Dvorák composed his Cello Concerto as a farewell letter to New York, but on Monday afternoon his famous opus 104 sounded like welcome and reunion in the hands of the Spanish soloist Pablo Ferrández, who at the head of the Madrid Symphony and under the watchful eye of maestro Juanjo Mena offered a vespecially moving and lucid version of the score as part of the symphonic splendor of the second gala of the Teatro Real in the Big Apple after a reception dinner at David Geffen Hall of Lincoln Center, attended by authorities and cultural representatives from both sides of the Atlantic.
“With this project, included in our 2022-2026 strategic plan, we want to continue making visible and promoting cultural exchange between Spain and the United States“explained Ignacio García-Belenguer, general director of the Teatro Real, during his meeting with the press at the Dragados headquarters. Right there, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, president of the Community of Madrid, celebrated the “fruitful and prosperous twinning” between the two cities and also took the opportunity to announce the appointment of the dancer and choreographer Jesús Carmona as artistic director of the new Spanish Ballet of Madridwhich will be based at the Teatros del Canal.
It was not the only flamenco note of the Teatro Real’s second visit to Manhattan, after its debut last year at the legendary Carnegie Hall: the night before the dancer Yolanda Osuna captivated the public with her performance at the Ángel Orensanz Foundationan old synagogue on the Lower East Side converted into an artistic temple where they met cultural personalities (there were Marta Rivera de la Cruz, Minister of Culture of the Community of Madrid, and Cayetana Guillén Cuervo, representing the Academy of Performing Arts) and the business world (such as the jurist Pedro Pérez-Llorca, Jaime Malet, president of the United States Chamber of Commerce and Juan Cierco, corporate director of Iberia).
It was just an appetizer – opportunely seasoned with ham and wine– for what would be played in the second part of the concert the next day at the David Geffen Hall, and in which the singer Esperanza Fernández would offer “the most original version and also the most heartbreaking”In his own words, The love wizard by Falla, who sang for the first time in 1994. In total, two and a half hours of music in which the main orchestra of the Teatro Real excelled with a repertoire that Joan Matabosch, artistic director of the house, defined as a “extraordinary crossing of classical and national elements”in reference to the works of Dvorák and Falla, but also to the suites of Ginastera (Panambí) y Ravel (Daphnis and Chloe).
After the tips (Ferrández thanked the ovation with The singing of the birds by Pau Casals, which he performed with his imposing Stradivarius ‘Archinto’and Mena did the same with him interlude of Goyesque of Granados and the festive prelude to The batting of Chueca), a cocktail at Lincoln Centerwhich was also attended by well-known faces, such as designer Carolina HerreraMarta Álvarez, president of El Corte Inglés, and the soprano Joyce DiDonato, as well as other artists very close to the Teatro Real, such as Federica Lombardi, who these days plays Mimí de Bohemian in the neighboring Met. “This injection of self-esteem is very important for our orchestral staff”, commented Matabosch. “Hopefully soon we can return with a small format opera.”