the essential The singer from Agen Béatrice Uria-Monzon is completing the rehearsals of “la Gioconda” which will open on 24 September the lyrical season of the Capitole de Toulouse. A work presented for the first time in Toulouse, and which had caused controversy in 2019 in Brussels.
Béatrice Uria-Monzon is currently rehearsing at the Capitole de Toulouse, and will be from 24 September “la Gioconda”, directed by Olivier Py. A difficult role, in a complex and little-known work, requiring long working sessions. Just before resuming a rehearsal, she answers our questions.
You too are making your comeback with this opera “la Gioconda” which launches the lyric season 2021 – 2022 from the Capitol. Is this a particularly demanding time?
“You mean… stressful? No, because you always have to stay focused, no matter when you give an opera. So the fact that it is a lyric re-entry does not change anything, because what is required more than anything from the artist is to be in good shape vocally, and to demonstrate endurance because preparing an opera takes time. “
What about this” Gioconda “by Amilcare Ponchielli, whose title role you play?
“That it is an unknown work, complex, difficult to edit. Firstly because it requires six voices for the main characters, namely soprano, mezzo-soprano, contralto, tenor, baritone, bass. Besides, the atmosphere is heavy, dramatic. It is a magnificent work but demanding in all respects. And the voices are extremely solicited. “
Comment have you prepared yourself?
“This is a co-production with the Brussels Opera, where n e presented “la Gioconda” in 2019. Time has passed, and I got back to it last June. I don’t like to work in a rush. You have to get back into your voice, you also need the body to find its expressions, which I have been working on all summer, and we started the rehearsals on 24 August. Always with the same question: do we sing, or do we not sing? I see “the Gioconda” is a very demanding work, and you have to be disciplined, not to sing too much sometimes, because the rehearsal sessions are intense. It’s a real marathon. “
The staging, the sets too, had created controversy in 2019. Some condemned a surplus of darkness …
“The staging is by Olivier Py, and we indeed evolve in the dark. It is deliberately heavy and obscure. But it is also what makes the power of Amilcare Ponchelli’s work. This atmosphere reflects the violence of the Venetian era. Gioconda is turned towards a divine, unconditional love. it is love for love, and it is bound to be dramatic. Some critics were offended, judging the staging too violent, or because at one point we see a naked body. But that doesn’t shock me, because the work is respected. I have no problem with bold staging. Moreover, there will be no adjustment in relation to the staging proposed in Brussels in 2019. “
Comment is your voice currently in place?
“I usually compare ourselves to athletes. You can be the greatest player, and yet miss your match! So you have to work, work, and above all prepare your voice. And save yourself. Today for example I’m only going to make a few sounds. And when we’re actually singing, I warm up my voice half an hour before I start. And thanks to that, my voice will be ready! “
After the five performances of” la Gioconda “, what are your other projects?
“I am going to participate in a few concerts, and we can also listen to me in January 2022 in Marseille, in” la Valkyrie “by Richard Wagner, where I perform the goddess Fricka, wife of Wotan. I started working on this work in April, especially with a German teacher. Then will come “Rusalka” [opéra d’Anton Dvorak] which will open the lyric season 2022 – 2023 du Capitole de Toulouse. “