On Thursday, April 7th at 7:30 PM Opera Hispánica is proud to present the great Chilean soprano Verónica Villarroel in an unique and romantic recital titled Y Volveré at El Teatro at the Museo del Barrio on 1230 Fifth Ave (at 104th Street). The performance will feature boleros, tangos and songs from Spain and Latin America together with selections from the Canciones Españolas Antiguas by Federico Garcia Lorca. Including such songs as Violeta Parra’s Gracias a la Vida, Armando Manzanero’s Cuando estoy contigo, Maria Grever’s Muñequita linda, and Garcia Lorca’s Las morillas de Jaén, the recital will be in the expert hands of music director/pianist Pablo Zinger leading by an instrumental ensemble of Olli Hirvonen (guitar), Danny Mallon (percussion) and Pedro Giraudo (bass). With guest appearances by star Flamenco dancer Sonia Olla (who choreographed Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour Flamenco numbers), and cantaor Ismael Fernández. This event counts with the generous support of Annabelle P. Mariaca. Tickets are available now!
Chilean opera star Veronica Villarroel has been acclaimed at major international opera houses throughout the world such as the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Hamburg State Opera, Bavarian State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, San Francisco Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Dallas Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Washington Opera, Teatro Real Madrid, Gran Teatro del Liceu and many others. Particularly praised in the first years of her international career for roles such as Fiordiligi in Cosi Fan Tutte (the role of her international debut at the Gran Teatro del Liceo in Barcelona), Liu in Turandot, Mimi in La bohème and Violetta in La traviata ( the last two which she sang all over the world.) Veronica Villarroel made her professional debut at the Teatro Municipal in Santiago, Chile as Musetta in La bohème opposite the Mimi of Renata Scotto who was instrumental in bringing her to the United States where she completed her musical studies at the Juilliard School’s American Opera Center. Villarroel made her European debut in 1989 as Antonia in Les contes d’Hoffmann at the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy. It was her debut at the Gran Teatro del Liceu the following year as Fiordiligi in Cosi Fan tutte which brought her to international attention. She debuted at the Metropolitan Opera as Mimi in 1991 and has appeared there in the role in many subsequent revivals. She has been heard in this role in a new production at the Stuttgart Opera, as well as at the Hamburg State Opera, San Francisco Opera, Dallas Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin and at the Teatro Regio in Turin. Her first Violetta took place at the Teatro de las Bellas Artes in Mexico City and was followed by appearances in the role with the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, Gran Teatro del Liceu in Barcelona, Los Angeles Opera, the Chatélet in Paris, as well as in Hamburg, Bonn, San Francisco, Dallas and Houston. Villarroel bowed to audiences at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires as Marguerite in Faust, debuted with the Houston Grand Opera as Antonia in Les contes d’Hoffmann. She sang her first Liu in Turandot at Opéra de Lyon, where she has also sung Mimi. Veronica Villarroel’s recordings include El Gato Montes for Deutsches Gramaphone and Gomes’ Il Guarany for SONY. She is also featured on the EMI’s Domingo Gala from Covent Garden, as well a the Covent Garden production of Il trovatore released on DVD by Opus Arte. Ms. Villarroel has received many awards and honors from the Government of Chile in recognition of her distinguished career. She is also the subject of the documentary, Veronica Villarroel: The Accidental Diva, which has been seen throughout the world.
Uruguayan-born New Yorker Pablo Zinger is widely acclaimed as a conductor, pianist, composer, arranger, writer, lecturer and narrator, specializing on Astor Piazzolla, tango, Spanish zarzuela, and Latin American music. He has performed throughout the Americas an in Spain, Russia, Poland, Slovenia, Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, South Africa, Greece, Germany and Norway. He accompanied Plácido Domingo at Washington’s Constitution Hall, conducted for Paquito D’Rivera’s CarnegieHall 50th . Anniversary Concert and the Moscow première of Piazzolla’s María de Buenos Aires, narrated Piazzolla’s Pueblo Joven at Tokyo’s Opera City and accompanied legendary Spanish diva Sarita Montiel in NYC. He tours and records frequently with the Valencia-based Zinger Septet and has written for The New York Times, Opera News, and lectured for The New York Philharmonic. He has written the tango Latin-Jewish musical Bela with Ilan Stavans, and Las tentaciones de González (Tiene la muerte atada), premièred in 1999 to a NY Times rave. His show Bésame mucho (Latinas sing Latinas), at Repertorio Español , NY, won the HOLA and ACE prizes (2012-1015). He has been called “The King of Zarzuela” by Opera News magazine, and was Musical Director of the Patty Disney Zarzuela Series at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, NM (2004-2011). His CD’s include Tango Apasionado with Astor Piazzolla, Chamber Music from the South and The Clarinetist, with Paquito D’Rivera, Las Puertas de la Mañana (songs of Carlos Guastavino) and two albums of music by Carlos Suriñach with Bronx Arts Ensemble.Mr. Zinger has conducted the Costa Rica National Symphony, Simón Bolívar Orchestra (Venezuela), Maribor Philharmonic (Slovenia), Montevideo Philharmonic and Montevideo Pro Opera (Uruguay) and Bronx Arts Ensemble with Jazz greats Tito Puente, Dave Valentin, Néstor Torres and John Faddis. At New York’s Town Hall, he conducted Piazzolla’s María de Buenos Aires and Pueblo Joven, Lecuona’s María la O, Roig’s Cecilia Valdés, Moreno Torroba’s Luisa Fernanda and Barbieri’s El barberillo de Lavapiés. Other zarzuela credits: Spanish Repertory Theatre, Orlando Opera, Zarzuela Company Domingo-Embil (Mexico), InternationalZarzuela Festival (El Paso), Jarvis Conservatory (Napa), and Santa Barbara Grand Opera. His La verbena de laPaloma (El Paso, ’96) was seen nationwide on PBS and his Luisa Fernanda (Napa, ’97) was issued on CD and DVD. As Musical Director of New York’s Polish Theatre Institute, Mr. Zinger conducted Polish operas, concerts and cabaret presentations throughout the U.S. and in five tours of Poland. Mr. Zinger has a BM and MM from Manhattan School of Music.
Hailed by The New York Times as “a furnace of earthy sensuality”, Sonia Olla was born and raised in Barcelona when she earned a degree in Spanish Dance and Flamenco at the esteemed “Instituto de Teatro y Danza” in Barcelona. She has toured as company member and soloist with flamenco greats such as Antonio Canales, Eva la Yerbabuena, Rafaela Carrasco, Merche Esmeralda, María Pagés, La Farruca, among others. Bailaora of international prestige, director and choreographer of her own shows, Sonia currently resides in New York, where she combines teaching with her performance and choreography career. Venues include The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Le Poisson Rouge, the Rose Nagelburg Theatre, Baruch Performing Arts Center (NY) and Instituto Cervantes (Chicago), and various Flamenco Festivals. Together with the Flamenco singer Ismael Fernández, her partner on and off the stage, Sonia has created a wide range of shows such as Tablao Sevilla, Entretiempo, Por Los Caminos and Tiempo al Aire. She has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The New Yorker, as well as Spanish newspapers such as ABC, El País, La Vanguardia. Sonia has also made television and radio appearances on Tele 5, Cadena Cope, Radio Nacional de España, Punto Radio, Onda Cero, Cadena Ser, as well as the renowned Internet show “Flamenco TV.” Sonia collaborated with the pop-icon Madonna to choreograph the worldwide “Rebel Heart Tour” 2015-2016, and 2017 worked with Ricky Martin providing Flamenco choreography for Lola Lola in his show “All In!” Sonia and Ismael are recipients of the CUNY Dance Initiative (CDI) Residency in both 2018 and 2019 and debuted their original piece “Ella” at CDI’s 5th Anniversary Fest. The duo have performed their own shows on tour in Asia along with New York Clubs including The Triad Theater and Joe’s Pub. 2019 highlights include the New York Flamenco Festival, the International Dance Festival in Havana, Cuba and the Edmonton Flamenco Festival. Recent performances have included a collaboration with Tedx Cambridge and the presentation of a new show, Gloria, presented by the Spanish Embassy of Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana. Sonia and Ismael teaching artists at Berklee School of music, where the couple will be presenting a show at the BPC in January of 2020.
Described by The Washington Post as the “most charismatic performer” Ismael Fernández was born in Seville, grew up performing in flamenco festivals throughout the world with his internationally renowned family, “La Familia Fernández”. His career began in Spain’s premier flamenco tablaos such as El Cordobés in Barcelona, La Carbonería in Seville and other famous flamenco cuevas of Granada. In 2004, Ismael won the National Contest of Cordoba, singing for the famed dancer Soraya Clavijo and was a finalist in the Festival De Cante De La Union. He joins his family regularly to perform in the celebrated Bienal de Flamenco de Sevilla. Throughout his career, Ismael has worked with flamenco legends such as Antonio Canales, Farruquito, Marina Heredia, El Torombo, the prestigious Orchestra director Gustavo Dudamel and Rafaela Carrasco to name a few. For several years, Ismael has been a featured company member of internationally acclaimed dancer Maria Pages, performing at The Joyce Theater (New York), Sadler Wells Theatre (London), Esplanade Theatre (Singapore), Orchard Hall and Bunka Mura (Japan), Teatro La Zarzuela (Madrid), Teatro Real (Madrid), and the Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona). He currently resides in New York, where he moved in 2014 together with the flamenco dancer Sonia Olla, his partner on and off the stage. Since then, he combines the Cante classes with performance at internationally acclaimed venues such as The New York City Center, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington DC), Carnegie Hall (NY), Walt Disney Concert Hall (LA). He created a large number of shows together with Sonia, such as Tablao Sevilla, Entretiempo, Tiempo Al Aire and Por los Caminos. Ismael has made several radio and television appearances, most notably “NYC Arts” (PBS), Tele5, Radio Nacional de España, Cadena Ser, Punto Radio, and Onda Cero. Ismael and Sonia both collaborated with pop-icon Madonna for her “Rebel Heart Tour” – 2015-2016 and samples of Ismael’s voice are featured during “La Isla Bonita.” He performed as a tribute to Alejandro Sanz at the Latin Grammy’s in 2017 and lent vocals to Ricky Martin’s show “All In!” for the number Lola Lola. Most recently, Sonia and Ismael finished touring in Asia, and debuted their Modern Pure Flamenco piece “Ella” at the CUNY Dance Intiative’s 5th Year Fest. They have performed in clubs in New York City, Flamenco Festivals across North America including Sante Fe and Edmonton, and the company performed in Cuba’s International Festival of Dance. Ismael recently performed his upcoming album “Trato” at Joe’s Pub as part of the Flamenco Festival New York 2019. Ismael performs his original music regularly throughout New York City. With Sonia, Ismael created and toured with their new show Gloria in the Caribbean, presented by the Spanish embassy of Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana. In 2020 he and Sonia perform at Berklee College of Music where they are both teaching artists.
Latin GRAMMY Award winner bassist and composer Pedro Giraudo is among the most compelling tango artists today.
In 2018 his album ‘Vigor Tanguero’ won a Latin GRAMMY award for ‘Best Tango Album’. In 2014 Ruben Blades’ CD “Tangos” on which he recorded bass won two Grammys Awards (Best Tango Album & Best Latin Pop). Pedro Giraudo has collaborated with Pablo Ziegler, Paquito D’Rivera, Branford Marsalis, Miguel Zenon among many others. Pedro Giraudo has also collaborated as a performer and arranger for The New York Philharmonic. He has also been the musical director of Tango for All’s ‘Blind’, Mariela Franganillo Company’s “Tango Connection” and “Tango Recuerdo” and performed with U.S.’s most prominent tango ensembles including ‘Forever Tango’, Hector Del Curto’s ‘Eternal Tango’ and Daniel Binelli’s ‘Tango Metropolis’. He has participated in numerous jazz and music festivals throughout the North America, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia, and performed in venues such as The Blue Note (Japan & USA), Birdland (Austria), London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, Jazz Festival Royale in Thailand, Kennedy Center (Washington DC), Iridium, Jazz Standard, Blue Note, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall (NYC).
As a composer and arranger, Giraudo leads his own jazz and tango ensembles and has been hailed by critics as one of the most creative and daring bandleaders on the scene today. He has played bass on dozens of recordings for the world’s leading labels including Sony, Warner, Nonesuch, Naxos and Harmonia Mundi, as well as for independent projects, and on movies including Oliver Stone’s ‘Wall Street II’.
His discography includes ‘Impulso Tanguero’ (Tiger Turn 2021), ‘An Argentinian in New York’ (Zoho Music 2018), ‘Vigor Tanguero’ (Zoho Music 2018), ‘Cuentos’ (Zoho Music 2015), ‘Córdoba’ (Zoho Music 2011), ‘El Viaje’ (2009) , ‘Desconsuelo’ (2005), ‘Mr Vivo’ (2002) and ‘Destiny of Flowers’ (2000). ‘Córdoba’ won 2011 Latin Jazz Corner’s: “Latin Jazz Large Ensemble Album Of The Year”, “Latin Jazz Boundary Breaking Album Of The Year”,” South American Jazz Album Of The Year”, and “Latin Jazz Composition Of The Year”; while ‘El Viaje’ won 2010 “Best Latin Jazz Album Of The Year,” and “Best Latin Jazz Large Ensemble Album Of The Year,” as well as “Best Latin Jazz Composition”.
Olli Hirvonen is a Finnish guitarist currently based in Brooklyn, NY. Fluent in various styles from jazz to rock to more experimental sounds, he has formed a highly unique style combining these different influences. As the winner of the 2016 Montreux Jazz Guitar Competition, Hirvonen is definitely one of the most accomplished Nordic musicians of his generation.
He released his debut album Detachment in 2014, and the same year toured the US as the Performer of the Year of the Finlandia Foundation, which allowed him to perform solo and trio concerts around the country.
He was also nominated as the Artist of the Year of the Pori Jazz 2011 festival, which is used to be one of the highest and the most visible recognitions in the Finnish jazz scene.
Hirvonen has been performing with his own ensembles all around the world since 2008. These performances include festivals in the US, Finland and abroad, including the main stage of Pori Jazz, Kennedy Center Nordic Cool 2013 Festival, UCLA European Jazz Festival, DC Nordic Jazz 2015, Sounds NEW Contemporary Music festival in UK and Tudengijazz in Estonia, and numerous clubs in New York and around, such as the Jazz Gallery, Cornelia St. Cafe, Bar Next Door, Bitter End, Stone Pony, and Rockwood Music Hall.
Danny was inspired to play the drums at a young age when he saw the Beatles play on the Ed Sullivan show. Since then, his playing has taken him around the world performing many styles of music including; world music, baroque, symphonic pops, opera, jazz and pop. He traveled as a music ambassador through Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rhythm Road program and the U.S.Department of state from 2009-2015. He has played on Juno awarded and grammy nominated recordings. Danny Mallon holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in classical orchestral percussion from the Mannes College of Music in NYC, where he has been a faculty member since 1989.
Originally called The Heckscher Children’s Theater, El Teatro was built in 1921 by the architectural firm of Maynick and Franke as part of an orphanage. A proscenium arch stage with seating for 599, it has been acknowledged as a Landmark Quality Interior venue for its remarkable series of 30-foot murals and stained-glass roundels. Today, the murals and Art Deco interior give El Teatro special status as a Landmark Quality Venue by the Municipal Arts Society and the City of New York Arts Commission. The theatre was the site for a special tribute to Tito Puente as part of the 39th Annual GRAMMY awards. It is now part of New York City’s Historic Music Trail.
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