CARLOS ALMAGUER – Baron Scarpia in TOSCA on 4 March and Renato in UN BALLO IN MASCHERA on 9 March

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Carlos Almaguer, baritone

Carlos Almaguer is considered as one of the most important dramatic baritone voices today.

Born in Mexico D.F where he learned to play different musical instruments and started his singing studies with Maestro Francisco Amador. In the beginning, he won the 3rd and 1st place in different emissions on Carlo Morelli Singing Competition. Later in Barcelona, he was awarded at the Francisco Viñas Competition with a scholarship at Siena, Italy.

In Spain he met the great baritone Vicente Sardinero who becomes his teacher of singing and vocal training, which led him to win several international singing competitions, most notably in Spain: the Francisco Viñas, Jaime Aragall, Julian Gayarre, Francisca Cuart, Verviers in Belgium, among others.

His international career has transpired in a spectacular way on the best stages in the world, in countries like Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Greece, Rumania, Bulgaria, Australia, Switzerland, Hungary, China, Israel, Chile, United States of America, England, Ireland, Netherlands, France, Korea, Denmark, Costa Rica, Russia etc. interpreting the most representative roles in the international lyric written for his tessitura like Alfio (“Cavalleria Rusticana” by P. Mascagni), Enrico (“Lucia de Lamermoor” by G. Donizetti), Amonasro (“Aida”), Don Carlo di Vargas (“La Forza del Destino”), Rigoletto (“Rigoletto”), Il Conte di Luna (“Il Trovatore”), Miller (“Luisa Miller”), Renato (“Un Ballo in Maschera”), Ezio (“Attila”), Nabuccodonosor (“Nabucco”), Iago (“Otello”), Simon (“Simon Boccanegra”), Macbeth (“Macbeth”), Rolando (“La Battaglia di Legnano”), Monforte (“I Vesperi Sicilliani”) by G. Verdi, Tonio (“I Pagliacci”) by R. Leoncavallo, Carlo Gerard (“Andrea Chénier”) by U. Giordano, Jack Rance (“La Fanciulla del West”), Michele (“Il Tabarro”), Scarpia (“Tosca”) by G. Puccini.

Some of the theaters that stand out in his career are: Teatro Massimo di Palermo, Arena di Verona, Teatro Luciano Pavarotti – Modena, Bassano del Grappa, Opera di Torino, Teatro San Carlo Di Napoli, Teatro comunale di Bologna, Teatro Carlo Felice de Genova, Teatro de Pàdova, Opera Frankfurt, Opera Leipzing, Deutsche Opera Berlin, Hamburg, Opera Strasburg, Opera de Toulon, Opera de Marselle, Opera Bern, Opera de Nantes, Winer Staatsoper, Opera de Lousan, Carnegie Hall, Opera Budapest, Opera Bucarest, Opera Kanasawa, Opera Montpelier, Melbourne, Opera Atenas, Opera de México, Opera Liceu de Barcelona, Teatro Gayarre Pampolna, Opera de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Opera de Wallonie (Liej), Covent Garden-Royal Opera House, Teatro Municipal de Chile, Amsterdam en la Sala de Conciertos Concertgebouw, Opera Pekin, Opera Tel-Aviv, Opera Nacional de México, also Opera Festival Sanvolinna, Festival de Trapani, Festival Puccini Torre del Lago, Festival de Opera de Taormina, Opera Nacional Timisoara, Romania and others.

Among the awards he has received is the Award of Critics of artists, journalists and musicians from Mexico and La Medalla Dr. Alfonso Ortíz Tirado en Alamos Sonora, México.

Carlos Almaguer as Scarpia in “Tosca” at l’Opéra de Marseille, 13.03.2015

At last we rediscover the impressive Scarpia of Carlos Almaguer, applauded in Montpellier about ten years ago… After his effective appearance, the Mexican baritone gave us pleasure with his ferocity. At the opera, when we were children, we loved to be frightened, but as we are not children anymore, few Scarpias could frighten us, but this one was just terrible.

- – Bertrand Bolognesi

The Mexican baritone Carlos Almaguer recreated an especially biting and manipulative Scarpia, a character, depicted with strength and measure, with his entire brutality, but also with the necessary ambiguity, thanks to a declamation perfectly accorded with the singing. His scene with Tosca in Act II is impressive with its theatricality, but still at the end of Act I he imposes himself as a very great actor.

- Opera online – Emmanuel Andrieu

The last one is Carlos Almaguer, a massive, alarming, cruel, sombre and black voice of a baritone, who masters his art. With an ideal projection, power, self-confident acting, the Mexican is exactly at his place in this role.

- – Michel Egea

In the interpretation of Scarpia, Carlos Almaguer doesn’t lack the high estimation of the music lovers: the Mexican baritone keeps his unique vocal power …

- Magazine des arts – Christian Colombeau

“Tosca” by Giacomo Puccini at l’Opéra de Nice (January 2017)

With the production of l’Opéra de Marseilles, signed by Louis Désiré, l’Opéra de Nice offers one version of “Tosca” in the beginning of the year. Produced for the first time in the Phocean city in March 2015, we discovered it at l’Opéra de Saint-Etienne in November the same year, and then we said everything good which we thought (however with a little flat regarding the final scene). Like in Saint-Etienne, the music part is one of the great satisfactions of the evening. At the head of the Nice Philharmonic Orchestra, the Italian conductor Renato Balsadonna opens with a strong and beautiful precision the double weft of a score, weaved from leitmotiv, but not less articulated on a sensual recurrent lyricism.

In the title role, the Bulgarian soprano Svetla Vassileva convinces. With her beautiful hair colour raven’s wing and her noble profile, the young singer has a brave step. Her stylized gestures make from the character a fatal woman, in front of which all men lose their mind. Her voice combines with sensuality with Puccini‘s nuances, and her trembling “Vissi d’arte” gives her the full right to be ardently applauded. Her Mario, the Spanish tenor Alejandro Roy, also gains evident success. The voice is solid, well built, his timbre lacks however a character, identity and besides it seems a little bit opaque. Let’s congratulate also the performance of Thomas Dear (Angelotti), Jean-Marc Salzmann (Sacristan) and Frédéric Diquero (Spoletta), who fill with talent their duty.

But the main interpreter of this “Tosca” resides in Scarpia of the Mexican baritone Carlos Almaguer, undoubtedly one of the best titulars of the role today. He has a well tempered timbre, a voice with a spectre, well defined in its colours, and a singing, carried out by a dramatic pulsation, which one can feel fast instinctively. His Scarpia, brutal still with his arrival in the church, terrifying during the “Te deum“, with a voice, projecting itself in the middle of this sound vortex, knows how to make himself cunning, cynical, perverse in Act II, without ever trying to impose himself with force against the orchestral exasperation, but interpreting the score the way it was written, i.e. trusting to the music.

In brief, the reader must have understood that this “Tosca” was worthy before all because its Scarpia!

Emmanuel Andrieu

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