Two fast-approaching programs by the Jalisco Philharmonic (JPO) seem destined to burst the hearts of Guadalajara opera lovers and probably the capacity of the Teatro Degollado as well.
The cherries on these two sundaes will be some very attractive young stars who have distinguished themselves internationally in classical opera venues and popular competitions such as the BBC’s Cardiff Singer of the World Competition and Placido Domingo’s Operalia, held last year here in Guadalajara.
Both confections are part of JPO’s Festival de la Voz (Voice Festival) and will be conducted by Marco Parisotto, the orchestra’s Canadian musical director.
First up, Thursday, November 23, 8:30 p.m. and Sunday November 26, 6 p.m., is the program Esplendores de la Ópera (Splendors of Opera) with U.S. soprano Lauren Michelle and Italian tenor Lorenzo Decaro singing individually and together in selections from a range of well known operas, such as Bizet’s beloved “Carmen,” Puccini’s “La Bohéme” and Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin.”
Los Angeles native Michelle trained at Juilliard, has appeared in an episode of the TV series “Empire,” won a BBC-sponsored singing competition in Wales and sung on stages from London to Vienna, while Decaro, her Italian-born counterpart in the program, has sung in a dizzying array of primarily Italian works on stages throughout that genre’s home turf.
Next up, Thursday, November 30, 8:30 p.m., and Sunday, December 3, 6 p.m., tenor Rame Lahaj headlines a program focusing on the operatic favorites of Naples. Entitled “O Sole Mio” (My Sunshine), the program concludes, naturally enough, with that song, which, although beyond famous, does not come from an opera. But many of the program’s other offerings do, such as selections from Puccini’s “Tosca” and Verdi’s “Aida.”
Lahaj was born and raised in Kosovo, where his biography tells us there was not a single music school in his hometown. Apparently self-motivated, he only burst onto the music scene in the last few years, initially at a music festival in Germany, then in a long list of European operas (in Brussels, London, Lyon, Palermo, Paris, Warsaw, etcetera) and even the Sydney Opera House. In 2016, he capped all that with high recognition at Domingo’s Operalia, which further jet-propelled his career.
Tickets for both programs are 200-400 pesos, available at the Teatro Degollado box office from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., tel. (33) 3615-4773; or at Ticketmaster, tel. (33) 3818-3800 or www.ticketmaster.com.mx.