Written almost two centuries ago by Saverio Mercadante, coveted by many theatres of the day, Francesca da Rimini was, in fact, never staged. Every time it was scheduled for performance, something happened and it got canceled. A long series of incidents prevented it from reaching the stage for as many as 185 years. Its forgotten manuscript, which was only known for its ill-starred fate, suddenly re-emerged five years ago in Madrid, teh city where it was to have been premiered in 1831. The soprano Leonor Bonilla is quite impressive in the part of the protagonist: she portrays the character's psychological frailty as well as her determination wtih a steely vocal technique, spinning out incredible modulations, displaying strong and dazzling vocalizations, easily soaring into the high register and flaunting such an attractive, casual and poignant stage presence that she even dares moving some dance steps with the corps de ballet. Aya Wakizono is an admirable Paolo: endowed with a superb mezzo voice, she seeks and achieves consistency throughout the range, is virtuosic in the coloratura, and fluent. No less demanding is the part of the tenor Lanciotto, with its fearful leaps and ornamentation worth of the Neapolitan Rossini: Mert Sungu might in time get rid of a touch of harshness here and there, but already now he can tackle all the difficulties of the part with a timbric quality and an expressively worth of note…
Pepe Romero has played the guitar for as long as he can remember, debuting at the age of seven. His father was the legendary guitarist Celedonio Romero and was his only teacher. Along with his father and brothers Celin and Angel, Romero formed the Romeros Quartet, and riding on the heels of Celedonio's celebrity in Spain, embarked on an international career that made them the most famous guitar ensemble in the world.
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An acclaimed Italian guitar virtuoso and composer, Mauro Giuliani, along with Fernando Sor, was one of the last great classical proponents of his instrument until its revival in the early twentieth century. He studied counterpoint and the cello, but on the six-string guitar he was entirely self-taught, and that became his principal instrument early on. Italy abounded with fine guitarists at the beginning of the nineteenth century (Carulli remains the most familiar today), but few of them could make a living because of the public's preoccupation with opera. So Giuliani embarked on a successful tour of Europe when he was 19, and in 1806 he settled in Vienna, where he entered the musical circle of Diabelli, Moscheles, and Hummel. He solidified his reputation with the 1808 premiere of his Guitar Concerto in A major, Op. 30, and was soon heralded as the greatest living guitar virtuoso. Even Beethoven noticed Giuliani, and wrote of his admiration for him. Perhaps to return the favor, Giuliani played cello in the 1813 premiere of Beethoven's Symphony No. 7.
“Poor is not he who has little, but he who always needs more. “ Pepe Mujica has become famous for being the „world’s poorest president“. The former guerrilla fighter and flower grower is currently considered one of the most charismatic politicians of Latin America. Old and young believe in him thanks to his humble lifestyle and his unconventional manners, where political protocol is concerned. His political visions, among them his sensational regulation of the marihuana market, have created international interest. Since the spring of 2010, Uruguay has been led by a president who, as a young man, revolted against the power of the state he now heads with both words and arms. Pepe Mujica was a founding member of the urban guerrilla group „Tupamaros“, which fought the state in the repressive Uruguay of the 1970s.