2013 : 20th Ambronay European Baroque Academy
Monteverdi's Orfeo under the musical and pedagogical direction of Leonardo García Alarcón.
For its 20th production, the Ambronay European Baroque Academy returns to the origins of opera, to the foundations of this baroque repertoire which it has championed passionately since its inception.
Orfeo, a musical fable written by Claudio Monteverdi in 1607, is a musically intense work with a libretto directly inspired by Ovid's Metamorphosis, and is often considered the first true opera. The richness of the orchestration, the virtuosity of the choral writing and the precise characterisation of the roles make this work an ideal playground for young talent.
Conductor in residence at the Ambronay Cultural Encounter Centre since 2010, Leonardo García Alarcón is a specialist in the music of Claudio Monteverdi, deeply admiring of its beauty and well versed in its most subtle mysteries. He will share his fresh interpretation and enthusiastic approach with around sixty young instrumentalists and singers carefully selected from the leading European conservatoires.
The staging of this 20th Academy will be entrusted to Laurent Brethome, artistic director of the company Le menteur volontaire. A renowned theatre director, in 2010 he was awarded the public prize at the Festival Impatience for his direction of Hanokh Levin's Les Souffrances de Job at the Théâtre de l'Odéon.
Leonardo García Alarcón, direction
Following piano studies in Argentina, Leonardo García Alarcón moved to Europe in 1997 and consolidated his studies at the Geneva Conservatoire with harpsichordist Christiane Jaccottet, also completing his theoretical training at the Geneva Centre for Early Music. A member of the Elyma Ensemble, he became assistant to Gabriel Garrido before founding his own ensemble, Cappella Mediterranea, in 2005.
He has devoted himself to conducting works which he wishes to bring once again to attention, such as Guiseppe Zamponi's opera Ulysse – a performance of which he directed in 2006 – and Michelangelo Falvetti's Il Diluvio Universale, performed in 2010.
Since 2007, Leonardo García Alarcón has developed closed links with Ambronay, Centre culturel de rencontre. In 2010, he began a three-year residency at the Ambronay Cultural Encounter Centre during which he has conducted, created and recorded major projects such as Judas Maccabaeus, Vivaldi Vespro a San Marco, Rossini's Cambiale di Matriomonio or experimented new paths with Monteverdi-Piazzolla or Bach Drama. Since 2010, he is also artistic director and principal conductor of the Namur Chamber Choir.
Leonardo García Alarcón is today invited to conduct or play in operas, festivals and concert halls across the world, including the Festival of Aix en Provence, Lyon Opera, Ambronay Festival, Vienna Konzerthaus, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Grand Theatre in Geneva, Theatre Zarzuela in Madrid, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Montecarlo Opera, Theatre des Champs Elysées in Paris, Wigmore Hall in London, Fondation Gulbenkian in Lisbon, the Festival de la Chaise-Dieu and the Teatro Maximo in Palermo.
His discography, with both his ensemble Cappella Mediterranea and the Namur Chamber Choir, has received widespread critical acclaim. For Ambronay Editions, he has recorded seven CDs gathering 18 awards.
His desire to communicate extends to the training of young musicians. At the Geneva Conservatoire he teaches the 'Maestro al Cembalo' class as well as baroque song. He also collaborates with organisations promoting professional insertion, such as Ambronay European Baroque Academy, Cultural Ambassador of the EU, and the Academy of Aix en Provence.
Passionate about the voice and a keen musicological researcher, Leonardo García Alarcón continues to explore the aesthetic ideals of Latin baroque music, encouraging them to inform those of the north. The south-north/north-south journey, with its diversity of languages and tastes, has become a creative driving force for him and is his ideal sphere of work.
7 soloists, 15 chorists, 4 dancers and 30 instrumentalists will be selected all over Europe to participate in this project.
A training period for singers will take place from April 25th to May 6th, 2013. Rehearsals will take place from September 8th till October 2d in Bourg-en-Bresse with teachers specialized in the music of Monteverdi. A european tour will follow from October 3d to October 22d.
Open to singers born after January 1st, 1983.
All the information is in the application form.