Ópera de Bellas Artes premieres «Juana sin cielo», by Alberto Demestres
The performances of the opera Juana sin cielo will take place on May 22, 24, 26 and 29 in the Palacio de Bellas Artes; the main role will be played by the Mexican soprano María Katzarava.
The Compañía Nacional de Ópera of the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes y Literatura (Inbal) will present the premiere of Juana sin cielo, by Alberto Demestres, as part of its in-person 2022 season, on Sundays, May 22 and 29 at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday 24 and Thursday 26 at 8:00 p.m. in the Palacio de Bellas Artes, within the framework of the #VolverAVerte strategy of the Ministry of Culture of the Government of Mexico.
The opera Juana sin cielo was inspired by the controversial life and death of Queen Juana I of Castile, known as Juana la loca. With music and libretto by Alberto Demestres, on texts by Antonio Carvajal, it was premiered in 2019, in the Granada Orchestra Season, which, together with the city council of that city, commissioned the work from the composer.
The story unfolds after the death of the monarch, for which a simple ceremony was held that was not attended by any member of the royal family and in which they limited themselves to introducing the body into the grave that had been opened in the chapel. largest, where a bed covered by a black velvet cloth, surrounded by a wooden fence decorated with 12 shields, marked the space where the body of the sovereign was.
The role of the only solo character in this opera, that of Queen Juana I of Castile, will be played by the Mexican soprano María Katzarava, for whom the work was written. She will be accompanied by the Orchestra and Choir of the Teatro de Bellas Artes and a group of actors, with the stage direction of Diego del Río, and the orchestrator of the composer Alberto Demestres himself. For both directors, this title represents their debut at the Fine Arts Opera.
In a virtual press conference, regarding her participation in the play, the soprano María Katzarava commented: “What Juana sin cielo means to me is a lot, from the vocal, acting and emotional level. It was written for me, thinking of me, of my voice, of all the possibilities that Juana has in nuances, in colors… It is one of the most difficult works that I have had to sing in my 20-year career. It is a beautiful piece, which people will be a pleasure to listen to. Juana sin cielo is one of the most brilliant operas that I have been able to see. It fills me with joy, with pride to bring this historical figure to Mexico, to celebrate my 20-year career.”
For his part, the artistic director of the Ópera de Bellas Artes, Alonso Escalante Mendiola, expressed: “I think the way in which Maestro Demestres presents us with this heroine is important, because it shows us that being who was a relevant historical figure for the world at the time, as a human being who, among many virtues that we can see throughout the work, invests her with humanity, with an enormous capacity for resilience, for mercy […], who does not see things on her knees before his misfortune, but with great dignity.”
For his part, the composer of the opera Juana sin cielo, and also concert director in the next performances, Alberto Demestres, pointed out: “I decided to do Juana sin cielo after meeting María Katzarava; Her voice drives me crazy and how she presents the music.
“For me it was very important that Juana, once deceased, she has to divest herself, after so many years, of all her power, even though she has not exercised it. The one who gets carried away towards what would be paradise. In the end, may she be a soul that flies. There is a phrase that for me encompasses the entire work: “I was not born for hate, I was born for love”; You will do everything you want to me, but I will continue to be in love and not in hate.
The stage director, Diego del Río, shared with us “I feel very excited that this is my debut with Ópera de Bellas Artes, collaborating with these artists. Juana sin cielo is a project that has a lot of heart and the heart is María Katzarava, one of the most powerful artists in this country and the world. Many things move me: first, the idea of telling the story of a powerful character that gives us the perfect pretext to launch many questions and echoes from the scene. Give voice to the things we need to keep thinking about. Juana sin cielo does that, she poses a woman who embarks on a journey where she has to put these forces of the past in order in order to transcend”.
In order for more people to enjoy this premiere, the function on Sunday 29 will be broadcast through the social networks of the Ministry of Culture, Inbal and the National Opera Company as part of the strategy “With you in the distance”.
There will be strict adherence to protection measures for artists, workers and attendees. The capacity will be 100 percent of the venue’s capacity and the hand program will be available through a QR code at the entrance of the property. The change of programming is subject to the sanitary conditions established by the authorities of the Secretaries of Health and Culture of the Government of Mexico.