– The Spanish tenor will take the role of the Chevalier Des Grieux for the first time in his return to Bilbao after having sung Rigoletto in Genoa alongside Carlos Álvarez and Leo Nucci

December 2017
After ending the year with his stunning Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa (23rd, 27th and 29th December) alongside two of the most renowned singers in the lead role, Carlos Álvarez and Leo Nucci, the acclaimed Canary Island tenor Celso Albelo will return to the Bilbao Association of Friends of the Opera (ABAO-OLBE) season in January  with performances on the 20th, 23rd, 26th and 29th.  This time he will be adding a new role to his already extensive repertoire: the Chevalier Des Grieux in the opera Manon, by Jules Massenet, alongside the soprano Irina Lungu in the title role.

In this way, and from a spring-board of Italian bel-canto, Albelo continues to deepen his knowledge of French repertoire, “a journey among romantic characters which sing in the French language, which implies different musical development from Italian opera. Trying to decipher it is a challenge, because although there are many points in common with Italian singing, there are also great differences.  Finding the key to this type of phrasing demands maturity. The orchestra is heavier and the harmonic treatment is much richer because it describes the emotional states of the characters, something which is very present in Massenet.” In recent seasons, Celso  Albelo has been widening his palette of characters from French repertoire with titles such as Les pêcheurs de perles (Bizet, Salerno Opera), Guillaume Tell (Rossini, Monte-Carlo Opera and Théâtre des Champs Élysées in Paris. Werther (Massenet, Teatro Comunale in Bologna), Thaïs (Massenet, Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona) and La favorite (Donizetti, Opéra Royale de Wallonie), to which this season he has added Roméo et Juliette (Gounod, with the Barcelona Liceu Company at the Teatro Calderón in Valladolid) and La damnation de Faust (Berlioz,  Palau de Les Arts de Valencia).

With regard to the role he is to make his debut in at ABAO-OLBE, Albelo feels that the Chevalier Des Grieux is “the romantic figure par excellence, who loves Manon more than anything and will forgive her anything.  He will even give up his principles for her.”