The lyric season of Ópera de Tenerife commences with ‘María Moliner’

The 2023-2024 season of Ópera de Tenerife opens on the 17th, 19th, and 21st in the capital's auditorium with the title by Antoni Parera Fons and the mezzo-soprano María José Montiel in the leading role.

The Tenerife Auditorium is set to open the 2023-2024 season of Ópera de Tenerife with “María Moliner,” a contemporary opera that will grace the stage on the 17th, 19th, and 21st of October at 7:30 pm in the Symphonic Hall. The announcement of this lyrical production was made by José Carlos Acha, the Culture Councillor of the Cabildo of Tenerife; José Luis Rivero, the artistic director of the venue; Antoni Parera Fons, the composer of the opera; Víctor Pablo Pérez, the musical director; Paco Azorín, the stage and set designer; and the leading performer, mezzo-soprano María José Montiel.

For the inauguration of Ópera de Tenerife’s twentieth anniversary, a contemporary piece was selected, prompting the composer to explore how to create an aria without the typical themes of love affairs or love triangles. Instead, it delves into the desire to create a dictionary. Parera Fons emphasized the gratification of transitioning from composing in solitude at home to witnessing the enthusiasm of the teams bringing the performances to life.

“This is a work that is becoming a classic,” asserted Víctor Pablo Pérez, expressing his belief that supporting such works would set Ópera de Tenerife apart. He anticipated that the public would be amazed by the production’s tremendous value.

Paco Azorín, a driving force behind this opera, highlighted the fascinating and representative nature of María Moliner, portraying her as a woman living between two words: destiny, defined by her dictionary-making endeavor, and exile, representing her internal exile after the Civil War.

Regarding the dictionary, Azorín explained that while the Diccionario de la Real Academia Española de la Lengua (DRAE) was created by 46 people over two centuries, María Moliner single-handedly compiled her own dictionary in just 15 years. It was hailed by Gabriel García Márquez as the most complete, useful, and entertaining dictionary of the Castilian language, surpassing the academics’ dictionary in length.

The lyric season of Ópera de Tenerife commences with 'María Moliner'

María José Montiel expressed the privilege of portraying this character in her career, describing the opera as a work of art with beautiful impressionistic music. “María Moliner” is a Teatro de la Zarzuela production premiered in 2016, previously seen in Oviedo and Mallorca. It unfolds in two acts and ten scenes, narrating the life of the lexicographer who created a dictionary in her own home that outshone the academics’ dictionary.

‘María Moliner’ at the Ópera de Tenerife: creating the Dictionary of Spanish usage

The opera portrays María Moliner’s relentless dedication to crafting definitions for her Dictionary of Spanish usage (1966) on her Olivetti Pluma 22, overcoming adversities until she successfully publishes it as a remarkable achievement for a woman.

The creative team at the Tenerife Auditorium includes Carlos Martos for stage movement and choreography, Pedro Yagüe for lighting, Pedro Chamizo for audiovisual design, and Juan Sebastián Domínguez for costume design, signed by the late María Araujo.

Víctor Pablo Pérez will conduct the Sinfónica de Tenerife, with the Coro Titular de Ópera de Tenerife-Intermezzo accompanying. Juan Jesús Rodríguez, a baritone from Huelva, will portray Professor Fernando Ramón y Ferrando, María Moliner’s husband. Soprano Anna Cabrera will take on the roles of Inspector del Seu and Carmen Conde, while Granada baritone Pablo Gálvez will portray the linotypist Goyanes.

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