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Tenor José Cura

Posted April. 12, 2004 22:37,   


Tenor José Cura comes to Korea.

Cura, a 42-year-old Argentine tenor, is regarded as one of new stars, along with Roberto Alagna, following the Big Three – Pavarotti, Domingo, and Carreras after launching the debut album at Heratosa in 1997.

-- Next Super-Tenor to Follow Big Three

Cura stars as Don José in “Carmen”, which will be performed in Jamsil Olympic Stadium from May 15 to 19. We had an email interview with him before having one month or so left for the performance.

- Nice to meet you. A music magazine once wrote your voice has stiffness of Franco Corelli as well as rudeness of Mario del Monaco, tenors of the 1960s. That sounds you’re a dramatico (dramatic) tenor, who plays the roles of hero or villain, are quite rare these days, so I can say that you quench thirst for it.

My voice is that of spinto-dramatico to be specific. That’s why most of the roles I played were title roles of “Othello” or Don José of “Carmen.” Interestingly, most of the roles I played in the opera ended up killing someone.

- This time, “Carmen” is the production of Gian-Carlo del Monaco, son of spinto tenor Mario del Monaco.

It is the first time I work with him. Regardless of who his father is, he is a great director, particularly of “Carmen”. I’m looking forward to working with him.

-There’s a controversy over the performance of an opera on an open-air stage in Korea. Some say it contributes to getting closer to the public while others say it fails to give the real taste of the opera....

-- His first performance on the big stage with 40,000 audience

This is my first performance on a big stage with 40,000 audience members. I am not Mick Jagger. I hope my real voice can be delivered to the audience even with the use of a microphone. If such problems are resolved, I think an open-air stage would be exciting for the audience.

- What do you think about Don José in “Carmen”?

I don’t want to disappoint others, but I think he is not a romantic but a murderer, a psycho. He didn’t kill Carmen because he loved her. He killed her because she insulted him in front of other people.

- You have also established “Avie,” a record label, and produced recordings such as Rachmaninov’s Second Symphony conducting the Sinfonia Varsovia to favorable reviews.

I began conducting at the age of 15 and became a tenor at 30, so I can’t separate myself from conducting. I have plans to conduct operas such as Verdi’s “Un ballo in maschera” before performing in Korea. I will continue to do both in the future.

Meanwhile, Russian Mezzo Soprano Elena Zaremba is going to play the title role Carmen in Seoul.

Tickets are from 50,000 to 300,000 won. For tickets or inquiries, call 1544-1555 or 1588-7890.

Yoon-Jong Yoo gustav@donga.com