lunes, 29 de junio de 2009
The baritone Ricardo Ortale was born in La Plata, Argentina.
His career has been focussed almost entirely in his country where he has enjoyed great success in many of the most taxing roles of the operatic repertory.
He studied Voice Technique privately with Soprano Carmen Favre and after four years was accepted at the prestigious Instituto Superior de Arte del Teatro Colón ( Teatro Colón Opera School) in 1980, and was there until 1984. Teatro Colón hired him many months before his graduation that year, in which he also won two First Prizes in a single contest, which was organized by two musical institutions, with different judges of their own :
“ Best Wagnerian Voice” ( given by the Institución Wagner) and “ Best Baritone “ ( given by the Asociación Wagneriana de Buenos Aires ).
At the famous Teatro Colón he was given a few small roles and covers and the next year the management hired him for the last performance of the opera “ Caso Maillard ”, an Argentinian opera by García Morillo based on the famous story by Edgar Allan Poe, in which he was to sing the role of the protagonist, the crazy Doctor Maillard. He made his debut in oratorio in 1985 in “ Saint John’s Passion” by J.S.Bach in the San Juan Auditorium and in “ Israel in Egypt” By G.F.Händel at Teatro Colón, with Leopold Hager as conductor. That same year he sang in many morning performances ( which the TC offered for the children ) – in two cameo roles – of “ The Tsar Zaltan” by Rimsky Korsakoff, the role of Schaunard in “ La Bohème” by Puccini and his debut in the official TC season in the role of Tschelkalov in “ Boris Godounov “ singing for the first time with an international cast headed by Nicolai Ghiuselev.
The real turning point of his career came in 1986 when he had to substitute at short notice for an ailing colleague and Mr. Ortale had to learn in a few days the role of Klingsor in “Parsifal” by Richard Wagner, together with a cast that included Dunja Vejzcovic (Herbert von Kartajan’s favourite Kundry ), Neil Howlett as Amfortas and Heikki Siukkola as the protagonist, with Franz Paul Decker conducting. He had also sang other roles during that year especially the astrologer in “ La Cenerentola” with success in his coloratura singing, but his performances as Klingsor were honoured next year with the Award of the Asociación Verdiana de Opera de Buenos Aires( Verdi Opera Association of Buenos Aires ), whose members gave him the Prize of “ The Best Male Argentine Artist of Teatro Colón, 1986 Season).
His performances as Marcello in “ La Bohème “ were also awarded the same prize, launching his career and promoting him to many new and taxing roles as that of Amonasro in “ Aïda” with a cast that included Silvia Mosca, the great Russian mezzo Elena Obrasztsova and the wonderful tenor Giuseppe Giacomini. His Amonasro was unanimously acclaimed by the critics , and it led to a contract for “ Il Trovatore ” with Leona Mitchell. He sang in two of Gian Carlo Menotti’s most famous operas: “ Help! Help !.. the Globolinks ! ” and “The Medium ” with Règine Crespin “.). He sang in “ The Queen of Spades” by Tchaikovsky with Wladimir Piavko, Règine Crespin and Galina Borisova and, again a Wagnerian role, the Count Friedrich von Telramund in “ Lohengrin” together with Gary Lakes and Ann Evans, conducted by Gabor Ötvos.
He also sang at the Teatro Argentino in La Plata the roles of Rigoletto ( 1988 ) , and Tonio in “ I Pagliacci “ ( 1990 )
The expressive and stylistic range of his repertoire is remarkable and he has been often praised for his clear diction in Italian, German, English, French, Russian and Hungarian, apart from his native Spanish, which – strange to say - not all the Spanish speaking colleagues project properly. Clear diction as one of the pillars of singing was a concept that came from an Argentine baritone of the past, Angel Mattielo, to whom he was often compared. In fact he was somehow unofficially named his successor.
Ricardo Ortale also took part in many modern Argentine operas like “ El Escorial” based on the theatre play by Michel Gelderhode, or “ Marathon “ by Pompeyo Camps, to name but two.
He also had great successes at the Teatro Argentino in La Plata in the roles of Rigoletto ( 1988 ), and Tonio in “ I Pagliacci “ ( 1990 )
He has often sung lieder and ‘chanson’ recitals in the Salón Dorado del Teatro Colón ( Teatro Colón Golden Foyer ) by a wide variety of authors like C.Debussy, G.Fauré, R.Strauss, F. Schubert,etc.
He has studied Voice Technique with many of the most remarkable Argentine teachers, like those mentioned before and Delia Rigal in New York ( thanks to a Scholarship given by the Wagner Institution )with Dame Heather Harper in London, and Josef Metternich in Munich, Germany ( This last was a Scholarship of the Teatro Colón Foundation ). This has allowed Mr. Ortale to be considered as an excellent Voice Teacher, an activity which he began in Madrid in 1997.
There was a long period of retirement only interrupted by his performances in a music hall production at the Teatro Alfil in Madrid.
Finally he resumed his career again, starring as Scarpia in “ Tosca” , being that way part of the cast and title which opened the new building of this prestigious opera house. Audience and critics alike welcomed his come-back, and it was a great personal success. Another debut was to follow in the Teatro Rivera Indarte in Córdoba as Don Ignacio del Puente in “ Aurora” by Ettore Panizza in the 2001 season. This season 2002 he took the role of Renato in “ Un Ballo in Maschera “ by G. Verdi at the Teatro Roma in Avellaneda with great success and 9 performances of the role of Amonasro in “ Aïda” at the “ Papelera” a recycled factory now turned into a sophisticated combination of Pictures Gallery and an unusually shaped theatre.
Next season 2003 will find him again in the two major Argentine opera houses, in Verdi and Wagner operas.
From this year 2002, Mr .Ortale is proud to be part of the excellent Internet magazine 'The Voice of Christ' . As Music and Art Director, Mr. Ortale provides many articles