-The young Operalia winning tenor will be Belmonte in The Abduction from the Seraglio.
Joel Prieto has so far dedicated a great part of his career to Mozart’s music. From the time that he won first prize in the Operalia World Opera Competition in 2008 the tenor, who was born in Madrid, raised in Puerto Rico and trained in New York, has found Mozart’s oeuvre to be one of his greatest allies. At the end of January, he will make his debut at LA Opera (USA) for the first time in the role of another of Mozart’s characters, Belmonte, the male lead in The Abduction from the Seraglio.
After a year which has been almost entirely devoted to Tamino, the prince in Die Zauberflöte (in Madrid and Warsaw) and to Ferrando, in Così fan tutte (in Aix-en-Provence, New York, London and Edinburgh), Joel Prieto begins 2017 by incorporating this new role to his repertoire, and he will later perform the opera again at the Semperoper Dresde (Germany). “The role of Belmonte is probably the most difficult Mozart character that I have sung until now. He is a type of mixture between Tamino, Don Ottavio and Ferrando, all in one. One needs a good mastery of line, good diction, control of coloratura and to be able to move around the passaggio with ease. Also, the register is high and it is necessary to work on depth on the emotional plane. With this type of role you need a lot of experience in this style. In fact, I was offered this role many years ago, and I turned it down, because I knew intuitively that I still had a lot to learn”. For the tenor, this is a “very complete” character, “which I am very pleased to make my debut in at this moment of my career, after having sung various Mozart roles for over 10 years in many theatres around the world.”
But it is not all Mozart in the young singer’s diary. As well as having sung the Berlioz opera Béatrice et Bénédicte (Toulouse) in September and October, in December he dedicated himself to Beethoven by travelling to Tokyo to sing the Ninth Symphony alongside the NHK Symphony Orchestra and the Tokyo Opera Singers Choir.
In Los Angeles he will give six performances of (28th January and 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th February) in a James Robinson production, conducted by the musical director of the LA Opera, James Conlon.