At the Salzburg Festival, the Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez invites the audience on a trip through Italy and France, thanks to opera arias and melodies from the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.
This concert’s program is made up of two parts: the first one is a trip to Italy, the country of bel canto composers, whose music is mastered to the highest level by Juan Diego Flórez, as evident in his interpretations of Rossini and Donizetti. But the program opens with seldom heard pieces, also sung in Italian, the adopted language of Juan Diego Flórez, a tenor known for his agile, lively and flexible voice and subtle modulations. The concert starts with melodies by Leoncavallo (the author of the opera Pagliacci, a true example of the Italian verismo): Aprile, Vieni, amor mio, and Mattinata. All three songs are part of the classical music repertoire, but at the same time, they borrow many elements from the Neapolitan folklore. A few romances by Tosti, also very popular in the Italian culture, will also be sung by Flórez. The peak of the program will certainely be Flórez’s rendition of Marechiare, a song which was made popular by some of the greatest singers, including classical singers like Luciano Pavarotti and Giuseppe Di Stefano, but also popular singers like Bruno Venturini and Romano Zanotti.
The second part of the program is dedicated to a journey through French poetry, thanks to a few melodies by Henri Duparc, who borrowed texts from great poets such as Charles Baudelaire and Henri Cazalis. Another apex of the musical literature is Gounod’s Faust (inspired by Goethe’s play), of which Flórez will sing the aria “Salut, demeure chaste et pure.” The program closes with a famous aria by Donizetti, “Tombe deglia vi miei… Fra poco a me ricovero,” from Lucia di Lammermoor.
The tenor Juan Diego Flórez (undoubtedly one of the best-loved singers of his generation, acclaimed for his musical skills, his beautiful phrasing and very Latin charisma) will be accompanied for this concert by the Italian-American pianist Vincenzo Scalera. Scalera was a pianist and a coach at La Scala, working with great conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Chailly, Gianandrea Gavazzeni, and Carlos Kleiber. Alongside Juan Diego Flórez, with whom he has performed a few times previously, Vincenzo Scalera has accompanied many internationally sought-after singers such as Carlo Bergonzi, Andrea Bocelli, Montserrat Caballé and José Carreras, among others.
In the press:
Flórez is “the best Rossinian tenor of the last decades.”
El País, Juan Ángel Vela del Campo, 13 January 2015.