terça-feira, 29 de janeiro de 2013

MICHAEL SPYRES – Um notável jovem tenor (e uma entrevista exclusiva!) / A remarkable young tenor (and an exclusive interview!)

(text and interview in English below)

Para deleite dos amantes da lírica, vivemos um período em que há um número muito considerável de excelentes tenores. É com grande satisfação que “descobri” mais um, o jovem norte americano Michael Spyres que, prevejo, consolidará um lugar cimeiro nas principais catedrais mundiais da ópera.

Spyres tem um timbre claro e uma bela voz de tenor lírico. Aborda o reportório de belcanto com segurança e eficácia. Mas a versatilidade vocal permite-lhe interpretações de qualidade noutros estilos. Isso mesmo pode constatar-se no seu primeiro CD a solo intitulado A Fool for Love, com a Orquestra de Câmara de Moscovo, sob a direcção de Constantine Orbelian.

 Nele podemos ouvir diversas interpretações de árias conhecidas, em italiano, francês, alemão, russo e inglês. Todo o CD é de audição muito agradável mas destacaria, entre outras, Cessa di più resistere do Barbeiro de Sevilha de Rossini pela qualidade interpretativa superior, Una furtiva lagrima do Elixir do Amor de Donizetti e Kuda. kuda… do Eugene Onegin de Tchaikovsky pela elegância interpretativa, Il mio tesoro do Don Giovanni de Mozart numa interpretação marcante, Je crois entendre encore dos Pescadores de Pérolas de Bizet onde mostra a versatilidade do registo mais agudo e, pela intensidade dramática, Puorquoi me reveiller do Werther de Massenet e È la sólita sortida de L’Arlesiana de Cilea.

Em 2013 teremos a possibilidade de ouvir Spyres em Fevereiro, no Liceu de Barcelona, como Hoffmann na ópera de Offenbach Les Contes d´Hoffmann e em Março, no Porto, onde interpretará a parte de tenor da Missa de Requiem de Verdi na Casa da Música. Eu conto estar presente em ambas.

(fotografia / photo E Carecchio)

A terminar, um raro presente para os leitores deste blogue - Michael Spyres oferece-nos uma curta entrevista exclusiva:

1- Fanáticos: Which opera character do you most admire in the operas you sing?
Michael Spyres: I have to say that I most admire Candide more than any other character. The journey that Candide takes is one that every person needs to take to heart which is the journey from naivety to gnosis. He begins life believing everything that he is told and as he is faced with challenges he learns in order to survive he must adapt and mature yet he always believes in eternal optimism and through his journey from child to mensch he embodies every human beings journey that has ever walked the earth and this is our destiny as a homo-sapien. Throughout the opera Candide as a character goes through what I wish upon myself and every human being which is the journey to enlightenment.

2- Fanáticos:  Are belcanto roles dominant in your career? Why?
Michael Spyres: Bel-canto has become my forte and I could not be happier because there really is no greater challenge in my line of work than the height of the bel canto works such as Les Huguenots, Guillaume Tell, La Muette de Portici, and many many others. When starting my career all I wanted was to sing the un-singable and I would practice day after day for hours and I was obsessed with the idea that if I could sing bel-canto then I can sing anything. This repertoire has been so beneficial for me and for anyone who ever ventures into it because Bel-Canto demands the highest degree of artistry; for example mastery of breath control, phrasing, extreme dynamic contrasts, and the utmost attention to diction. Everyone can learn from this genre and I encourage every singer and music lover to familiarize themselves with the traditions and customs of this most precious and extremely rich era of music.

3- Fanáticos: Who are your references as a tenor?
Michael Spyres: I have so many influences as a tenor and there is no way to choose a favorite but I do have to say that for a lifetime career award Nicolai Gedda would get my vote and with a close second would be Placido Domingo. Both of these men sang well over a 100 roles as well as recitals and concerts. They have both set a precedent for all singers who came after them to become better musicians and they both continue to inspire others worldwide to this day. Mario Lanza was the reason that I became a tenor though to be honest. You just can not find a more beautiful voice than his. I am a huge advocate of early recordings and actually most of my greatest tenor influences come from 1920-1960. Here is a very short list of some of my favorites. Caruso, Miguel Fleta, Aureliano Pertile, Andre D'Arkor, George Thill, and Fritz Wunderlich, but there are to many to name here.

4- Fanáticos: What are the main differences between the public in the USA, southern Europe, and central Europe?
Michael Spyres: I would have to say that the public does not have so many differences except for the fact that since U.S. fans have far less opportunity to hear operas they only seem to be that more excited about it and you will very rarely ever hear anyone booing, also you will almost always have a standing ovation in the U.S. whereas in the E.U. this is a rare occasion and people readily vocalize their position on what they do not like. Really the big difference lies from Festival to House and on the local public. In every country you have a more conservative crowd and also fanatics that are really vocal about their particular love or hate of a singer, director, conductor, etc... This is why I love opera because it allows you to take part in the action and personalize your experience since people are performing live in front of you and not some still art form where only on rare occasions you are allowed to show your immediate joy or disgust with a particular piece of work. 

                                    (fotografia / photo Silvia Lelli)

5- Fanáticos: Do you have a particular message for the readers of the blog “Fanáticos da Ópera / Opera Fanatics”?
Michael Spyres: Yes! Now is a very crucial moment in how opera and in a broader spectrum how all of art will be viewed in the decades to come. I am wanting for people to bond together and rally for the importance of opera and for all of the arts. Public and private funding is being cut worldwide and it is our job to reach out to the public who has never been touched by the incredible medium of art that is Opera. It is our collective duty to raise awareness about why Opera is important and why it is pertinent for everyone. I want all of us opera lovers worldwide to teach the general public about how revolutionary opera and the arts can be and how much it has been tied to social change. Many historians say that spark of the revolution for Belgian independence in the early 19th was the Opera "La Muette de Portici" from Auber. I have been lucky enough to perform this piece and will have the chance again in March in Bari, IT at the Fondazione Petruzelli. Opera at its very core means "Labour", this is not a benign word. Opera means social change and they are moralistic stories that spark controversy and debate about all of life's problems and we can use this massive instrument to bring about a new enlightenment era much as the origins of Western Opera did directly as a result of Monteverdi's works. Let's put aside our pettiness and go out to educate the public about the arts and in turn we can ensure the future of arts and in doing so we will make a better world together.

6- Fanáticos: You will be interpreting the major role of "Les contes d´Hoffmann"  at Liceu de Barcelona. Is this your debut in the role and at Liceu? And what do you have to say about the interpretation of this role?
Michael Spyres:  This is my debut in Barcelona as well as the Liceu and I am so honored to be performing at this historical theatre. Getting the chance to sing in the Liceu is a very important milestone in any opera singer's career and for me to get to perform my dream role in one of the greatest theaters in the world is monumental and I could not be happier. Actually, this will be the second time I have performed Hoffmann. Hoffmann is my favorite role to perform in all of the characters ever written for my voice type. I have only had the chance once but it was in the German translation which actually worked quite well since the historical Hoffmann himself was German/Prussian and the stories all revolve around that part of the world. The life of E.T.A. Hoffman was nothing short of extraordinary and his works have influenced so many people over the years. The interpretation that Laurent Pelly has come up with is extremely effective and for the first time I can see Hoffmann as a real person who weaves a story throughout the entire opera while always keeping the core of the character truthful. This is a very real account of an alcoholic genius who, through all of his tantrums and anger and whimsy, still makes you love him because he is unabashedly himself. Hoffmann is as real a character as ever written and because of the genius of Offenbach you are allowed to go inside his world and see the inner workings of layers upon layers of a human. Through the character of Hoffmann you see fragility, strength, naiveté, idiocy, passion, love, ecstasy, anguish, depression, and truth. This version is very challenging both dramatically and vocally and it is one of the most difficult roles for any voice type ever written. In this version there are four arias, three duets, two trios, and five scenes so it is a massive undertaking being on stage around two hours and thirty minutes of a three hour and ten minute opera. What I love about Laurent's interpretation of this opera is the very real sense of drama and heightened reality that does not allow the audience member to relax for even a second as he weaves scene after scene into a tapestry of emotions that will be what I am sure a very memorable evening for everyone.

                                        (fotografia / photo Silvia Lelli)

7- Fanáticos: And in March you will sing in Porto the tenor part of Verdi's Requiem. This will be your debut in Portugal? Do you have any further plans to sing in this country?
Michael Spyres:  I will be making my debut in Porto in the Verdi Requiem but this will be the second time in Portugal. I was involved in an incredible project in Lisbon in 2011. We revived a completely forgotten Opera that was the last ever performed before the devastating earthquake of 1755. The opera was an exhilarating piece named Antigono and had not been heard by anyone since its debut in 1755. I played the historical figure Antigono with some of the most incredible music ever written for the voice with octave and a half jumps and a total range of three and a half octaves! My colleagues and the public of Portugal were incredible and because of the diligent work of Nicolas McNair, Massimo Mazzeo, Enrico Onofri, and the wonderful Orchestra of Divino Sospiro we really made history with the revival of this piece.  My wife and I fell in love with Lisbon and the people of Portugal. I absolutely would love to work again and again in Portugal and I very much look forwarding to getting to know Porto. I am very excited for the Verdi Requiem with the Casada Músic Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto and the accomplished conductor Michail Jurowski. I am sure if people come to Porto you will not be disappointed! "

Obrigado Michael Spyres e toi, toi, toi!

Aqui ficam os links para o website do Michael Spyres: www.michaelspyres.com
e sua página do facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mspyres

Michael Spyres - A remarkable young tenor

To the delight of opera lovers, in present days we have a considerable number of excellent tenors. It was with great satisfaction that I “discovered” Michael Spyres. I am sure he will occupy a top place in the main cathedrals of the opera world very soon.
Spyres has a clear timbre and a beautiful lyric tenor voice. He sings belcanto repertoire with remarkable facility, but his vocal versatility allows him to interpret other styles also with imposing quality. This can be confirmed in his first solo album entitled A Fool for Love, with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Constantine Orbelian.
In this album we can appreciate different interpretations of well known arias sung in Italian, French, German, Russian and English. The whole CD is very enjoyable to listen but I highlight, among others, Cessa di più resistere from Il barbiere di Siviglia by Rossini, interpreted with a remarkable top quality, Una furtiva lagrima from L’elisir d’amore by Donizetti and Kuda. kuda ... from Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, sung with impressive elegance, Il mio tesoro from Don Giovanni by Mozart in a striking interpretation, Je crois entendre encore from Les pêcheurs de perles by Bizet where he shows the versatility of his top register, and Puorquoi me reveiller from Massenet's Werther and È la sólita sortida from Cilea´s L’Arlesiana, where the dramatic intensity is striking.

In 2013 we will have the opportunity to hear Spyres, in February at the Liceu of Barcelona, as Hoffmann in Offenbach's opera Les Contes d'Hoffmann. And in March in Porto, where will sing the tenor soloist part of Verdi's Requiem at Casa da Música. I plan to be will be present in both.

Finally, a rare gift for the readers of this blog - Michael Spyres offered us an exclusive interview (please read it above as it is written in English)

Thank you Michael Spyres and toi, toi, toi!

And here are the links to both Michael Spyres's website (www.michaelspyres.com) and to his facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/mspyres). 

18 comentários:

  1. Dear Fanatico_Um,
    I also heard Spyres' opera arias CD and I was delighted too.
    He has a great beautiful voice and he is certainly a name to remember!

    Dear Mr Spyres,
    Thanks a lot for your exclusive interview for our opera blog.
    In spite of any of us sing we all share that passion for opera!
    It was very interesting read you on your personal opinions about your singing, your favourite operas and tenors.
    I'm looking forward to hear you soon at the greatest opera theatres and of course in Portugal. I'm sure you'll love also Porto - north Portugal capital!
    I wish you all the luck!

  2. Parabéns pela entrevista. Fiquei com muita vontade de ouvir este tenor.

    1. Obrigado Gi, vai gostar de o ouvir.
      Atravessamos actualmente um período em que há excelentes tenores no activo, sobretudo para os reportórios mais "leves".

  3. Congratulations, dear friend! I'm jealous(^.^)

    One of my readers, an ex-opera singer(tenor), once told me to hear Michael Spyres who will sing Arnold in Guillaume Tell at the Rossini Festival Bad-Wildbad coming July. I've already booked a hotel, but tickets are not currently available online(ó_ò)

    Can I post this interview on my blog? I'd like to introduce M.Spyres to my readers.

    1. Dear lotus-eater, thank you for your comment.
      Let me ask him permission before you post the interview in your blog. I am sure he will answer positively, but let me ask first. It might take a couple of days because the answers do not come immediately, but as soon as I have it I will inform you in your blog.

  4. Já estive a ouvi-lo no YouTube e parece que está aqui um grande tenor. O mais certo é já estar reservado para grandes produções em anos próximos, visto que o processo de reserva das grandes salas de ópera é feito com muita antecedência!

  5. Concordo consigo PZ, ainda não foi tornado público, mas a probabilidade de assim ser é considerável.

  6. Parabéns pela entrevista, Fanáticos. Também fiquei com muita curiosidade em ouvi-lo ao vivo. Não tinha retido o nome dele, uma vez que não pude assistir a essa produção de "Antigono" no CCB.

  7. Um tenor com um interessantíssimo rol de paradigmas vocais elencado.

    Do mesmo modo, espero ter mais do que uma singular oportunidade de fruir da Arte deste intérprete assaz promissor, ainda no presente ano.

    1. Caro Hugo,
      Presumo que nos poderemos ver na Casa da Música em Março...

    2. Em princípio, lá nos encontraremos.

  8. Ouvi o Spyres em Pesaro no ano passado e acho-o um cantor extraordinário. De belo timbre e muita flexibilidade. Tive oportunidade de falar um pouco com ele e, como se demonstra nesta entrevista, é bastante simpático.

    Um abraço aos Fanáticos!

    1. Sabia disso, até porque tem uma fotografia com ele no seu blogue.
      E nós tivemos sorte porque não é sempre que se consegue uma entrevista como esta, que até está referida no site do Liceu de Barcelona!
      Um abraço também para si, Alberto!

  9. Owing to bad translation by google you may not understand what I wrote. I mainly mentioned the upcoming performance of M. Spyres in Rossini festival. I like the first picture. Did you take it?

    1. I understood everything you wrote.
      No, I did not take the picture. It was sent to me.

  10. Like lotus-eater, I am jealous. I, too, heard he was terrific. Enjoy!

  11. Excelente entrevista!!!

    Já ouvi o Spyres no youtube e o timbre é lindíssimo.

    Ficamos à espera da sua crítica aos Contos de Hofmann em Barcelona :)