Soprano Carla Caramujo is a central figure in “Orphée”, a work by Philip Glass which he created from the film of the same name by Jean Cocteau. The CCB premieres an opera, performed by the Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa, next Thursday.
She has already given voice to emblematic figures in the world of opera, such as Gilda from “Rigoletto” or Violeta from “La Traviata”. On Thursday and Saturday, at the Centro Cultural de Belém, in Lisbon, Carla Caramujo assumes the role of Princess, central figure in “Orphée”, a two-act play created by Philip Glass from the homonymous film by the master of surrealism Jean Cocteau, which will be performed by the Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa.
For the Coimbra-born soprano, it is a return to the mythological universe of Orpheus, two and a half years after having been the protagonist of another adaptation of “Orphée” in Rio de Janeiro, also directed by Felipe Hirsch, which deserved unanimous praise from the public and critics.
Recidivism is far from an illusion of absolute control. “Each show is unique”, Caramujo. The consecutive months of preparation that precede a premiere – from care to rigorous strength and mandatory rest – not least because it has no influence on stage performance.
“There is no plan b”
In addition to the usual rigor and detail that she puts into each new project, the soprano also faced other demands in “Orphé”. “It’s an added responsibility”, says the weight of dealing with Orfeu’s and also the strong brands, which do not work with just one artist like works by Coco and Glass.
However, there is no need to carry out any planned task, which is not a task task, while having the will to carry out the will, both singing and theatrical performance.
To top it off, the mandatory use of even a mask during rehearsals came “double the physical intensity”, in addition to the difficulty of evaluating the facial expression of colleagues. Still, nothing compared to the daily uncertainty of the production coming to cast members infected with covid-19 and the difficulty of replacing them at the last minute. “There is never an absolute plan B. In mine, the Princess’s long and demanding role makes a replacement impossible,” he says.
Opera across the country
Two decades after having exchanged her Chemistry course for higher studies in singing in England, Carla Caramujo still vividly remembers “the gigantic dose of impulse” that gave rise to the decision.
At ease in Porto since May of the year, the winner of the National Singing Competition Luísa Todi keeps intact the past of an international career already recognized with awards in Germany and the United Kingdom or performances throughout Europe and South America. “Maintain a career from Portugal requires an additional effort”, he recognizes.
In the last couple of decades, artistic education “has taken a giant leap”, it can be seen, although singing in particular continues to present gaps, because “our schools still do not support what is necessary for training”.
Among the unfulfilled objectives is the desire to see an operation circulate around the country. Carla Caramujo points out the weak commitment of the structures in tours to lead the shows to greatly increase the investment made in democratization. .
Orphée” by Philip Glass, chamber opera in two acts
Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra
Thursday, January 27, 7:00 pm, Great Auditorium of the Centro Cultural de Belém
Saturday, January 29, 7:00 pm, Great Auditorium of the Centro Cultural de Belém
Carla Caramujo (soprano/Princess), André Baleiro (baritone/Orphée)
Susana Gaspar (soprano / Eurídice), Luís Gomes (tenor / Heurtebize), Marco Alves dos Santos (tenor / Cégeste), Nuno Dias (bass / Judge, Commissioner), Luís Rodrigues (baritone / Poet), Cátia Moreso (mezzo-soprano ) / Aglaonice), João Pedro Cabral (tenor / Reporter, Glazier)
Conductor: Pedro Neves
Scenography: Daniela Thomas
Stage Direction: Felipe Hirsch