For the love of bel canto

Spanish tenor Celso Albelo plays the role of Edgardo in Donizetti’s tragic opera.

Celso Albelo 370 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Celso Albelo 370
(photo credit: Courtesy)
"Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor is one of the acknowledged masterpieces of bel canto opera,” says Celso Albelo. The Spanish tenor makes his Israeli Opera debut as Edgardo, a noble young man whose love and life were ruined by evil people seeking power.
Lucia di Lammermoor, an opera loosely based on Sir Walter Scott’s novel The Bride of Lammermoor (which was based on a true story that took place in 17thcentury Scotland), runs at the Tel Aviv Opera House starting on March 10. It is a dark drama that tells the story of a young woman who is forced by her brother to marry a man she does not love, lying to her that her fiancé Edgardo is in love with another woman.
Lucia agrees, but on her wedding night she kills her husband and commits suicide.
The opera won recognition immediately when it was first presented to the public in 1835 in Naples and is especially famous for its scene of madness. The current production was originally created by director Emilio Sagi and revived in Israel by Antonio Lopez Fraga. The cast is a mixture of international and local singers.
Maestro Daniel Oren will conduct the production, and knowing his high casting standards and uncompromising demands, together with his ability to ignite his musical forces and the audience, one can be sure that operatic pleasure is guaranteed. In part of the performances, Oren passes the baton to a conductor Yishai Steckler, whom he has been tutoring. Those who follow Steckler’s career know that he has been advancing quickly in his métier.
“Edgardo is a typical Italian romantic operatic character,” says Albelo in a phone interview from Italy. “He is totally devoted to his homeland and to the woman he loves. He is absolutely sincere in his feelings and his beliefs, and nothing will stop him in his devotion.”
Albelo, who is considered one of the best tenors of our time, began his vocal education at the Conservatorio Superior de Música in his hometown of Santa Cruz, later continuing to Escuela Superior de Canto Reina Sofía in Madrid.
He has been awarded the Opera Actual Prize 2008, the Opera Oscar bestowed by the Arena di Verona Foundation (2010) and the Teatro Campoamor National Prize for Opera 2010 in the Best Newcomer category. Music critics and audience alike praise his “voice with great body and smoothness and a bright and attractive tone,” as well as his “refined vocal phrasing and expressive diction, full of meaning.”
His operatic career received a powerful push after a sweeping success in the role of Duque de Mantua in Verdi’s Rigoletto in Busseto, where he sang alongside Leo Nucci.
Since then, he has been a welcome guest at prestigious venues worldwide.
Albelo’s vast repertoire includes operatic roles of composers from various periods and genres, from Mozart, Rossini and Verdi to Delibes and Leoncavallo. And he is no stranger to liturgical music, either. But he admits that he enjoys bel canto operas the most, and “Lucia di Lammermoor is positively one of the best examples of this genre,” he says.
Lucia di Lammermoor runs at the Israeli Opera between March 10 – 24.

Additional programs: Before the show back stage tours: March 13, 19, 22, 24 at 6:45 p.m. Opera Talkback: March 13, 14, 19, 20. For more details: For reservations: (03)-692-7777