The Theatro Municipal São Paulo has invited one of the most acclaimed Puccini sopranos of our days to star in its new production of MANON LESCAUT, premiering on the 29th of August, 2015: the Uruguayan singer María José Siri.
(photo Tato Baeza)
Puccini occupies a special, very important place in the soprano’s heart, as well as in her career. She has already performed numerous leading roles written by the composer – Mimì, Suor Angelica, Anna in “Le villi”, and Tosca – and made her role debut as Manon Lescaut at the Teatro Solis in Montevideo, Uruguay, in August 2014 to later revive it in a prestigious run at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia Valencia in December 2014 under the musical direction of Plácido Domingo.
Puccini's Manon is one of María José Siri’s most beloved roles, and the soprano notes the character’s many-sidedness, as well as the versatility it requires of a singer. The vocal challenges, according to the Uruguayan soprano, are very diverse: “after the very lyrical aria, ‘In quelle trine morbide’, and the brilliant ‘L’ora o Tirsi’, the vocal presence of the role changes in the third and fourth acts and becomes more dramatic, especially in the mesmerizing but heartrending aria ‘Sola, perduta, abbandonata’.
(photo Tato Baeza)
Ms Siri is “delighted to return to the Theatro Municipal after having sung Aida there in August 2013.” The soprano remarked during rehearsals that “It is a pleasure to sing with this orchestra and Maestro Neschling, who conducts this opera with great mastery”. The production, directed by Cesare Lievi, with sets by Juan Guillermo Nova, will offer costumes in the style of the 18th century, with the textiles and colours corresponding to Manon's different emotions in each act. “I’m proud that such kind of productions are being done in South America!” exclaimed the soprano, continuing to say that “the audience will witness great beauty, excellent taste, be entertained, and above all be deeply moved.”
(foto David Puig)
After her engagement as Manon Lescaut in São Paulo the star soprano will make her role debut as Elisabeth de Valois in the Paris version of “Don Carlos” at the ABAO Bilbao, debut at the New National Theatre Tokyo as Tosca (returning later in the season as Maddalena in “Andrea Chénier”), make her role debut as Odabella in “Attila”, and portray two more of her beloved Puccini heroines: Tosca at the Teatro Regio, Turin, and Suor Angelica at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples.