For the mexican tenor Javier Camarena (Xalapa, Mexico, 43 years), the ultimate dream would be to be able to sing Tosca, as she made her admired Alfredo Kraus, who only incarnate Mario Cavaradossi in the opera of Giacomo Puccini at the start of his career, in 1956, in the debut of the singer canary at the age of 29 in Cairo and, months later, in Cannes. “And no more”, he must have thought the Spanish. And something must think the mexican at the time to count your two highest aspirations: “In the flat fantastic, like Kraus, singing a Tosca would be so like wow!!! On the conscious plane, I know that maybe I don’t, but at least think about doing ever La Bohème [Giacomo Puccini]”. In fact, it has already been doing in concerts some of the tests, as for example with Che gelida manina, an aria from the first act of the famous works of Puccini. Exercises that will serve to be “an idea of where you are the voice”, although there is a clear conclusion: “it Is good, but not yet.”
Javier Camarena, a trimmed beard and glasses framing a face jovial, departió this Thursday at the Teatro Real in the face of various media to present their upcoming appearances at the coliseum in madrid, where they face this Saturday in the role of Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, by Gaetano Donizetti, in one of the 12 features of this work, and, later, between 30 November and 20 December, Gualtiero in Il pirata, by Vincenzo Bellini. In between, the mexican will be the protagonist on Wednesday, November 13, the Grand Gala 2019 at the Theatre Royal, where it will offer a lesson on the history of opera with pieces that go from Giacomo Carissimi (1605-1674) to Jacinto Guerrero (1895-1951), passing by composers such as Bellini, Donizetti or Gioachino Rossini.
Javier Camarena in ‘Lucia de Lammermoor’, by Gaetano Donizetti, at the Teatro Real in 2018. JAVIER DEL REAL
In the act of picking off some of the secrets of planning your career to take care of your voice and achieve an intelligent evolution in the repertoire, always with papers planned for years. “It is No secret my relationship with Kraus,” said Camarena, “I’ve always referred to it as a great reference in terms of the intelligence at the time of selection of the repertoire. It is true that you have to have a full awareness of the possibilities of vocal. While you mature, is also the voice goes on changing and you have to go adapting to these changes, and it is not always easy. Things for me were complicated by a question of weight, color, voice, today, I find it very easy, and the things that he did before that I found superfáciles today they are not so. It is a constant work of research and work in terms of knowledge of their own instrument”.
” The tenor explained that for him the most important thing, apart from the training exercises of the voice, is to know respecting your needs for rest. “Since my debut 15 years ago, everything has been fast, very very fast, is one constantly travelling to different environments, climates… Respect my need for rest and supposed to match the activity of a high performance athlete. The one that runs a marathon is not going to run another the next day, and another the next, obviously your performance is going to be each time lower.”
Another of his rules is to consult with specialists, with foniátras, from time to time: “I have, almost, almost, my doctors in each city.” Experts that attend as if it were the mechanic: “I’m going to do a check-up, as the race car goes to the workshop and they are going to make a ajustadita, a check-up, to keep it in optimal conditions”.
as to their next steps in the world of opera, he explained that although it still feels very comfortable in the world of belcanto, wants to go to evolve towards the French repertoire. And when challenged by operas in particular replied: “Lakmé [Léo Delibes], Romeo and Juliet [Charles Gounod], Manon [Jules Massenet]”. Then added between laughs: “I’m out there looking for a Faust [Gounod’s]”. Your prospective it goes even further: “After this, it will be a period of four years, I will see if I dare at some point to make a Werther [Jules Massenet] and here in eight years, if it is God, life, and everything you will allow me, to do my maximum time to face the French repertoire, that would be The tales of Hoffmann”. Although he added that the opera of Jacques Offenbach really puts it as a separate chapter.
Asked if he would dare to do, within the French repertoire, a William Tell, Camarena confirmed the fame of the opera house, Gioachino Rossini: “it Is a matavoces, that’s why I didn’t wanted to do.” And he added: “Only once sing it in Italian at a concert in Budapest, but it is the same thing: I study, I test it and I say ‘takes a little more time’, especially to give color to the voice. It is a role that I could ask to study it, rehearse it and maybe sing it in four or five years.”
Although he made it clear that not want to leave the belcanto: “there are Still many things that I can work on that part of the repertoire before thinking of other things.” That’s why he was very satisfied with the works that you have on the bill now in the Royal Theatre. As well, he explained that L’elisir d’amore was the first work that was learned to complete while still in college, and that’s why she has a love very special: “to Have the opportunity to sing it here is something that excites me a lot.” Like to return to the Royal Theatre, which was considered to have a very demanding public. “I feel really lucky and blessed by the affection I feel for the part of the public”. And within this relationship so beautiful with the fans, he recalled the two encores that had to do in November of 2014 in the aria Ah, mes amis from the daughter of The regiment, by Gaetano Donizetti. “There have been nights memorable and very, very exciting here in the Teatro Real”.
Javier Camarena in ‘the daughter of The regiment’, at the Teatro Real in 2014. JAVIER DEL REAL
In the next premiere of Il pirata, said that while it is up to a composer belcantista, Vincenzo Bellini, its composition, its writing, I was going more towards a romantic style, with tones much more dramatic for the character. His character, Gualtiero, the hero in love with Imogene, who is married to his “archenemy” Ernesto, falls within, as he explains, “the fight typical of the belcanto tenor against baritone for the love of the soprano”.
finally, on the personal level, the mexican tenor confessed that in his house, near Zurich, don’t listen to opera: “I Love the opera but it came to my house and I want something else, I want to rest.” By that, I assure you, it is easier to hear the parts of the guitar that puts his women or the songs of Katy Perry or Ariana Grande who listens to her daughter: “at least that is heard in my house is the opera”.