Maria Rita Combattelli and Beatriz de Sousa are the voice of frivolous Adina in L’elisir d’amore
The sopranos Maria Rita Combattelli and Beatriz de Sousa will bring to life the rich and beautiful landowner Adina, in Donizetti’s comic opera L’elisir d’amore. This title opens the new Ópera de Tenerife season and will be put on from 24 to 27 October at Auditorio de Tenerife. Combattelli will perform on Thursday and Saturday while De Sousa will sing on Friday and Sunday.
Italian Combattelli and Portuguese De Sousa are part of the seventh Opera (e)Studio, which they both learned about from other singers who have taken part in this Ópera de Tenerife’s project. Combattelli believes that “the title this year is very interesting, and I thought I should make the most of this opportunity” and De Sousa admits she was encouraged to take part because of “the opportunity of making my debut in the role of Adina”.
Maria Rita Combattelli, who is a student at the Accademia del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, recalls that “I’ve always liked singing, since I was a little girl. My mum says I knew all the cartoon songs by heart”. De Sousa, who is studying at University of Music Vienna and at the Liceu’s Conservatoire, started her studies when she was sixteen and came to Tenerife in the past to take part in the masterclasses of Giulio Zappa, who is the artistic director of Opera (e)Studio. In contrast this is the first time Combattelli is on the island.
They are both certain that L’elisir d’amore “is a brilliant and amusing work that blends comic and opera features seamlessly”. Combattelli highlights ‘Adina’s complex psychology; she is a strong, independent woman as shown by every word she says”, while De Sousa points out that “the music is wonderful, it’s the type of music that traps your ear at once and remains with you for a long time”.
Regarding the difficulty of tackling a role like Adina, Beatriz de Sousa explains that “Adina greatly develops as a character throughout the opera and the last aria portrays this psychological and musical culmination”. In Rita Combattelli’s opinion, the complexity of the role “lies in the vocal part, as it is a bel canto role, but you must keep up the energy of the character right through the work”.
Combattelli and De Sousa appreciate coming to the Opera (e)Studio training programme. The Italian singer points out, among others, her “surprise at being treated with the professionality and respect due to professionals”. For her part, De Sousa is delighted with the experience and highlights “the high level they demand from us”. The Lisbon soprano says that “in Opera (e)Studio de Tenerife I’ve found the perfect balance between the support a young singer needs and the necessary exposure to start off her career”.
As for future goals, Combattelli prefers not to strive for a specific one but to “go on taking in the work done these months at Opera (e)Studio and doing her very best every day”, while the Italian singer says her goal is to become “a thorough artist, taking care of voice technique and particularly, being a great performer on the stage”.
L’elisir d’amore opens the 2019 – 2020 opera season under the musical direction of Antonio Méndez, principal conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife. This Ópera de Tenerife production -jointly with Teatro Comunale di Bologna and Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre- is funded by the European Commission through its Creative Europe scheme. It is a debut in Europe of stage director, Pablo Maritano, who transports us to Hollywood golden age, adorned with the stage design by Serena Rocco, Lorena Marin’s costumes and lighting design by Virginio Levrio.