“Prejudice and ignorance still prevail in this musical genre”, says soprano Catarina Molder to JN. The artist created Operafest, an independent opera festival made up of 13 shows and which aims to reach 7,500 people.
There is a taste for opera in Portugal, there are those who want to follow it, watch it, look for it – but often do not find it. The career is in the career of Catarina Molde with a career that confesses “guilt for Operafest” The festival, born in the pandemic, exactly aims to fill this absence of a market for those who already enjoy opera and who may have the joy – but, in both cases, they have opportunities for joy.
From August 19th to September 10th, the Garden of the National Museum of Ancient Art, in Lisbon, hosts the 3rd edition of Operafest, this year with the theme “Destiny in vertigo”, and again the concept of taking opera to new public. In the program are also scheduled events, in an event organized in the midst of the outbreak of covid19 and that is why planning, with humor, the return to the world of fantasy also masquerade balls.
Long dreamed ambition
Catarina Molder came up with an idea, who now explains to JN how this is the materialization of a project of hers, “she has dreamed and fought a lot”, which she intends to combine several.
On the one hand, the lack of operational offer at the national level and in Lisbon, “the European capital that presents less opera”, he highlights. On the other hand, the period in August when theaters are closed. And, finally, international festivals and events of “place Lisboa” are events, with the brand “out of the programming box” that marks the difference between the “programming and audience route” of Portugal.
The festival was “five years in the making”, before the soprano decided to take a chance, in the summer of 2020, it was waiting for him in front of the Art Museum Garden (“if not the Museum, Operafest wouldn’t exist”) . with Portugal and, the first two festivals, with a success, an unprecedented dynamism in positive reviews in the international market.
Raves, dances, contests
There are many highlights: there are operatic raves, national premieres, there is a competition, the only Portuguese one, for contemporary opera, there are such masked ballets and offers for children.
The festival “starts with “A masked ball”, by Verdi, and ends with an operatic rave, including the national premiere of the opera “Labyrinth”, by Gian-Carlo Menotti, explains the artist. Bridge game”, the famous “Adagio”, by Samuel Barber, or “The man of dreams”. Ópera Express para Novos Encenadores and still in new creations, with the premiere of the play “Minotauro”, by João Ricardo.
This is an independent opera festival, with a comprehensive lineup that “bets on the intersection of tradition and avant-garde, national and new, new operas and performers to reach all public talents and bring opera closer to the public and the world today”, he says.
The ultra traditionalism
Between 13 shows, expect to reach 7500 people. Also because there is interest, but not so much: “A large part of the public likes opera, they have few opportunities for a fruit of the international opera market, in general, it is ultra living almost only in the past, the contemporary is a lot”, he emphasizes the artist.
The national market is almost non-existent: “We are witnessing a demand that is still not satisfied in the largest of the Portuguese theaters, because on the one hand prejudice is in force”, in addition to the lack of conditions and investment. All trends that the new event intends to counteract.