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silvy

Uruguay's main opera house refurbished

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Our Teatro Solis, newly refurbished,

Yesterday we witnessed the reopening of our major opera house: the Solis Theatre (“Teatro Solis”), which had been closed in November 1998 after a small fire broke out in some of the dressing rooms, evidencing it was in a serious state of disrepair. From what I could see from the TV broadcast, the restorers had kept the theatre's original appearance (like the big chandelier, the paints by Herrera on the ceiling, the Carrara marble columns, while huge changes were made for the performers' sake. The stage was given much more width and height, a new proscenium could be seen, and there is last generation stage machinery for changes, etc.

The opening performance consisted of a gala by the Montevideo Philarmony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Federico Garcia Vigil, and arias, duets and choral pieces from the international repertory. The gala was made to coincide with the celebrations of Uruguay's National Independence Day.

The Mayor of Montevideo, Architect Mariano Arana opened up with a welcoming speech. In his speech he announced that Montevideo city had three new Illustrious Citizens, which came forward to receive their awards. These were former Uruguayan ballerina Sara Nieto (who had been named Prima Ballerina at Chilean National Ballet under Ivan Nagy's direction), pianist Nibia Mariño and actress Estela Medina.

The concert started with our National Anthem. Then I can hightlight the following pieces:

- Giuseppe Verdi, - "Va pensiero" from Nabucco (Sodre chorus – our National chorus) (I did not like the fact that there was a feminine voice which was standing out from the chorus, being that this piece is very sweet and has to be very homogeneous singing).

- Giacomo Puccini, "Si, mi chiamano Mimi" from La Bohème (María José Siri, soprano, Uruguay). I was particularly impressed by Ms Siri’s sweet voice, and I later learned she had earned an important International award

- Georges Bizet, "Habanera" from Carmen sung by Raquel Pierotti (Uruguayan mezzosoprano). In my opinion, this was the most outstanding performance of the night. Ms Pierotti is currently working in Spain, and has a colorful voice, and she seemed to have explored every nuance of Bizet’s aria. She also has a nice stage presence

- Giacomo Puccini - "Recondita armonia" from Tosca (John Matz, tenor, from USA). Mr Matz was a powerful voice and an impressive stage presence.

- Gioacchino Rossini, "La calunnia" from the Barber of Sevilla, sung by Ariel Cazes, an Uruguayan young basso who was very impressive in this piece- he received an ovation

- Gioacchino Rossini, "Largo al factotum" from The Barber of Sevilla, sung by baritone Luis Gaeta. This was particularly funny in that Mr Gaeta produced a celullar phone during his “Figaro” singing, at the moment in which the protagonist tells the audience he is constantly in demand as a barber.

- Vincenzo Bellini, "Casta diva" from Norma sung by Josefina Costa, a Uruguayan soprano, currently living in Germany. It was a pity that this was virtually the only performance by this outstanding soprano, while other singers were given much more.

- Giuseppe Verdi, "La donna e mobile" from Rigoletto (John Matz). It broke the house down

- Giuseppe Verdi "Sempre libera" from La Traviata (María José Siri).

- Giuseppe Verdi, "Libiamo" from La Traviata – it also brought the house down.

- Richard Wagner, "Pilgrim’s chorus" from Tannhäuser

Our Solis Theatre has been inaugurated on August 25, 1856, with Verdi’s “Ernani”. Among other artists, it saw performances by Enrico Carusso, Sarah Bernhardt, Vivien Leigh, Arthur Rubinstein, Jascha Heifitz, Andrés Segovia, Anna Pavlova and Isadora Duncan.

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That's such exciting news, Silvy! Thank you so much for your description of the performances. Hopefully we'll be able to hear Sivi, Pierotti, and Costa live in Seattle and/or San Francisco some day.

Six years is a very long time to wait for a theater to re-open, but it sounds like it was worth the wait.

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How wonderful, Silvy. Can you hope for a bit of dance there?

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Thanks so much for your kind words!! Yes, Uruguayans are very happy and proud of our newly refurbished theatre. It was a long wait.

About dance, this year Iñaki Urlezaga is scheduled to perform here again. In the past, I was lucky to see dancing on the stage all the following: Ballet Nacional de Cuba (with Alicia Alonso herself, dancing an incredible Odette despite her years), some groups of Russian dancers (I recall Gedeminas Taranda, Larissa Lezhnina). Once Cyntia Gregory gathered a group, and I saw her and Judith Fugate. Also Chile's Ballet de Santiago (with Sara Nieto), Stagium Ballet from Sao Paulo (Brazil), Ohio Ballet, and of course Julio Bocca danced here many times with his Ballet Argentino. I also recall 16-year old Marianela Nuñez (who now is a principal with Royal Ballet in London) dancing "Diana & Acteon" with Maximiliano Guerra.

I now home these good times return - better still, as the theatre has been modernized.

Thanks a lot

Silvy

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Hola Silvy!

Te escribe Sara Nieto.

Gracias por escribir tan linda nota sobre el Teatro Solis. Es para sentirse muy orgulloso.Es el teatro con la mejor tecnología en Sudameríca.

Me encanta que desde Uruguay tengas tanto interés y pasión por el ballet.

Además veo que sos asidua en muchos foros.

Con respecto a Li Cunxin, bailé con él Peer Gynt en 1986, y después hicimos el estreno mundial del La Doncella de Nieve de Ben Strevenson.

Creo que mi página tiene m,aterial que te puede interesar:

www.saranieto.cl

Incluye la historia del Ballet del Sodre.

Cariños

Sara (estoy usando el "member" de mi esposo)

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Hello, Lucianol! Welcome to Ballet Alert!

We have people from many countries who read our board, and we wish we could all read every language, but unfortunately that's not the case. We ask that everyone post in English, as that is the one language that most of our posters do read and write.

Thanks!

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To Sara Nieto (I am writing in English at Alexandra's request)

I am so glad you have written to me. I have seen you dance many times: I saw your Raymonda at the Solis Theatre (with Pablo Aharonian, I believe), your Giselle, your Coppelia, and your farewell performance at the Solis with the National School of Dance. You are one of Uruguay's national prides, and your award was very well deserved.

I have browsed your page in the past - i shall do it again, to see if there is new information.

With love

Silvy

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Thank you very much, silvy (for both the lovely message and for posting in English).

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Thank you. Alexandra.

I only hope Ms Nieto reads my post, as she is a new member in this board and still has no private message privileges.

I am very glad to have found her on this board- I would never have thought I would meet her this way!!!!!!

Silvy

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Dear Alexandra:

I'm so sorry.

I didn't know there was an obligation to write in English.

I will remember this for the next time.

Congratulations for this site. It's a wonderful way to express, and to find latest news.

Dear Silvy:

I'm so happy for your enthusiasm, and passion for the ballet, living in Uruguay.

My e mail is in my web site. Please write me.

Best wishes

Sara

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Dear Sara:

I have already written to you, to the email on your webpage.

Silvy

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