Gluck’s opera ‘Alceste’, under the musical direction of Graeme Jenkins, starring soprano Ana Quintans in a play by Graham Vick, has today the first recital at the National Theater of S. Carlos (TNSC) in Lisbon.
Ana Quintans said that the director “is very serious about the work she does at the next level and also about the musical part,” adding that “one of the reasons” that led her to accept the role was that she worked with Graham Vick.
Ana Quintans worked with the English director in 2017 at the Glyndebourne Festival in England, playing a smaller role than that of Alceste in Francesco Cavalli’s opera Hipermestra.
The soprano underlined the “complex work” that the director develops, dedicating the first week of rehearsals to the study of the text “and to seek all the senses, all layers, all forms of phrasing, so as to be the most faithful to the text, and to discover all the motives and emotions “of the drama, and only then is” a scene work proper “.
About her character, Ana Quintans told that “it’s a big and tiring role, where we have to find all these colours and nuances in ourselves, and with it [Graham Vick] it’s all guts.”
The soprano said it was an “intensive” job, but acknowledged that’s how she likes to work.
‘Alceste’ was presented by Christoph Willibald Gluck as a reform proposal of the serious opera, in the eighteenth century, defending ‘a very refined line, without artifice, in which one goes straight to the emotion, and the emotion coming from the text,’ explained Quintans.
In addition to Ana Quintans, tenor Leonardo Cortellazzi, the baritone Alexander Duhamel, is involved in two roles, that of Hercules and that of the High Priest, the tenors Fernando Guimarães and João Fernandes, the latter, playing two characters, Herald and Apollo, and the baritone Christian Luján, who also unfolds in two roles, Oracle and a god of the hells.
The opera also includes the participation of Raquel Alão, Ana Ferro, João Cipriano and Nuno Dias, who constitute the Choir of the Corifeus, as well as the TNSC Choir and the Portuguese Symphony Orchestra.
This opera, in three acts, first appeared on the scene in Vienna in 1767 and was presented for the last time in S. Carlos 60 years ago.
The new production of ‘Alceste’ will be on display in S. Carlos from today, until the next day 27.