«A tuno is a whole life». Celso Albelo (Santa Cruz de Tenerife, 1976) says it, who this Friday is going to wear the doublet, leggings, bloomers and cape again (even figuratively) to present his new record at the Teatro de la Zarzuela, ‘a spanish serenade‘, Next to the Pulse and Pick Orchestra of the Complutense University of Madrid and under the direction of Enrique Garcia Requena.
Pasodobles, habaneras, rancheras, jotas, Mexican songs and zarzuela romances come together in this work, subtitled ‘Amores, alegrías y nostalgias de las dos orillas’, and which includes works by composers such as Falla, Padilla, Serrano, Esperón, Giménez, Francis López or Sorozábal.
The Association of Old Tunos of the University of Madrid is the germ of the Pulse and Plectrum Orchestra of the Complutense University of Madrid, from whom the project stems. “I I was tuno at the Faculty of Philology of the University of La Laguna, in Tenerife, and when I really liked the project, which was interrupted by the pandemic, like so many others. I only put three conditions: not to charge, that the producer be someone I trust, and include a habanera by García Requena himself that I liked very much».
Tunas do not usually enjoy a very good reputation. Its members have been regularly labeled as ‘lazy and gullible’. «Despite this bad reputation, tunas are a Spanish artistic manifestation with a great tradition, which is present in all university cities. I I claim the serious tunaI will always defend her; not only because I discovered my voice there, but also because I learned to play instruments and was trained in fundamental values such as teamwork. One is tuno until it ceases to exist ».
Celso Albelo is especially excited to present this work at the Zarzuela Theater, where not too long ago he achieved great success in ‘Don Gil de Alcalá’, where he created the romance ‘¡Tente! Stop your winged step’. «Several circumstances arose in that production and I was fortunate to kiss it. The public was ‘on fire’”, he laughs.
The encores have also been frowned upon by the more ‘purist’ sector of opera, and in fact there are theaters such as La Scala in Milan that have been prohibited from doing so. «I don’t like prohibitions, and we are in a world that is more and more repressed. I am in favor of the encores as long as they are spontaneous and an exceptional event ».
It has not made it to the encore, but Celso Albelo has had great success with his incarnation of Macduff in the opera ‘Macbeth’, by Verdi, at the Barcelona Lyceum, just a few weeks ago. Specialized in the bel canto repertoire, the jump towards a more ‘heavy’ repertoire is the product of his musical, artistic and even human evolution. “I’m 48 years old; I no longer see myself singing the Elvino of ‘La sonnambula’”, says the tenor. It is not only the voice, he argues, but also the way of understanding things. “My first Duke of Mantua in ‘Rigoletto’ it has nothing to do with the one I sing now», and announces that it is time to sing operas such as ‘Les contes d’Hoffmann’ or ‘Il trovatore’, which he will perform for the first time in Bilbao in May.
Before that, Celso Albelo has an appointment in his homeland, Tenerife, at whose Teatro Guimerá he will offer a charity concert on April 8, together with the soprano Carmen Acosta and the pianist Juan Francisco Vine, to contribute to the creation of a milk bank; and she will participate in the singing contest ‘María Orán’, organized by Cajacanarias.