Meet The Man Behind ‘Simon Boccanegra’ By Opera Australia: Diego Torre
Diego Torre is the Mexican tenor who, since being heralded by The Washington Times in 2009 as “an up-and-coming talent to be watched”, has gone from strength-to-strength.
His vocal versatility and lead work has landed him an impressive history in operatic performances, principally for the past few years under the wing of Australia’s premiere opera production company, Opera Australia in a myriad of leading roles.
His latest? Gabrielle Adorno in this Sydney winter season’s production of the 1857 Verdi piece, Simon Boccanegra. It will be one to be seen.
Verdi’s composition is about Simon Boccanegra; a powerful man with a great tragedy in his past. Twenty-five years earlier, his young lover died and their baby mysteriously disappeared. Just as he thinks he might have found his daughter, his enemies start to move against him.
If Torre received such acclaim seven years ago, there’s no speculating as to the heights and impress Torre’s performance will reach this season, taking-on the role of Adorno, the love interest of the Doge of Genoa in the opera: a big role.
In an opera that has been described as a rarity on the opera stage thanks in large part to Verdi’s penchant for complex political landscapes and intimate personal stories, Torre said of his big-scale role:
“This is my second production of Simon Boccanegra and with more maturity and confidence than the first one, I believe this is the right time to do it and I’m happy to have the chance of sing it again.”
It’s a largely anticipated performance this year, off the back of Opera Australia’s height of the year with Handa Opera’s Turandot on Sydney Harbour. A tenuously nerve-racking time, no doubt, for all performers of an opera even Verdi described himself as a fiasco at first.
“I think Verdi wasn’t pleased with the first version he wrote, so later he did a revision of his work and created a second edition which is the one we sing. I think people will find this production interesting, with more focus in the expression of the word through the singers and with a beautiful wardrobe and classy stage,” said Torre.
However, the key is in the preparation and the connection between tenor and character; a faultless one of which plays a seamless connection on stage. One Torre has taken great pride in the opportunity to allow to shine.
“I find him, [Gabrielle Adorno], very noble. It’s a good guy and easy to understand. His singing should project all of this,” he said. “[Singing as Adorno] is a beautiful sensation for many reasons. Because there [are] people waiting for that specific moment and you have the privilege [of performing it to] them. But also it’s the opportunity to show the role’s personality and the way you make clearer the understanding of your character in the story.”
Listen to one of Simon Boccanegra‘s most celebrated arias, Come in quest’ora bruna, by Opera Australia here.
Opera Australia’s Simon Boccanegra performance runs from 26 July to 13 August 2016. Buy tickets here.
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