes for Music have gone to the Spanish mezzo in the performance category, and the composer, Alfredo Aracil, (Composition). The jury has highlighted the singer’s wide repertoire and international reputation.
6th October 2015
According to a statement from Inaem, both the mezzo-soprano María José Montiel in the performance section, and Alfredo Aracil in the composition category have today been awarded National Music Prizes for the year 2015. These prizes, presented annually by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, bestow €30,000 each.
The jury, in a majority vote, decided to choose María José Montiel as winner of the National Prize “due to her triumph and recognition on an international level; her creation through performance of a wide repertoire which encompasses opera, as well as Lied, specialising particularly in Spanish music and Contemporary composers. The jury highlights recent international success in cities such as Paris, Beijing, Palermo, Madrid, Barcelona, Vienna and Milan, among many others.”
María José Montiel, in Alicante and Milan
-A recital in Alicante and Verdi´s Requiem Mass in Milan are marked in the Spanish diva´s diary for the following weeks
After garnering great personal triumph with her debut as the female lead of Samson et Dalila (Saint-Saëns) in Mexico, María José Montiel returns to Spain to give a recital at the Alicante Concert Society on the 7th October, accompanied by the French pianist Laurence Verna. The programme combines the Spanish song genre (Falla and Montsalvatge) with Brazilian music and, of course, opera arias. Founded in 1972, the Alicante Concert Society organises musical events featuring outstanding international artists such as Pinchas Zukerman, Grigory Sokolov, Maria João Pires, Christian Zacharias, Joshua Bell, András Schiff and Christian Gerhaher.
Later on, the Spanish mezzo-soprano returns to Milan (Italy), this time to perform Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem in the regular engagement she has every year within the Milan Giuseppe Verdi Symphony Orchestra (LA Verdi) season. The Italian composer’s masterpiece will be included in the Milan Expo 2015 closing ceremonies. Performances take place on the 29th and 30th October and the 1st November in the city’s auditorium.
Most noteworthy among María José Montiel’s future engagements is her upcoming debut at the Naples Teatro San Carlo (Italy) with one of her pet roles, the leading lady of Bizet’s Carmen, conducted by the great Zubin Mehta, with whom she has already performed the role in Israel.
María José Montiel makes her debut as Dalila in Mexico
-The diva from Madrid begins the 2015-16 season by taking on the leading female role in Saint-Saëns´ Samson et Dalila, in her Mexican opera debut
María José Montiel will begin September “very excited about taking on the character of Dalila for the first time. Its vocal line and beauty have meant that it has always been one of my dream roles,” explains the Spanish mezzo-soprano about her debut as Dalila in Mexico. “In fact this has happened at the best possible time,” she continues. “French music, both from opera and song repertoire, has always come naturally to my own repertoire, and Saint-Saëns´ heroine, logically, seemed to be coming closer and closer to me, so now I am taking on the role with great enthusiasm. It will also be my first time singing an opera in Mexico, so everything is coming together to make me feel really happy,” she adds. Montiel will debut this sensual character at the Nuevo León Opera House, in Monterrey, a theatre which, with the support of the Mexican Ministry of Culture, has had the privilege of witnessing the careers of local artists with great international careers such as the tenor Javier Camarena.
The Spanish singer will give two performances of Saint-Säens´ great opera, on the 18th and 20th September, sharing the stage with Rodrigo Garciarroyo, Guillermo Ruiz, Oscar Martínez and Charles Oppenheim, the Nuevo León Opera Choir and the UANL Symphony Orchestra, all conducted by Guido Maria Guida.
María José Montiel will arrive in Mexico after having made her debut in the role of Ulrica from Verdi´s Un ballo in maschera in Israel, conducted by Zubin Mehta. After the performances of de Samson et Dalila she will give a recital at the Concert Society of Alicante (7th October), she will sing Verdi´s Requiem alongside the La Verdi Orchestra in Milan as part of the events celebrating the end of the Milan Expo Milano 2015 (29th and 30th October and 1st November) and she will make her debut at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples with one of her pet characters, the leading lady of Bizet´s Carmen, once again conducted by Zubin Mehta.
María José Montiel makes her debut as Ulrica with Zubin Mehta
- The Spanish singer will travel to Tel Aviv and Haifa to make her debut in this emblematic role from Un ballo in maschera alongside the Indian conductor and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
In July the mezzo-soprano María José Montiel will add another title to her wide opera repertoire: Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera, in which she will take the role of Ulrica on the 14th, 16th, 18th and 20th July alongside the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by Zubin Mehta, with whom she has collaborated regularly over a few seasons and with whom she has sung other operas such as Cherubini’s Medea (Palau de les Arts de Valencia) and Bizet’s Carmen (also with the Israeli ensemble which is based in Tel Aviv, twice in the current season). “I am passionate about the role of Ulrica and have been preparing myself for it conscientiously since the maestro Mehta proposed the idea” the singer explains, adding that the working relationship that she has established with the Indian conductor is certainly “one of those marvellous things that happen to one in life and I try to enjoy every moment of it; he is an exceptional musician and I feel really blessed and enthusiastic about working with him on this new Verdi role in my repertoire.”
Montiel has had a 2015 full of engagements so far: after singing in Valencia (a recital in the Palau de la Música and Rossini’s Stabat Mater at the Palau de les Arts), Barcelona (Siete Canciones populares españolas, by Falla, at the Palau de la Música), Madrid (Verdi’s Requiem , an Opera Gala with the RTVE Orchestra and Choir, a recital in aid of the Centre for Applied Medical Research at the University of Navarra and another in the XXI Lied Cycle at the Teatro de La Zarzuela), Pamplona (recital at the Teatro Gayarre), Lisbon (Mahler’s Third Symphony with the Portuguese Symphony), Tel Aviv (Carmen alongside Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic), Milan (Mahler’s Third Symphony with LA VERDI) and Barcelona (recital in homage to the soprano Victoria de Los Ángeles).
María José Montiel’s springtime in Madrid
-The Spanish diva returns to Madrid after giving concerts in Palau de les Arts de Valencia and in the La Verdi season in Milan (Italy)
The Spanish mezzo-soprano María José Montiel’s ceaseless activity continues. Since the start of 2015 her engagements have taken her to Murcia, Valencia, Barcelona, Madrid, Pamplona, Lisbon, Tel Aviv and Milan, and now she is to return to her home city for a while to give concerts and recitals.
On the 22nd May she will participate in the 50th anniversary of the RTVE Orchestra and Choir in an opera gala which will take place in the Teatro Monumental. On this occasion she will be joined by the soprano Raquel Lojendio, the tenor Aquiles Machado and the baritone Lucio Gallo, with Guillermo García Calvo on the podium. “I am really excited about being present at this celebration; the RTVE Orchestra and Choir is an ensemble that I particularly love and with which I have had a strong link since the beginning of my career. In fact, I have just sung a marvellous Verdi Requiem with them and soon a CD of opera arias which we recorded together is going to be released, and for a project like that, something so intimately mine, I was sure that it had to be this orchestra that accompanied me... Artistically they are in the premier league and I am sure that we will have a thrilling evening on the 22nd May,” states the singer.
At the end of the month the diva from Madrid will give a recital in aid of the Navarra University Centre for Applied Medical Research (CIMA), which opened in 2004. Alongside the pianist Miquel Estelrich, Montiel will be giving of her best in order to help scientific research, a worthy cause which the whole of society should support. Among the illnesses being researched into by CIMA are well-known and rare diseases, solid and haematological tumours, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cardiovascular diseases and liver cancer and cirrhosis, among others. “I feel really strongly about having the opportunity to collaborate with this recital in aid of CIMA. Since I began my career I have done my best to bring my support to different charitable institutions because I feel that it is necessary; helping others brings me great happiness and satisfaction, and especially if I can do it through my art and my voice. I thing that human beings should always help each other, so I am looking forward to this recital with a great deal of excitement and affection” The event takes place on the 30th May at the Teatro de La Zarzuela in Madrid.
She will later return to the same theatre on the 15th June for her debut in the CNDM Lied Cycle, a performance in which she will be accompanied by the pianist Josep Colom. Her engagements will be rounded off on June 21st with a recital in homage to Victoria de Los Ángeles in Sant Cugat (Barcelona), this time accompanied by the pianist Rubén Fernández Aguirre.
María José Montiel tours Spain and Portugal before going back to Israel to sing Carmen, conducted by Zubin Mehta
-The mezzo from Madrid, who has just ended a tour with the Ciudad de Elche Symphonic Orchestra, will give recitals and concerts in Valencia, Barcelona, Zaragoza and Pamplona and will sing Verdi´s Requiem in Madrid and Mahler´s Third in Lisbon before she returns to Israel in the title role of Carmen.
After an extraordinarily successful tour of concerts with the Ciudad de Elche Symphony Orchestra and the Crevillentina Choir this January (in Abarán, Cieza and Murcia), the Spanish diva María José Montiel adds more engagements to her already publicized diary of recitals and concerts, adding the cities of Barcelona and Zaragoza to the list. These will be two performances with the Classical Concert Chamber Orchestra, a California (USA) based ensemble led by the violinist Ashot Tigranyan. In February they will be on a concert packed tour of various Spanish cities on which María José Montiel will join them in Barcelona (Palau de la Música Catalana, 18th February) and Zaragoza (Zaragoza Auditorium, 28th February). The programme includes the Seven popular Spanish songs, by Manuel de Falla, as well as music by Vivaldi, Mozart and Sarasate to be performed by the orchestra.
Earlier, on the 10th February, María José Montiel will give a recital in the Palau de la Música in Valencia with the pianist Miquel Estelrich with pieces by Montsalvatge, García Abril, Ravel, Massenet, Saint-Saëns, and others.
As previously publicized, on the 26th and 27th February, Montiel will once again perform one of the pieces which has brought her most international renown, Giuseppe Verdi´s Requiem Mass. On this occasion she will be conducted by Carlos Kalmar at the Teatro Monumental in Madrid and the concert will be part of the Spanish Radio and Television (RTVE) Orchestra and Choir season.
In early March the mezzo from Madrid will travel to Pamplona to give a recital in the Teatro Gayarre accompanied on the piano by Laurence Verna (3rd March). Some days later she will return to Lisbon to perform Gustav Mahler´s Third Symphony in the Belém Cultural Centre alongside the Portuguese Symphony Orchestra (8th March), all this before her return to Tel-Aviv (Israel), where she will once again be conducted by Zubin Mehta in two performances of Carmen with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (15th and 22nd March). María José Montiel returns to the orchestra´s season, in which she performed last December, as the title role of Bizet´s Carmen, again under the baton of Mehta, one of her favourite conductors and with whom she has collaborated on many occasions.
Maria José Montiel will be Carmen in Beijing and later in Israel conducted Zubin Mehta
- The Spanish diva will take the leading role in Francesca Zambello´s production in Beijing and will later travel to Israel with the Indian conductor. In February she will make her debut in the CNDM Lied concert cycle at the Teatro de La Zarzuela in Madrid
The mezzosoprano from Madrid, Maria José Montiel has travelled to Beijing to premiere Francesca Zambello´s production of Carmen at the China National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) on the 29th November. The opera will be conducted by Zhang Guoyong and will be Montiel´s debut in China. “I have sung in Japan several times, but I still have not had the opportunity to visit China”, the singer comments, “and I love being able to make my debut there with this role and in a production which I find really interesting from a theatrical and aesthetic point of view.” The performances at the NCPA will continue until the 3rd December.
Later, Montiel, will travel to Israel once again to take her star role as Bizet´s gipsy in Tel-Aviv. On the 20th and 22nd December the Spanish singer will be performing alongside the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by Zubin Mehta, with whom she already collaborated in the opera Medea at the Palau de les Arts de Valencia in 2012. This fusion between the art of Montiel and the conductor Mehta will re-occur this season, in March 2015, with more performances of Carmen in Tel-Aviv, and she will also return to the city in June to participate in Un ballo in maschera, once again conducted by the Indian genius.
On the 2nd December María José Montiel will make her debut at the 21st Lied concert cycle which is organised by the National Centre for Musical Diffusion (CNDM) at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid. She will perform pieces by Montsalvatge, Halffter, Santoro, Villa-Lobos, Ovalle, Hahn, Debussy and Massenet, as well as the world premiere of Empfänger unbekannt (four Lieder) by the Majorcan composer Antoni Parera Fons. Montiel will be accompanied on the piano by Josep Maria Colom and the programme will include some of the pieces from her latest CD, El día que me quieras, which is a collection of Latin American song, including some of the most popular tangos, boleros and Brazilian classics.
Beforehand, at the beginning of 2015, María José Montiel will make a tour of the Community of Murcia which, accompanied by the Elche Symphonic Orchestra and the Crevillentina Choir, will take her to the cities of Abarán (18th January), Cieza (22nd January) and Murcia (24th January) to give opera and zarzuela gala concerts in each city. Later on, and among other engagements, she will give a recital at the Palau de la Música in Valencia, a Verdi Requiem with the RTVE Symphony Orchestra and Choir at the Monumental Theatre in Madrid, a recital at the Gayarre Theatre in Pamplona and Mahler´s Third Symphony with the Portuguese Symphony Orchestra in Lisbon and with the Giuseppe Verdi Symphony Orchestra in Milan.
María José Montiel opens the season with "Carmen"
The Spanish mezzosoprano begins the 2014-15 season with one of her great characters, the title role of Carmen, by Bizet, which she will perform in Madrid and then in Tel-Aviv (Israel), where she will be conducted by Zubin Mehta
Carmen is a role which has made a huge impact on the Spanish singer María José Montiel's career, and for which she was awarded the prize for the Best Female Opera Singer in the 2011 Campoamor Opera Prizes, the most prestigious opera awards in Spain (for the Calixto Bieito production at the Liceu in Barcelona), being the first Spanish woman to win this prize. Montiel has trod the boards in the shoes of Bizet's famous gipsy at some of the most emblematic opera houses in Switzerland, Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Japan and the United States. This year the Spanish diva will take the role again in her home city of Madrid, no less, in a new production by the Teatro de la Zarzuela, which is shaping up to be the highlight of the Madrid listings and will be conducted by the Chinese conductor Yi-Chen Lin and directed by Ana Zamora. Premiering on 10th October, the singer will give various performances of the opera throughout the month.
Some days after this Madrid debut, on the 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th November Montiel will give master classes at the Víctor Ullate School in Madrid. On the 2nd December, also in the Spanish capital, she will give a recital accompanied by the pianist Josep Maria Colom, making her debut in the XXI Lied Cycle which is being organized by the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid and the National Centre for the Diffusion of Music. The Cycle is a series of recitals which, after a two decade long history, is now one of the most important events in Spanish musical life. María José Montiel will perform a programme with pieces by Xavier Montsalvatge, Ernesto Halffter, Antoni Parera Fons, Claudio Santoro, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Jaime Ovalle, Claude Debussy, Reynaldo Hahn and Jules Massenet.
Also in December (on the 20th and 22nd) and to top off the year, Montiel will once again take on the role of Carmen, in Tel-Aviv (Israel) this time, and alongside the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra which will be conducted by the impressive Indian conductor Zubin Mehta, an engagement which the mezzo is looking forward to with great excitement and which she will repeat in 2015, also in Israel and with Mehta at the helm, with more performances of Bizet´s opera as well as other performances of Verdi's Un ballo in maschera.
María José Montiel returns to the billboards in Madrid
After the recording of a CD with the RTVE Orchestra and choir in June, the mezzo-soprano María José Montiel will perform with the ensemble again in a concert in the city of her birth on 4th July. The superb programme, which will be performed at the Teatro Monumental in Madrid, includes arias from opera, romanzas from zarzuela and song and is shaping up to be the highlight of the summer music programme for opera-lovers. Conducted by Manuel Hernández Silva, Montiel will be singing the most joyous repertoire in a historical jaunt which goes from Händel´s baroque majesty, performing the popular, from the opera by the German composer, passing through the purist Romantic bel canto with , from Donizetti´s , and to the sensual harmonies of , from , by Saint-Säens. In the second half the mezzo-soprano will perform her exemplary version of , by Xavier Montsalvatge – a composer with whom the singer has worked on various occasions -, to then move on to very popular terrain for the Spanish audience, a revisiting of the most popular romanzas from zarzuela, a field in which Montiel is unrivalled: her DVD of , a show produced in Teatro Real in 2005 including the most emblematic songs of the genre, achieved record sales and was awarded a Gold Disc. She will perform two of the jewels from it in this concert from Luna´s , and from , by Chueca. The RTVE orchestra and choir will also play overtures and choral fragments from operas and zarzuelas by Mozart, Verdi, Saint-Saëns, Bizet, Chueca and Moreno Torroba.
After the concert in Madrid, María José Montiel will travel to Majorca (11 July) to participate in the II Santanyi International Music Festival with a recital accompanied on the piano by Miquel Estelrich. She will also sing one of her favourite pieces, Verdi´s, in the Italian city of Piacenza (20th July).
María José Montiel sings Mahler in Lisbon
It is clear that the Spanish mezzo María José Montiel has a special affinity with this Gustav Mahler symphony; in January she performed the bohemian composer’sas soloist in the Milan Auditorium to huge acclaim. This is a new collaboration between Montiel and “La Verdi” (Milan Giuseppi Verdi Foundation Symphony Orchestra and Choir), with which she works almost every season. In April, Montiel will pack her bags again, this time to travel to Lisbon, where she will revisit Mahler’s music and his .
The singer will be travelling to Portugal after first touring Spain, giving recitals in Bilbao, Madrid and Valencia. She will make her re-encounter with symphonic repertoire thanks to this monumental opus, whose 4th movement,, with words by Mahler himself, she will be performing alongside the Portuguese Symphony Orchestra (OSP) and the Lisbon São Carlos National Theatre choir. They will be conducted by Joana Carneiro on the 6th April at the Belém Cultural Centre (Lisbon).
María José Montiel begins a tour of recitals
Considered to be one of the stars of the Spanish opera scene, the mezzo from Madrid, María José Montiel has just chalked up another achievement in her career, this time with the musical magic of the Bohemian composer Gustav Mahler at the Milan Auditorium, performing his Second Symphony, Resurrection. This is a new collaboration between the Spanish diva and the Verdi Foundation (Milan Giuseppe Verdi Symphony Orchestra and Choir).
Over the next few weeks Montiel will go on a tour of recitals, visiting Bilbao, Madrid and Valencia, beginning at the Campos Elíseos Theatre - Antzokia in Bilbao as part of its Joaquín Achúcarro piano season (30th January), and alongside the pianist Rubén Fernández Aguirre. The programme includes pieces by Mendelssohn, Wagner, Montsalvatge and García Abril, as well as some zarzuela romanzas.
On the 5th February, again with Fernández Aguirre, the singer will go to the March Foundation in Madrid to participate in its recital season, this time with a wide repertoire including songs by women composers such as Clara Schumann Wieck, Matilde Salvador, Mélanie Bonis and Nadia Boulanger, as well as other pieces by Schumann, Halffter, Debussy, Hahn, Massenet and, once again, Xavier Montsalvatge: “I often remember the maestro Montsalvatge and the lovely friendship we had, as well as the number of countries in which I have sung his songs with piano or orchestra. I think I’ve done it in every continent except Africa! He also wrote Eufonia, which I myself premiered in Cadaqués. It was an honour for me to collaborate with him and count on his trust in me, when I was so young”, the Spanish opera star affirms.
And from Madrid to Valencia: María José Montiel will perform for the Valencian Philharmonic Society in the Iturbi Hall at the city’s Palau de la Música on the 11th February. This time the format will be completely different: she will be accompanied on the harp by Luisa Domingo.
Before the end of the month, on the 23rd February, María José Montiel will return to the National Auditorium in Madrid to participate in a charity recital alongside the legendary Italian baritone Ruggero Raimondi; both artists will be joined by the tenor Aquiles Machado and accompanied by the maestro Edelmiro Arnaltes on the piano and will perform a repertoire which includes Spanish and Neapolitan song as well as selections from operas by Mozart (Don Giovanni) and Bizet (Carmen).
The mezzo from Madrid begins 2014 in the Auditorium of Milan before setting forth on a tour of recitals in Bilbao, Madrid and Valencia
María José Montiel will begin 2014 with Gustav Mahler: she will perform the Bohemian composer´s Second Symphony in the Auditorium of Milan (24th and 26th January) alongside the Verdi Foundation Symphony Orchestra and the Milano Giuseppe Verdi Symphony Choir, which the Spanish singer has been collaborating with for a decade.
After her Milanese engagements, María José Montiel will begin a tour of recitals in Spain which will take her to Bilbao, Madrid and Valencia, beginning her journey at the Bilbao Philharmonic Society on the 30th January, where she will be accompanied by Rubén Fernández Aguirre on piano. The programme includes the marvellous Wesendonk-Lieder as well as pieces by Falla, Montsalvatge and Debussy, among others.
On the 5th February, again with Fernández Aguirre and with a similar programme, she will travel to the March Foundation in Madrid before heading to the Valencia Philharmonic Society on the 10th to perform in a completely different format, this time accompanied on the harp by Luisa Domingo.
Some days later, on the 23rd February, Montiel will once again sing for Madrid concert goes at a charity performance alongside the legendary Ruggero Raimondi at the National Auditorium; both artists will be accompanied on the piano by Edelmiro Arnaltes.
Two of María José Montiel's CD's are being re-released
Two CD's by María José Montiel that were discontinued return to the market this month in new editions by Discmedi. The first one of these is Toldrà recital live, a work recorded live by Radio Nacional de España at the Madrid March Foundation on May 17, 1995, with a repertoire centered around the work of Eduard Toldrà, in which the Spanish diva performs with the unmistakable piano accompaniment of the master of masters Miguel Zanetti. "In fact I accepted this re-issue not only because of the value of the recorded repertoire, but also as a tribute to the great pianist that was Miguel Zanetti, an exceptional and generous musician, a great connoisseur of piano and a good friend", Montiel affirmed.
The second disc to be re-released is Modinha, Brazilian Songs, a selection of Brazilian songs of various genres and including not only songs by composers already qualified as classics such as Heitor Villa-Lobos, from whom are included various pieces, but also popular pieces with unique arrangements for voice and piano. The genre known as modinha that titles the CD and of which various examples were collected in this recording is considered one of the first styles to be born in Brazil --in the seventeenth century--, a derivation of the melodic and courtly Moda that came from Portugal and that became popular after being the Brazilian imperial court's favorite. The singer from Madrid recorded Modinha in May 1999 together with Brazilian pianist Luiz de Moura Castro --author of some of the arrangements as well--, a work that became a Grammy finalist in 2002.
María José Montiel makes her debut in Bilbao with her quintessential Maddalena in Rigoletto
María José Montiel’s diary continues to be very busy at the start of this new season. Her opening of the 2013-14 season at the Teatro de La Zarzuela with La Tempranica, by Gerónimo Giménez, conducted by the great Frühbeck de Burgos was a resounding success amongst critics and opera-goers. In October she will travel to Bilbao for four performances of her suggestive Maddalena in Rigoletto at the ABAO-OLBE season, after having performed it earlier, in this year of Verdi’s Bicentenary, at the Teatro de La Maestranza in Seville last June. This character marks the Spanish mezzo´s debut in Bilbao, where she will take on this Verdi opera alongside artists such as Leo Nucci (Rigoletto), Elena Mosuc (Gilda) and Ismael Jordi (Duke of Mantua). Daniel Oren – who conducted Montiel´s acclaimed Cieca in La Gioconda at the Opéra National de Paris - will conduct, and the director is Emilio Sagi in a co-production of the ABAO-OLBE and the Lisbon Teatro Nacional São Carlos.
After this Rigoletto in Bilbao, three performances of Verdi’s Messa da Requiem await her in November, with the Symphony Orchestra of Milan Giuseppe Verdi.
María José Montiel opens the season at the Zarzuela
The mezzo-soprano from Madrid, María José Montiel, will tread the boards at the Teatro de La Zarzuela once again, opening the 2013-14 season on the 21st and 22nd September, with the lead role in La Tempranica, by Gerónimo Giménez. This is a one act zarzuela with a libretto by Julián Romea which premiered in the same theatre 113 years ago on the 19th September 1900. The performances will be in concert format and Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos will be wielding the baton, having postponed the concert from last season to this upcoming September due to health problems.
For Montiel, singing in her home city “is marvellous, I cannot describe it in any other way. Because of my engagements in other cities it is a long time since I have sung in Madrid, and this reencounter is very special: being a home-grown zarzuela, since it premiered in this same theatre”. Montiel will be joined on stage by Carlos Bergasa, Ricardo Bernal and Virginia Wagner, among others, alongside the Orquesta de la Comunidad de Madrid and the Teatro de La Zarzuela choir, a musical evening which will also include pieces by Joaquín Rodrigo (Homage to La Tempranica) and Isaac Albéniz (a selection from his Spanish Suite).
María José Montiel begins a tour of recitals
This July the Spanish mezzo-soprano María José Montiel is embarking on a tour of recitals, a format which the singer adores, and for which she always finds space in her agenda. After some intense opera activity with her acclaimed Cieca in La Gioconda at the Paris Opéra National (May) and her Maddalena in Rigoletto at the Teatro de La Maestranza in Seville (June), the singer will once again give a series of recitals. On the 11th July she will pay homage to the Aragonese composer Antón García Abril with a musical evening in Santiago de Compostela to commemorate his 80th birthday, accompanied by Alejandro Zabala on the piano. She will perform a programme with a Galician flavour, including some of his Canciones Xacobeas (Jacobean Songs) with lyrics by medieval writers, as well as others inspired by poems by Rosalía de Castro, Ramón del Valle-Inclán and Antonio Gala, among others. After her recital in Galicia and for the second consecutive year, Montiel will give two recitals in the Balearic Islands: the first will be on the 16th July at the Royal Charterhouse in Valldemossa (Majorca) with the pianist Miquel Estelrich, whilst for the second –on the 19th- she will travel to Manacor for a fundraising recital in aid of the Riera Ferrari Foundation in the Serenates A l’Auba Festival, being accompanied on the piano by Dani Espasa this time and with a programme of songs by Latin American writers.
To begin the next season, and early in the month of September, Montiel will return to her home city, Madrid, to take the lead role in two performances of La Tempranica conducted by Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos at the Teatro de La Zarzuela.
María José Montiel, from Paris to Seville
María José Montiel’s busy spring diary never stops. The month of May was crowned by her resounding public and critical triumph at the Parisian Bastille Opera with her portrayal of the role of La Cieca in La Gioconda. In June the Spanish mezzo-soprano continues with her international engagements, this time taking the part of Maddalena in Rigoletto, and thus joining in the celebrations of Verdi Year which the majority of opera houses throughout the world are commemorating in this bicentenary year of the Italian composer’s birth. She will sing Maddalena at the Teatro de La Maestranza in Seville, with an attractive cast which also includes artists of the calibre of Celso Albelo, Mariola Cantarero and Leo Nucci, among others. The Seville Royal Symphonic Orchestra and the Friends of the Teatro de La Maestranza Choir will be conducted by Pedro Halffter and the director of the production is Stefano Vizioli.
After Rigoletto in Seville, in July María José Montiel will give recitals in Santiago de Compostela – a homage to the composer Antón García Abril-, at the Royal Cartuja in Valldemossa (Majorca) and in Manacor (Majorca) –in the Serenates a l'Auba Festival-, will sing La Tempranica at the Teatro de La Zarzuela in Madrid in September conductedby Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Rigoletto at the ABAO's season (Bilbao) and a concert with harp accompaniment in Valencia. In 2014 important engagements include her renowned Carmen in Israel conducted by Zubin Mehta.
María José Montiel returns to the Paris Opera in May
The Spanish mezzosoprano María José Montiel continues with her international career, this time returning to this season at the Opéra National de Paris to make her debut in a role as complex dramatically speaking as it is difficult musically: that of la Cieca, from the opera La Gioconda, by Amilcare Ponchielli. After performing Verdi´s Requiem at the Milan Auditorium, Montiel will once again meet a Parisian audience in this particular role, a sorceress in every sense of the word. “The truth is that this is a role that I love but which is very demanding. It is exciting to debut it before such an affectionate and knowledgeable audience as that of the Paris Opera”, the singer affirms. The new production, which Paris Opera is co-producing with the Teatro Real in Madrid and the Gran Teatre del Liceu de Barcelona, will be conducted by Daniel Oren and directed by Pier Luigi Pizzi.
On this occasion Montiel will share the huge stage of the Bastille with Violeta Urmana, Marcelo Álvarez and Luciana D’intino, among others (Performances: May 2, 7, 10, 13, 17, 20, 23, 26 and 31).
María José Montiel returns to Milan to sing Verdi’s Requiem
This March, the Auditorium di Milano (Milan, Italy) will once again include the Spanish mezzo-soprano María José Montiel in its programme, in one of the central celebrations for Verdi Year in the Italian city: the performance of the famous Verdi Messa da Requiem. The singer will once again perform with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, on the 7th, 8th and 10th March. “This is one of Verdi’s most complete works”, comments María José Montiel, “and each time I sing it I discover new details, new colours. This Requiem will be very special, as it is one of the Verdi Year events: it commemorates the bicentenary of the Italian composer’s birth, one of the fathers of opera, and so everything will have a very special and emotional feel”.
The Verdi Requiem is one of the pieces most performed by Montiel and it became her official calling card when she began to collaborate with the conductor Riccardo Chailly, always with the Requiem, one of Verdi’s most popular works.
After getting back from Milan, Montiel has La Gioconda at the Opéra National de Paris, and Rigoletto in the Teatro de La Maestranza in Seville in her diary, among other engagements.
María José Montiel sings for the National Alliance for Hispanic Health
On the 28th January the Spanish mezzo-soprano María José Montiel will return to the United States, after her acclaimed Carmen which she performed in Atlanta last November. This time she will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, an organization which was founded in Los Angeles in 1973 and which has its headquarters in Washington and whose objective is to promote health and well-being in Hispanic communities in the United States. In fact it is the source of information on the health of Hispanics in the USA and a champion of science and research focussed on that community.
In order to celebrate four decades of activity, they have opted for the artistry of María José Montiel, accompanied by the Majorcan pianist Miquel Estelrich, at a musical gala at the Kennedy Center in Washington.
María José Montiel returns to Valencia with Riccardo Chailly
After an intense November in which María José Montiel made her American debut of Carmen to great public and critical acclaim, the mezzo from Madrid is returning to Spain to take part in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony which the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía de Valencia has programmed for December. The Spanish singer will once again be working with the Italian conductor Riccardo Chailly, with whom she has collaborated frequently since he discovered her more than a decade ago. Chailly will be conducting the Community of Valencia Orchestra and the Valencian Generalitat Choir. The soprano Julia Bauer, the tenor Steve Davislim and the baritone Rudolf Rosen will be sharing the stage with Montiel and they will be giving two performances of Beethoven´s masterpiece, on the 14th and 16th December. After this the singer will once again travel to the United States to give a recital in Washington to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, on which occasion she will be accompanied by the Majorcan pianist Miquel Estelrich.
María José Montiel is Carmen in Atlanta
The Spanish mezzosoprano María José Montiel will make her debut at the Atlanta Opera (and in the United States) on the 10th November with one of the roles which has brought her most satisfaction over her career: the title role of the popular opera Carmen, by Georges Bizet. She first sang this role over a decade ago in the Teatro Verdi in Pisa (Italy): from then on she has taken her free-spirited gipsy to the principal theaters in Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain and Japan, being awarded the Prize for Best Singer 2011 at the Campoamor Opera Awards (the most important opera award bestowed in Spain) for her vision of this fascinating character in the Barcelona Liceu, directed by Calixto Bieito.
Upcoming engagements for María José Montiel include performances in the Palau de les Arts in Valencia, the Kennedy Center in Washington, the Milan Auditorium, the Opéra National de Paris-Bastille and the La Maestranza theater in Seville.
María José Montiel: summer of recitals in the Balearic Islands
After a June during which María José Montiel shone especially in her performance of Neris, in Cherubini´s Medea, conducted by Zubin Mehta at the Palau de les Arts de Valencia, the mezzo from Madrid is looking at a summer in which a tour of recitals in the Balearic Islands stands out amongst her engagements. She will be accompanied all the way by her friend, the pianist Miquel Estelrich. On the 20th July they will make their way to Bellver Castle in Palma de Majorca for a musical evening in the patio of the emblematic castle. On the 28th of the same month they will give another recital in the Teatre Principal in Maó (Menorca), which is organized by the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth, the Menorca Diari newspaper and the theatre itself in aid of the Children´s Home.
On the 3rd August, and continuing with the Spanish singer´s work in aid of various charitable causes, she will participate in the Serenades to the Auba Music Festival in Manacor (Majorca), an initiative which includes a series of concerts organized by the Riera Ferrari Cultural Association which offers “help to the most needy through quality cultural events” according to the organization. Other philanthropic artists such as Juan Pons and María del Mar Bonet will also be participating in this project.
In these summer recitals, Montiel will delve into a repertoire which she has taken all over the World, including pieces by composers such as Ravel, Debussy, Hahn, Falla, Turina, Montsalvatge, Villalobos and Ovalle.
María José Montiel will sing in Medea at the Palau de les Arts (Valencia)
After a winter and spring of intense activity around the world, appearing on stage in the Republic of Buryatia, Madrid, Milan, Palermo, Vienna, Oviedo, Lecce and Lisbon, the Spanish mezzosoprano María José Montiel is getting ready for a summer with a Spanish accent: at the end of May she will travel to Valencia to take on four performances - on the 12th, 17th, 21st and 24th June- of the opera Medea, by Cherubini, alongside Violeta Urmana in a new production by the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía directed by Gerardo Vera and conducted by Zubin Mehta, no less.
María José Montiel gets ready for a busy March
After being awarded the prize for Best Female Singer of the 2011-2012 season,on the 17th February, bestowed by the Oviedo Teatro Campoamor Opera Prize Foundation, María José Montiel faces a month packed with engagements. On the 7th and 10th March she will once again take on the role of Bizet´s Carmen, one of the characters who has brought her the most joy and success over the last few years and who the Spanish singer especially adores; this will take place in the Teatro Politeama Greco di Lecce (Italy) and will be conducted by Filippo Zigante. Also in Italy, Montiel will be appearing on the 15th, 16th and 17th with the Milan Giuseppe Verdi Symphony Orchestra - a regular engagement- this time they will be performing Das klagende Lied, by Mahler; afterwards she will travel to Lisbon to perform in Rossini´s Petite Messe Solennelle on the 24th March, and finally will go to Madrid, her city of birth, to give a recital which will end the Turina in Paris concert cycle on 28th at the March Foundation. The concerts have been programmed by the Foundation in homage to the years the Spanish Composer spent in the at that time highly creative and musical French Capital at the beginning of the 20th Century.
María José Montiel awarded the prize for Best Female Singer 2010-11 in Oviedo
The mezzo-soprano from Madrid is making the final preparations for her performance in the upcoming Teatro Campoamor Opera Awards Gala. These are the most important opera prizes in Spain and are awarded each year in the Campoamor Theatre, which is located in Oviedo. The Award Ceremony will take place on Friday 17th February and Montiel will receive the prize for Best Female Singer in the 2010-2011 season.
“For me, this award means recognition for my deep love of music, my vocation and my unconditional surrender to art” the singer declared, adding “I would like to thank everyone who has made this possible”.
Montiel, who hails from Madrid, has been awarded the prize for her performance in the role of Carmen in the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona in October 2010, being the first Spanish singer to be selected in this category since the awards began.
María José Montiel returns to the Vienna Staatsoper
The mezzosoprano María José Montiel, who hails from Madrid, is now in rehearsal for the opera Andrea Chénier, by Giordano. She will portray the character of Madelon, and the production will open on the 28th January in a world class opera house, the Vienna Staatsoper. Her appearance in this dramatic role marks a return to the Austrian capital, where she has previously performed in Verdi´s Requiem in the Konzerthaus conducted by Riccardo Chailly, as the lead in Luisa Fernanda alongside Plácido Domingo in the Teather an der Wien, and has given two recitals in the famous Musikverrein.
In this return to Vienna, Montiel will be conducted by Pinchas Steinberg and fellow cast members include the tenor Johan Botha, the soprano Norma Fantini and the baritone Sergey Murzaev.
In the upcoming months the Spanish singer will go back to Italy with her acclaimed Carmen by Bizet (Lecce), an opera which she has just performed in Palermo, and as soon as the performances are over she will travel to Milan to join the Giuseppe Verdi Orchestra, with which she is to perform Mahler´s Das Klagende Lied. Afterwards she will return to Madrid, where she will give a recital of Turina en París as part of the series of recitals which the March foundation have dedicated to the Spanish composer Joaquin Turina.
Beforehand, on the 17th February, she will take part in the Campoamor Opera Awards Gala, where she will receive the prize for Best Opera Singer for the Spanish 2010-11 opera season for her performance of Carmen in the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona.
María José Montiel, first Spanish singer to be awarded the Best Female Singer Prize 2010 in the Campoamor Opera Prizes
Mezzosoprano María José Montiel has won the prize for best female singer in the 2011 Teatro Campoamor Opera Award Ceremony, where the most important awards of this kind in Spain are handed over every year in Oviedo. The singer, who hails from Madrid, has been awarded the prize for her Carmen in the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, in October 2010, being the first Spanish singer to have been given a prize in this category in the history of the awards.
María José Montiel recently debuted in the Teatro Massimo in Palermo also as Bizet´s gypsy in a co-production of the Italian theatre company and the Barcelona Liceu directed by Calixto Bieito, who also won a prize for this production. Her next engagement is in her home city where she is to perform in Dvorak´s Stabat Mater which the RTVE Symphony Orchestra has programmed for the 1st and 2nd December in the Teatro Monumental, Madrid. After that, the Spanish mezzo will return to Italy to join the cast of artists who will be performing Beethoven´s Ninth Symphony with the Milanese Giuseppe Verdi Orchestra in the Milan auditorium on the 29th, 30th and 31st December and the 1st January.
Once these engagements in Italy are over, Montiel will travel to Vienna to perform in a production of Giordano´s Andrea Chénier, in which she will take the role of Madelon and which will take place in the Vienna Staatsoper on the 28th and 31st January and on the 3rd and 6th February 2012.
In the following months the singer will once again join the Giuseppe Verdi Orchestra to perform Mahler´s Das Klagende Lied, and will then return to Madrid, where she will give a recital of Turina en París as part of a season of concerts that the March Foundation has dedicated to the Spanish composer Joaquin Turina. Before that, on the 17th February, she will perform at the Campoamor Opera Awards prizegiving ceremony.
María José Montiel´s Carmen travels to Palermo
The Spanish mezzosoprano María José Montiel will travel to the Sicilian capital to perform her own personal take on Bizet´s Carmen for the first time there. She has already taken the lead role in this Calixto Bieito production at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona.
The singer, who hails from Madrid, is currently one of the most sought-after performers of opera´s most famous gipsy, having sung the role in prestigious theatres in Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain, Japan and Italy, where she has previously performed in cities such as Pisa, Lucca, Livorno, Trieste and Udino.
Montiel will be Carmen on the 19th and 22nd November and her Don José will be Jorge de León, from the Canary Islands; they will be joined by other soloists and the orchestra and choir at the Teatro Massimo and conducted by Karel Mark Chichon.
María José Montiel gives a recital in the National Auditorium in Madrid
Home again after taking the lead role in Carmen in the Republic of Buryatia, the mezzosoprano María José Montiel, who hails from Madrid, is getting ready to give a recital in which she will perform pieces by Falla and Debussy. The musical evening will take place on the 21st October in the National Auditorium in Madrid and the singer will be accompanied on the piano by the maestro Josep María Colom.
Afterwards, María José Montiel will travel to Italy, a country where she is regularly invited to sing, to perform Verdi´s Requiem with the Symphonic Orchestra and Choir of Milano Giuseppe Verdi, conducted by Aldo Ceccato. The three performances will take place on the 3rd, 4th and 6th November in the Milan Auditorium, where the Italian ensemble is based.
María José Montiel is Carmen in Ulan-Ude
The mezzosoprano María José Montiel has been invited to sing Bizet´s Carmen on the 1st and 3rd October in Ulan-Ude, capital of Buryatia, one of the Siberian Republics in the Russian Federation. The Spanish singer has portrayed the role of the most famous gypsy in opera in prestigious stages around Europe: in Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Now she will be performing the role in the Russian steppes, in an region which adjoins Mongolia, and she will be the first Spaniard to perform it in this remote area. She will then sing the role again at her debut in the Teatro Massimo in Palermo (Italy).