Il Trovatore in the Angela Peralta Theatre
The new production of Pro Música in San Miguel de Allende flies over the top of expectations.
"And in a world still riven with conflict and civil unrest, Ragnar's staging achieves a resonance that feels as immediate as today's news footage..."
In the Heights
Bringing warm weather to cold Milwaukee! The performances of the Tony Winner Musical in Skylight Music Theatre at Milwaukee, were a great success. Here are some pictures and reviews of the show that close on February 23rd. "Director Ragnar Conde and a terrific, mostly local cast know what to do with this rich material."
Xcaret Mexico Spectacular
A new version of the successful and internationally recognized show "Mexico Espectacular" at Xcaret, the archeological park in Riviera Maya, Mexico, is being prepared to open on this December 2013, and Ragnar Conde is working there as stage director of this company of more than 300 artists involved on the performances. The process with the performers start with the acting coach on September 2013. It includes singers, dancers, horse riders, pre-Hispanic dancers and ball players, musicians, children, elders that have to interact in this huge stage for a more than 6,000 people audience. The performances will be everyday, from the moment of it's opening and on, the 365 days of the year.
It is the greatest show in Mexico City, not only for the amount of shows or performers involved, but because of the cultural input in the national identity of the country.
MozART, a new vision for the opera.
The Baalbek Salon inside of the Lebanese Center in Mexico City was the set for the opening of a new opera show: MozART. The staged gala created by Ragnar Conde goes far away from expectations, based on four of the most powerful operas from the composer: Die Zauberflöte, Così fan tutte, Don Giovanni and Le Nozze di Figaro. Six singers and one pianist go through the life of W. A. Mozart developing, in a delightful and funny style, his ideas about love, lust, wisdom, loyalty, freedom, gender, social classes, etc.
The cast included Guadalupe Jiménez (Soprano), Vanessa Vera (Soprano), Linda Saldaña (Mezzosoprano), Ángel Ruz (Tenor), Oscar Velázquez (Baritone) and Marco Talavera (Base baritone). The piano was played by the young musical director and conductor Iván López Reynoso. The amazing costumes were created by Gabriel Ancira, who combined the aesthetic from the different periods of the operas in irreverent and free designs. He's not ashamed at all in the use of the color or the volume of the silhouettes bringing freshness to each one of the stories told during the show.
MozArt is definitely a funny and relaxed way of creating new audiences, not only in Mexico City, but for all around the world.
MIO CARO VERDI, opera gala in north Italy.
Ragnar Conde staged and designed the set for the opera gala which tour in north Italy, Mio caro Verdi. The show was presented in Porcia, Montereale and Pordenone in July 2013. A chorus of 100 members, ensemble by the choirs of the different cities and eight soloists from Italy, Corea and Mexico were part of the show. Amoung the singers were Gina Ianni, Isabella Comand, Daniele Gaspari, Yong Jin Park and Maurizio Franceschetti. There was also the participation of Caterina Comingio playing the role of Giuseppina Strepponi and the dancers from Gruppo di danza oriental Fusion. Maurizio Baldin was the conductor while Evy Innocentin was the choreographer. The gala was part of the celebration of the 200 anniversary of the birth of Giuseppe Verdi in the region of north Italy.
CARMEN IN CUERNAVACA
Ragnar Conde directed once again a variation of his version of Carmen, now in Teatro Ocampo in Cuernavaca, Morelos. The cast included Carla López-Speziale (Carmen), Rodrigo Garciarroyo (Don José), Jesús Suaste (Escamillo) and Elisa Ávalos (Micaela). The choreographer was Norma Arredondo, who create great musical numbers with her dancers ensemble. Once again, the costumes designed by Gabriel Ancira, create a magical effect supported by the lighting design of Carlos Arce. The opening of the show was in the main square of the city, with an audience of 3000 people watching the live show. This production of Compañía de Ópera de Morelos will be touring in different cities of Mexico during 2013-14.
ESCENIA ENSAMBLE, a new performing arts company in Mexico City.
Stage director Ragnar Conde is creating a new performing arts company specialized in opera in Mexico City. "Escenia Ensamble" is the name of this project that was originally born in 2008 and is finally becoming real. The company is preparing it's first season to start performances this 2013, starting with MozART, a "staged gala" in cabaret style with scenes of four of the greatest W.A.Mozart operas: Die Zauberflöte, Cosi Fan Tutte, Don Giovanni and Le Nozze di Figaro. More information about the whole season will be soon released, as well as the website in it's English version. Meanwhile, you can check the Spanish website at: www.esceniaensamblemx.com
Viva Verdi in the Hallenstadion, Zürich
The celebration of the 200 Anniversary of Giuseppe Verdi's birth had it first performance in the Hallenstadion, Zürich on December 13th, 2012. The show closed with a standing ovation from the 9000 people in the audience.
Scenes of Nabucco, Traviata, Rigoletto, Trovatore, Forza del Destino, Aida and Falstaff were sung by the international cast including Rubén Amoretti (Spain), Christopher Bengochea (US), Evan Brummel (US), Mardy Byers (US-Switzerland), Alexandra LoBianco (US), Tiziana Carraro (Italy), Valentina di Cola (Italy), Jorge Lagunes (Mexico), Noëmi Nadelmann (Switzerland), Simone Osborne (Canada) and Thomas Yun (South Corea). An ensemble of 20 mexican actors, 100 singers from the Akademischer Chor Zürich and the Sinfonieorchester Camerata Schweiz complete the show.
Edoardo Müller and Eduardo Álvarez conducted the performances while Ragnar Conde directed the actor's scenes, supported by Roberto Duarte and under the artistic advise of Lotfi Mansouri, head of the Creative Team of the show. The premier was broadcast by swiss television on January 1st, 2013.
About Suicide and other Excesses
Ragnar Conde presented scenes of his future stagings of the operas Don Giovanni, Rigoletto and Werther in Sala Carlos Chávez at CU in Mexico City. The cast is part of the Fourth level of his workshop "Acting for Singers".
"We are working on musical theatre, where has to be a balance in the quality of the voices, music and acting. Only that way could be real Opera", said the stage director after the performance.
André Dos Santos was the pianist who also coached the singers for the performance of these scenes. The workshop will continue with the preparation of the complete pieces to be ready at the end of this year.
* Pictures by Ricardo Sánchez
God Rocks the House in San Francisco and Palo Alto: Verdi’s Requiem with the SF Symphony and Saint-Saëns Samson et Dalila with the West Bay Opera
*Director Ragnar Conde triumphed, and triumphed big, where the challenges were the greatest: the crowd scenes of the first and third acts.
West Bay Opera's Grand Piccola Dalila
*Directing traffic and action, expertly, was recent Merola graduate Ragnar Conde.
Read more: http://www.sfcv.org/reviews/west-bay-opera/west-bay-operas-grand-piccola-dalila
West Bay Opera's "Samson et Delila" richly rewarding
*Director Ragnar Conde moved his forces on and off the small stage effectively and in synch with the frequent mood changes in the score.
Read more: http://www.mercurynews.com/milpitas/ci_19148964
Merola Grand Finale. Great success!
Last Saturday, August 20th was the Merola Grand Finale at San Francisco Opera House. The concert was the conclusion of the Merola Program of this year and was conducted by Maestro Johannes Debus. Ragnar Conde staged it as part of the Merolini that are finishing the summer program.
*Young Merola opera talent gets sparkling showcase
The program -which unfolded rather disconcertingly on the David Hockney set for "Turandot", which will open the fall season in September- was deftly staged by Ragnar Conde, himself a Merola participant; the Act 1 finale of Rossini's "Italian Girl in Algiers", which closed the evening, was a marvel of witty clockwork.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/08/21/DD4A1KQ4AI.DTL#ixzz1Vr9zBAlc
* Not For Fun Only: Merola Grand Finale
Director Ragnar Conde staged each scene as a miniature play, often with props & mute characters.
Read more: http://nffo.blogspot.com/2011/08/merola-grand-finale-2011.html
*Merola's Grand Promise: San Francisco Classical Voice
Conde, who staged all 17 opera excerpts (presented on the set of Turandot, the season opener), managed to weave one aria into the next, sometimes by having artists who had just finished singing remain onstage as either chorus members or prop bearers.
Read more: http://www.sfcv.org/reviews/merola-opera-program/merolas-grand-promise