The Municipal de Santiago bets on Latin American lyrical talents in its 2022 Season
The opera will shine with the premiere of Manon, in a co-production with the Tenerife and Oviedo operas headed by the stage director Emilio Sagi and with the musical direction of Maximiano Valdés. The public will also be able to enjoy classics of the genre with La Bohème and La Traviata in concert version.
The concert season will open with Verdi’s Requiem, directed by Roberto Rizzi Brignoli, chief conductor of the Santiago Philharmonic, and will also feature Alejandra Urrutia, who will present a program that rescues women composers; Paolo Bortolameolli, with Mahler’s Resurrection; and the debut of the Estonian Hendrik Vestmann and the Argentine Alejo Pérez.
The Ballet de Santiago will present, among other programs, a triptych that includes the play Petite Mort by the Czech choreographer Jiří Kylián, which enters the company’s repertoire; as well as the ballet Giselle, with choreography by Luis Ortigoza, artistic director of this company, and musical direction by Roberto Rizzi Brignoli. Likewise, she will be reunited with her former artistic director, Marcia Haydée, in her version of Carmen.
For family audiences, a season of the Little Municipal will be presented that includes two ballets and the opera La Valquiria (Wagner). In addition, Arrau, the Emperor’s Autumn by Ximena Carrera, a tribute to the Chilean pianist 100 years after his debut in the Theater will be premiered worldwide, marking the return of the theatrical genre to this stage.
After almost two years of virtual programming through its Municipal Delivery platform and a four-month face-to-face cycle last year, the Municipal Theater of Santiago returns with a 2022 Season that includes all its artistic expressions performed by its three stable bodies — the Santiago Philharmonic Orchestra, the Santiago Ballet and the Santiago Municipal Choir—, as well as shows for the whole family and, for the first time in almost 20 years, a play.
Among the milestones of this season is the long-awaited arrival at the Theater, for the first time since he took over as chief conductor of the Santiago Philharmonic Orchestra, of Roberto Rizzi Brignoli, who will participate in the seasons of concerts, ballet and opera. Likewise, a co-production of the opera Manon by J. Massenet of the Municipal Theater will be premiered together with the operas of Tenerife and Oviedo, which will have Emilio Sagi as stage director, who thus returns to the Municipal Theater of Santiago, and Pablo Núñez in costume design.
In ballet, the premiere in Chile of Petite Mort by the prestigious Czech choreographer Jiří Kylián stands out, a work that the Santiago Ballet will perform for the first time, thus joining its repertoire. In addition, the world premiere of the play Arrau, the Emperor’s Autumn, a tribute to the pianist from Chillan on the centenary of his debut in the Theater and the 30th anniversary of his death, with dramaturgy by Ximena Carrera and stage direction by Francisco Krebs .
“I think it is very important to highlight the work of everyone who has allowed the Municipal to continue operating. After nearly 17 months behind closed doors, it was possible to welcome the public again in the last 4 months. We know that more than 21,000 people have come to the theater in person since its reopening. And that of them, half were new audiences, made up of people who had never before attended this historic place. This is very significant because it is a sign that people are eager to witness quality shows and that access to culture, which is a right for everyone, is becoming more democratic every day. We will continue working on that,” said the mayor of Santiago, Irací Hassler. The authority added that “this is a space that has great relevance for the development of culture in our country. As an administration we believe that art is the engine of community development, therefore we hope to strengthen the Municipal’s link with the neighborhoods, with public schools and high schools and with the entire community of Santiago”.
“This year we return with a season designed for the audiences who have been with us for years and those who have been incorporated into our programming from the Municipal Delivery platform and in a pandemic. In this sense, for example, we will have directors who return and others who make their debut, among the latter Alejandra Urrutia, who will present a powerful program with a female seal for the first time in front of the Santiago Philharmonic Orchestra. Also, in the opera, we will have emblematic works performed by casts mostly made up of Latin American and Chilean talents, both established and rising. While in ballet, the great titles that allow the company to unfold artistically and technically in different tonalities of dance stand out,” said Carmen Gloria Larenas, general director of the Municipal de Santiago, at this same conference.
Debuts and returns of great directors
The first milestone of the 2022 calendar of the Municipal de Santiago is marked by the debut of the Italian maestro Roberto Rizzi Brignoli as chief conductor of the Santiago Philharmonic Orchestra, with the colossal Requiem Mass by G. Verdi accompanied by the Choir of the Municipal de Santiago conducted by Jorge Klastornick and renowned national soloists (March 5 to 12). An expert in Italian and French repertoire with a long career in great theaters such as La Scala in Milan, Rizzi Brignoli will also conduct this orchestra from June 23 to 27, in a concert that includes the overture to The Poacher, J.277, by CM von Weber; the Symphony No. 4 in A major, Op. 90: “The Italian”, by F. Mendelssohn; and the Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68, by J. Brahms.
“I am enormously excited to begin face-to-face work with the Theater’s orchestra, choir and ballet, together with whom I will present fascinating and well-known titles. Giselle represents a special return for me, because she hadn’t directed ballet for a long time. But without a doubt, opening the season with Verdi’s Requiem will be the most significant, because it will invite a moment of reflection on life and its fragility, after having lived through such a harsh pandemic,” said Roberto Rizzi Brignoli.
Alejandra Urrutia, chief conductor of the Santiago Municipal Chamber Orchestra, will also mark a milestone with her debut on the podium in front of the Santiago Philharmonic Orchestra. From March 19 to 23, she will offer a concert with a female label that includes the premieres in Chile of Overture No. 2 in E flat major, op. 24, by Louise Farrenc, a disciple of A. Reicha in the process of being rediscovered; and Symphony No. 3 in C minor, by Florence Price, the first African American recognized in the field of learned music. Added to the aforementioned works is the Concierto de Aranjuez, by Joaquín Rodrigo, with the Chilean guitarist Luis Orlandini as soloist.
Followed by a new proposal from the Pops Philharmonic, a musical facet of the Santiago Philharmonic Orchestra that deals with massive repertoires not only of popular genres, but also symphonic works that have become classics. In this context, under the direction of its resident conductor, Pedro-Pablo Prudencio, the Santiago Philharmonic Orchestra will offer a concert together with the Chilean-Colombian band Los Pitutos, made up of classically trained musicians who have made a career in Europe, turning their experience adapting boleros, cumbias, joropos, waltzes, among other rhythms (March 19 to April 2).
And there will be two more concerts with Pedro-Pablo Prudencio in front of the Santiago Philharmonic Orchestra. From April 9 to 13, during Holy Week, he will conduct Stabat Mater, RV 621, by A. Vivaldi; the transfigured night, op. 4, by A. Schoenberg; and the unpublished suite of the opera Parsifal: The Holy Grail, by R. Wagner. Meanwhile, from June 4 to 11, he will conduct Andante Appassionato, op. 2, by E. Soro; and A German Requiem, Op. 45, by J. Brahms. The latter, with the accompaniment of the Municipal Choir of Santiago and prominent soloists.
From April 21 to 26 it will be the turn of the most important Argentine director of the moment, Alejo Pérez, who has developed a successful international career at the Salzburg Festival, the Teatro Colón, the Semper Opera and the Lyric Opera of Chicago, among others. His debut as conductor of the Santiago Philharmonic Orchestra will be with the Prelude to the Siesta of a Faun, by C. Debussy; the Concerto for violin and cello in A minor, Op. 102: “Double Concerto”, by J. Brahms, with soloists Richard Biaggini, concertmaster of the Santiago Philharmonic Orchestra, and Katharina Paslawski, first cello of the same group; the Bolero, by M. Ravel; and Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Op. 78: “Symphony with Organ”, by C. Saint-Saëns.
Subsequently, it will be the Estonian Hendrik Vestmann, current general music director of the Oldenburg State Theater in Germany, who will conduct the Santiago Philharmonic Orchestra for the first time and the Choir of the Municipal de Santiago, in a concert entirely dedicated to W. A. Mozart that will feature rising young voices. Vestmann’s extensive career in choral conducting and Mozart repertoire will be appreciated in the overture to La clemencia de Tito, K.621; the Ave verum corpus, K.618; and the Requiem Mass in D minor, K. 626 (May 3–7).
The concert season closes with two great Chilean directors who return from abroad: Maximiano Valdés and Paolo Bortolameolli. Valdés, chief conductor of the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, will return to conduct the Philharmonic Orchestra, in a program composed of Ma mère l’oye, by M. Ravel; and the Symphony No. 4 in G major, by G. Mahler, which will feature the performance of the soprano Paulina González (October 20-24).
While Bortolameolli returns from the United States, where he is associate director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, to conduct the monumental Symphony No. 2 in C minor: “Resurrection”, by G. Mahler. Accompanying the Santiago Philharmonic Orchestra and the Santiago Municipal Choir will be the voices of the soprano Yaritza Véliz and the mezzo-soprano Evelyn Ramírez, in an event that promises to thrill all attendees (December 6 to 11).
Manon and operas in concert
The 2022 Season will have, in concert format, two of the most popular operas in the universal repertoire: La Bohème, by G. Puccini (July 9 to 23); and La Traviata, by G. Verdi (August 25 to September 3), both under the musical direction of Roberto Rizzi Brignoli and Pedro-Pablo Prudencio and accompanied by the Santiago Philharmonic Orchestra and the Santiago Municipal Choir.
In La Bohème, it will be the Mexican sopranos Yunuet Laguna, trained in the MET Opera’s young artist development program, and the Chilean Carolina García-Valentín, who will alternate in the role of Mimí; while the Peruvian tenor Iván Ayón-Rivas, winner of the 2021 Operalia Award, and the Venezuelan Jorge Puerta will play Rodolfo; and Annya Pinto to Musetta. Laguna, Ayón-Rivas and Puerta will debut at the Municipal de Santiago with this visit.
On the other hand, the cast of La Traviata will feature the Italian Francesca Sassu and the Chilean Yaritza Véliz as Violetta, making her international debut in the role at the Municipal de Santiago; the Venezuelan Jorge Puerta and the Argentine Santiago Ballerini as Alfredo; and the Chilean who triumphed at the MET Opera, Javier Arrey, and the brilliant Argentine baritone Fabián Veloz as Germont.
From November 10 to 19, meanwhile, the Theater’s orchestra and choir will be part of the premiere of a new version of J. Massenet’s opera Manon, performed in the workshops of the Municipal de Santiago in co-production with the Oviedo Opera and the Tenerife Opera. The proposal will have musical direction by Maximiano Valdés and Pedro-Pablo Prudencio; in charge of the scene will be Emilio Sagi, in the return of the renowned Spanish artist to the Theater; set design by Argentine Daniel Bianco; and costumes of the outstanding Chilean creator and current head of the Municipal Costume of Santiago, Pablo Núñez; as well as a cast made up of the celebrated Spanish soprano Sabina Puértolas and the Chilean who debuts in the role on our stage, Annya Pinto, both in the role of Manon Lescaut. Likewise, the cast will have the Mexican Galeano Salas and Andrés Presno as Caballero Des Grieux, both debuting the role and at the Municipal de Santiago on this visit.
Favorite ballets of the public
The Ballet de Santiago, under the artistic direction of Luis Ortigoza, starts its agenda for the year with Carmen by Marcia Haydée, a version made especially for the company that will mark the return of the former director of this stable body to the Theater. The music, composed by G. Bizet, will be performed by the Santiago Philharmonic Orchestra (May 17-18). This work is followed by Giselle, whose new choreography by Luis Ortigoza will unfold alongside the music of Adolphe Adam, this time by the Santiago Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Roberto Rizzi Brignoli (July 30 to August 13).
The dance corps of the Municipal de Santiago will also present Swan Lake, taking up the choreography of Iván Nagy as a tribute to the company’s director emeritus and a fundamental figure for its renewal in the 1980s. With music by P. I. Tchaikovsky performed by the Santiago Philharmonic Orchestra, the performances will take place from September 10 to 24.
Subsequently, from November 29 to December 3, a trilogy of works will be presented that will include Paquita, with choreography by Luis Ortigoza; Requiem for a Rose, by the Belgian-Colombian choreographer Annabelle López-Ochoa; and the premiere in Chile of Petite mort, a work by the Czech Jiří Kylián, which is part of the company’s repertoire and which the Santiago Ballet will perform for the first time. The ballet season ends with the successful 2021 version of the Nutcracker, with choreography by Luis Ortigoza, scenery and costumes by Jorge Gallardo and accompaniment by the Santiago Philharmonic Orchestra (December 17-30).
“This season we wanted to put one of the accents on the tradition of the Ballet de Santiago and that is why we rescued titles of two people who have been essential for the development of the company: Marcia Haydée and Iván Nagy. We also incorporate a new choreography of Giselle, a favorite title of the public that we have not presented for a long time; as well as a premiere by Jiri Kylian, one of the most important choreographers in the world and who is part of our repertoire with Petite mort, a choreographic gem that the public cannot miss”, emphasized Luis Ortigoza, artistic director of the Ballet de Santiago. .
Family works and return of the theater
For children and their families there will also be ballet and opera. El Pequeno Municipal will present narrated adaptations of two ballets from the season: Giselle (August 6 and 13) and Swan Lake (August 17 and 24). Likewise, the opera The Valkyrie, belonging to the saga The Ring of the Nibelung by R. Wagner, will be adapted, which comes after the success of its first and award-winning installment of the four-part cycle, The Gold of the Rhine. by Fabiola Matte, a multidisciplinary team made up and accompanied by the Santiago Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Pedro-Pablo Prudencio (October 6 to 15).
Another of the great milestones of the year will be the return of prose theater to the Municipal de Santiago after almost 20 years, with the world premiere of Arrau, the Autumn of the Emperor. This staging was commissioned by the Municipality of Santiago to the playwright Ximena Carrera and the director Francisco Krebs to commemorate the centenary of Claudio Arrau’s debut in the Theater and the 30th anniversary of his death. An artistic proposal that unites music and theater, while revealing the lights and shadows of the Chilean pianist in the twilight of his life. Its cast will include, among other actors, Tito Bustamanate and Paola Volpato (April 30 to May 15).
Artists in residence
This 2022 Season also brings back artists in residence to the Municipal de Santiago, this time represented by Fabiola Matte, with La Bohème and La Valquiria; Francisco Krebs, with La Traviata and Arrau, the Autumn of the Emperor; and Miguel Farías, in investigation of the operas Lautaro and Caupolicán for an upcoming season. In this way, it seeks to strengthen the relationship of the Theater with different generations of artists linked to the theatrical world who seek to develop and enrich other artistic genres, in this case opera, with their vision.
For its part, the Chamber Orchestra of the Municipal Theater of Santiago, led by its musical director Alejandra Urrutia and managed in conjunction with the Friends of the Municipal Corporation, will continue to carry out different activities both in the Theater and outside of it, in artistic work, extension and education. Composed of young musicians from Santiago and regions, this chamber orchestra is mainly dedicated to the baroque, classical and romantic repertoire.
The Ibáñez Atkinson Young Artist Program (FIA-YAP), a program of young voices of exceptional talent developed by the Ibáñez Atkinson Foundation and the Municipal Theater of Santiago, will continue in 2022 with the firm objective of strengthening musical and artistic training of the new generations of lyrical singers from Chile, through courses taught by great international teachers.