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Starting off the program was soprano Maria Brea, singing six selections from Venezuela; accompanying her was Pablo Zinger who arranged three of pieces. Brea opened with an a capella rendition of “Duermete mi nino,” a lullaby which shares the same music as the country’s national anthem. Her warm tones were nicely balanced in the church’s intimate but resonant space.
aria Brea, who created the role of Countess Olga with her seemingly unfettered vocal abilities, conquers the entire stage with her every appearance. Her cheerful soprano fully reflected the sparkling temper of her heroine.
There is at least one aria by Swanwhite early on, played with childlike exuberance by Maria Brea in the titular role.
Siguió la soprano venezolana María Brea, ganadora del 6º premio y del premio a la mejor interpretación de zarzuela. Cantó en primer lugar Depuis le jour, de la Louise de Charpentier, donde me produjo una buena impresión, con voz atractiva y sabiendo apianar.
As Elena, María Brea showcased a fantastic soprano, particularly in her high range. She gets the zarzuela’s most famed number “Me llaman la primorosa,” which she pulled off with incredible precision and ease. The phrases sounded easy in her voice, with each elegantly woven into the next, the leaps to the high notes often approach with a splendid portamento that only added to the luxurious polish that she imbued. This aria is supposed to showcase Elena’s virtuosity as a singer and there was no doubt that she did just that in this particular selection. Her soprano soared wonderfully in ensembles, with the opening trio another example of her vocal presence. At one point Elena must practice some scales, giving Brea her first opportunity to showcase the flexibility of her voice; she managed these runs with ease, adding some comic touches with her body language.
“La soprano venezolana, María Brea, conquistó a la audiencia y jurado del Concurso Tenor Viñas 2020 en España y se convirtió en la ganadora del Premio Zarzuela.”