On the imposing stage of Colon Theater empty, with a black background and dim light, the applicants for the auditions appear, which opened again this year, with the only company of a pianist.
It is all that the selected singers have to recreate their lyrical characters, provide some magic with their voices, and manage to convince the juries -Jan Latham Koenig, Paul MaritanoMarcelo Ayub, Augusto Techera, and Carlos Sampedro- who are valuable candidates to be summoned in future theater productions.
Through an open call, through the networks, 369 applicants from the entire region registered, of which 150 were pre-selected to audition in the theater room (they began on Wednesday the 7th until Friday the 9th, and ended on Monday 12).
María Belén Rivarola was one of the 150 applicants who were finally shortlisted to audition.
The singers, mostly professionals, who arrived at this stage had to prepare two arias of their choice: one in Italian and the other in any language.
Without imposing a repertoire for the auditions, the criteria to be taken into account for the applicants were, above all things, intelligence in the search for the repertoire, aptitude according to the voices, the ability to understand oneself as an artist and with what repertoire identify themselves and choose to audition. This is how Maritano recorded it.
There is nervousness and excitement in the corridors. In general, among singers there are no more expectations than facing the great challenge of adding music in one of the most emblematic venues in the world.
Bruno Sciani sang, only accompanied by a pianist.
“My expectation does not go beyond making myself heard and known,” says Iván, a professional singer, who came especially from Tucumán to add. “For us it is a privilege to be here. My first time singing on stage at the Theater”.
Bruno, from Rosario, has just finished his audition, he sang Rimsky-Korsakov’s aria the viking song and an aria from Masetto, from the opera don giovanni, from Mozart. “I think I fulfilled,” he said enthusiastically, “I trust what I love and all the study I put in to make everything work at that time.” Having finished his studies at the Instituto Superior de Arte, Bruno points out the importance of the auditions: “As artists, we are very encouraged to participate in these auditions, especially after the difficult stages we had. Being able to show ourselves, having the opportunity to be heard, is already a lot”.
Lucas, an applicant from La Pampa, but who lives in Buenos Aires, is a tenor and works at the Institute as a pianist, agrees with Bruno: “I really appreciate that the auditions have been reinstated, which should be annual, because new talents always emerge, the people are still training”.
Maria Virginia Savastano, another of the singers who “debuted” on the stage of the Colón.
“After the pandemic, it is not easy to be so much in Formula 1 again,” says Roxana, a professional singer and freelancer. “We were two years without singing. I don’t know if any singer vocalized every day of his life during confinement. We’re a little out of training,” she concluded.
The singers look tiny in the vastness of the stage, but the intimidating situation – for those who manage to overcome the challenge, of course – vanishes as soon as they begin to sing and they are seen transforming into a kind of colossi.
How to make a truly professional career without facing these kinds of challenges?
The jurors -Jan Latham Koenig, Pablo Maritano, Marcelo Ayub, Augusto Techera and Carlos Sampedro-, accompanied by Jorge Telerman.
Although it may seem like a truism, auditions at the Teatro Colón stopped taking place many years ago and the much-needed interaction between a public theater and its artistic community was abandoned.
This is how Maritano, director of Programming and Production, understands it when he explains that “it is the responsibility of a state theater to maintain the link with the artistic medium. It is an obligation. It is essential to accompany the artists who are part of this house, otherwise a theater is just a building”.
And he added: “This house also has an art institute. Not only is interaction necessary, but also to establish a place of follow-up, of care. The idea is that this becomes a healthy habit, and that it be done at least once a year. A virtuous circle is generated because this experience invites people to become professional, invites professionals to continue studying, to find the best repertoire, to look for good trainers, to train. The virtues are many”.
The Director of Programming and Production also told that in principle the idea is to work so that the auditions are also open to other artistic arias.
The word of Jorge Telerman
“We are very excited about the great response to the auditions -said the director of the Teatro Colón, Jorge Telerman-. That speaks of the vitality of the lyrical scene that the city of Buenos Aires has, the call that the Teatro Colón has. These auditions have not been opened for many years.
We are listening to some very interesting voices and we believe that it is a very stimulating step for the entire lyrical scene that has the possibility of reaffirming its credentials of excellence and gives Colón a very clear and very broad tool in the selection of the casts that we have for the upcoming seasons. We cannot be happier and more pleased with the response and the results that we are seeing thanks to these auditions.”
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Reference from clarin www.clarin.com