A Splendid Revival of a Rarely Seen de Nebra Opera

SpainSpain de Nebra, Venus y Adonis (concert version): Los Músicos de su Alteza / Luis Antonio González (conductor), Auditorio Nacional de Música, Madrid, 18.11.2018. (JMI)

Luis Antonio González and Los Músicos de su Alteza (c) CNDM

Venus – Olalla Alemán
Adonis – Eugenia Boix
Marte – María Hinojosa
Cibeles – Marta Infante
Celfa – Aurora Peña
Clarín – José Pizarro

A few years ago, the Teatro de la Zarzuela began the recovery of works composed by José de Nebra by presenting his Viento es la dicha de Amor and Iphigenia in Tracia. Now it’s the turn of the CNDM (National Center for Music Diffusion) which this year is commemorating the 250th anniversary of the composer’s death in 1768.

On this occasion, Luis Antonio González was given the task of mounting the de Nebra opera Venus y Adonis. The performance in concert form that resulted was first-rate: the audience enjoyed an excellent musical reading of the attractive Baroque music and a remarkable group of vocalists.

González led Los Músicos de Su Alteza, whose performance was satisfactory in every way. Undoubtedly, Maestro González is a connoisseur of this work, and he has definitely proven it. There were six singers in the cast, some of them little known, but all had attractive voices and exhibited great musicality.

The part of the goddess Venus was interpreted by soprano Olalla Alemán, who gave a convincing performance. She has an appealing, well-managed voice and was very expressive too.

Soprano Eugenia Boix is better known, and she too was exceptional: a beautiful voice and a fine singer. I had not seen her on stage for eight years; the impression she made then was positive, and she has now confirmed and even surpassed it.

I would also highlight the performance of Catalan soprano María Hinojosa in the part of Mars. She had an engaging voice, and one that is very nicely handled as well.

The remaining three characters play less important parts, but all covered their roles perfectly. Marta Infante in the part of Cibeles has just one aria, but she sang it in a relevant way and with an important voice. The performances of Aurora Peña and tenor José Pizarro, who played the comic characters Celfa and Clarín, were also noteworthy.

José M. Irurzun 

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