Rubén Fernández Aguirre
In these Verdi songs we can experience the essences of his style: the breadth of the arc of the phrase, the characteristic weight of the word in his music, the sense of drama and especially the charisma of the theatrical character in flesh and blood. There are no objective narrators, there are no mythical beings, it does not hide in evanescent metaphors. There is a character in each song, an emotional motivation, a dramatic scene that invites us to imagine the before and after, the opening and closing of the curtain. Singers forge their first connections with the score through the piano, creating a unique and unavoidable intimacy in the adventorous process of exploring new paths just with their voice. The piano is a kind companion when a sudden stop is needed to go back and repeat, again and again, looking for a new color in the voice, a different way to render a given phrase, to ask for an unexpected or improvised change of tempo and dynamics. With the piano, the voice feels completely naked and is willing to take new risks, choosing the most becoming patterns, welcoming new groundbreaking rules beyond tradition and caution.
Carmen began her singing classes with the soprano María Coronado Herrera in her native city of Badajoz, Spain and choral music with Carmelo Solís. She perfected her training with Teresa de Berganza, Ricardo Requejo, or Kevin Smith among others. She won numerous awards and was a finalist in important international European competitions (Operalia, Francisco Viñas, Manuel Ausensi, Logroño Competition, Alfredo Catalani de Lucca Foundation, Pedro Bote, Villa de Abarán, New Voices of Seville, José A. Alegría) and began her operatic and concert career in France (Théâtre Chatelet de Paris, Royan, Sant Genís), Canada (Quebec Opera), Chile, Germany, Italy, Portugal as well as in leading venues and festivals in Spain with such renowned accompanists as Ricardo Estrada or Rubén Fernández Aguirre. The highlights of 2018 were Tosca in the Ephesus Theater (Turkey) together with the Orchestra and Choir of the Izmir Opera, conducted by Alberto Veronesi, and the leading role in the recovery of María del Pilar by Gerónimo Giménez, performed in the Zarzuela Theater in Madrid. Among her most important commitments for 2019 are the debut of Liú (Turandot) in the Auditori of Barcelona with the OBC, Nedda (Pagliacci) in the Comunale Theater in Bologna, Italy, as well as the recording of chamber songs by Giuseppe Verdi together with the pianist Rubén Fernández Aguirre for the IBS Classical label.
Ruben Fernandez Aguirre
Born in Barakaldo, in the province of Vizcaya, Spain, Rubén Fernández-Aguirre completed his solo piano studies in Vitoria with Albert Nieto before specialising in opera coaching and piano accompaniment in Vienna with David Lutz and in München with Donald Sulzen. He has also received the guidance of Félix Lavilla, Miguel Zanetti and Wolfram Rieger. A much sought-after recital accompanist, he regularly collaborates with Carlos Álvarez, Ainhoa Arteta, María Bayo, Gabriel Bermúdez, Mariola Cantarero, Elena de la Merced, Andeka Gorrotxategi, Nancy Fabiola Herrera, Ismael Jordi, José Antonio López, David Menéndez, María José Montiel, Carmen Romeu, José Luis Sola and Carmen Solís, and he has also worked alongside Celso Albelo, Yolanda Auyanet, Josep Bros, Measha Brueggergosman, Mariella Devia, Cristina Gallardo-Domâs, Carol García, Eglise Gutiérrez, Montserrat Martí, Isabel Rey, Christopher Robertson, Ofelia Sala, Ana María Sánchez, Leontina Vaduva and José Manuel Zapata. In these partnerships, he has performed at most of the Spanish festivals and theatres, as well as the major music centres around the world, including Vienna’s Musikverein, La Monnaie in Brussels, the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, New York’s Avery Fisher Hall and Carnegie Hall, Montevideo’s Teatro Solís, and concert halls in Paris, Lyon, Bremen, Graz, Budapest, Damasco, Argel, Mexico City and Buenos Aires. Rubén has accompanied Masterclasses given by Teresa Berganza, Renata Scotto, Jaume Aragall, Ileana Cotrubas, Simon Estes, Bruno de Simone, Emilio Sagi and Ana Luisa Chova, and was an official pianist at Plácido Domingo’s Operalia 2006. He has worked as a repetiteur at Valencia’s Palau de la Música, Madrid’s Teatro Real and Sevilla’s Teatro de la Maestranza and as a vocal coach, he runs his own Masterclasses hosted by Cursos de Verano Isaac Albéniz (Girona), Festival Manuel de Falla (Granada), Quincena Musical Donostiarra (San Sebastián) and the University of the Basque Country. His discography most notably includes the complete songs of Antón García Abril (Bolamar Music), <em>Canciones en la Alhambra</em> with soprano Mariola Cantarero and <em>Carlos Álvarez Live in La Monnaiae</em> (Ibs Classical Gold) and <em>Ensueños</em> with mezzo Nancy Fabiola Herrera (AIM Records). In 2010 he receivedthe Ópera Actual award for his dedication to and the rising recognition of his accomplishment in thefield of the lyric art.