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Interview with tenor Andrei Fermesanu, acting general director of the Romanian National Opera in Iași

Monday, 27 March 2023 , ora 13.37

Starting today, March 22nd, 2023, Radio România Muzical will be able to be heard in Iași and on FM, not just online. To celebrate the launch of the 95.4 FM frequency, Radio România Muzical prepared, together with the main Iași musical institutions, a festival that includes two recitals, a concert and an opera performance. All events can be heard live on Radio România Muzical. On Saturday, March 25th, from 6:30 p.m., the Romanian National Opera in Iași will present the premiere of a new production of the show "The Troubadour" by Giuseppe Verdi.

We get more information about the premiere on Saturday from the tenor Andrei Fermeșanu, interim general director of the Romanian National Opera in Iași:

It's been about a year since we talked to you about the new frequency assigned to our station. In the meantime, all the technical aspects have been adjusted, so that the people of Iași can listen to us starting today also on FM, not just online. How do you see this approach now, especially since on Saturday we will broadcast live The Troubadour - the premiere performance of the new production of the Romanian National Opera in Iași?

It is a moment of celebration, of joy. The wait is over. It was something that many of us were waiting for, a new frequency here, in Iași, a cultural city of prime importance. Of course, this year-long wait materializes with broadcasts of major artistic events. As you mentioned, in the case of the Romanian National Opera in Iași, on March 25th we will have the premiere of the performance The Troubadour by Giuseppe Verdi. It will be the beginning of a successful collaboration for the coming years, because I am sure that with the new frequency Radio România Muzical from Iași, many lovers of opera and art, of beauty in general, will have the opportunity to listen to first-rate productions hand. At the same time, we hope that these events will continue and increase in beauty, in scope, in importance.

Please let us know what this new show will look like and name our production creative team. I noticed that you also used a historical consultant from Italy.

We, in this managerial formula, want classic productions, as close as possible to the original historical context, and so it is that the 15th century action of the Troubadour will retain this Gothic patina both in terms of scenery and costumes. That is precisely why we needed a historical referent, who is part of the creative team of the director Matteo Mazzoni. We tried to follow as faithfully as possible the style and aesthetics of clothing and constructions - we also have some arches, structures typical of those periods - and for exact references we needed a specialized person. I think that his lordship's contribution will be a real one, because we have a historical fidelity.

The cast in the main roles includes, along with the well-known soloists from Iași, also frequent collaborators of the institution, but also some new, young names in the process of becoming established... I would like you to give us a little more detail about the composition of the casts on Saturday and Sunday, which they will be under the direction of maestro David Crescenzi.

In these casts, we tried to take into account the young wave of performers and the experience of some who were part of the casts of previous productions, and to also have sound names because, after all, that is the recipe for success - to have qualitative diversity. Thus, in Trovatore from the first evening, on March 25th, the role of Leonora will be performed by Cellia Costea, a soprano who often appears on the posters of operas at European level, but, here, she relapses regarding her appearance on the posters of the Opera House in Iași . His Highness was also with us at the premiere of the Masked Ball performance, so also Verdi, from last season. Next to her will be Azucena played by Carmen Topciu - perhaps the most visible of the sopranos of the young generation, who is making a career both at the European level and worldwide. His Lordship even returned from an Adriana Lecouvreur production at Sidney; he came directly to Iași and went straight into rehearsal. As always, his lordship's interpretations add value, quality. And in the role of Count of the Moon, on the same evening, there will be the baritone Alexandru Constantin - a young voice that, however, is rising with rapid steps towards a leadership of the Romanian baritone. This quartet is completed by Manrico, performed by the tenor Florin Guzgă - the friend, colleague, artistic director of this institution, who takes a very important step from the eminently lyrical roles to those of a spontaneous-lyrical nature. It is a very good quartet for this first evening.

The second evening, on March 26th, we have Ana-Maria Spataris, who is a 26-year-old Bulgarian soprano, but very well trained. Master Crescenzi always makes certain recommendations based on some very solid principles. In fact, she impressed us from the moment she came to the auditions and together with Daniel Magdal, because he will be Manrico on the second night, I think they will make a very nice team... because we have, here, the vocal beauty and this exuberance of the beginning of youth and we have the experience of the tenor Daniel Magdal who has been making an important career for years in a repertoire that is not easy. Contele de Luna, on March 26th, in the second show, will be performed by Adrian Mărcan, he has freshness, intelligence, vocal mobility for this extremely important role. The quartet is completed by Alina Dragnea, also a young, promising voice.

We have, I say, every reason to have a double success - both on the 25th and the 26th of March.

Maetro Crescenzi needs no introduction. It is preceded by a CV, an experience, maturity to work with ensembles. Always when he is at the helm, we are more relaxed and confident that things are in the best hands.

Finally, I invite you to make a recommendation to Iași listeners to watch Radio România Muzical!

I wish all cult music lovers to be with Radio România Muzical on the new frequency, 95.4 FM, because there they will have the opportunity to meet the most important artistic and cultural events in Romania and, in this way, to remain in prolonged, permanent contact with the artists through this frequency.

Interview by Florica Jalbă
Translated by Medeea Alexandra Stan,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu