CUA Symphony Performs at Spanish Embassy

The CUA Symphony Orchestra

By Brittany Young

On Thursday, October 5th, the CUA Symphony Orchestra led by Maestro Simeone Tartaglione performed its first concert of the season at the Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain. The program showcased Spanish-themed works, including De Falla’s El Sombrero de Tres Picos, Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Bizet’s Carmen Suite No. 1, and De Falla’s Siete Canciones Populares Espagnoles, featuring renowned soprano ARBERAS Arberas.

Maestro Tartaglione and Amaya Arberas answered a few questions about the concert during their most recent rehearsal.


Tower: The concert is taking place at the residency of the former Spanish ambassador. Which Spanish representatives will be in attendance?

MAESTRO: All the members of the cultural department of the embassy.

Tower: Where is the concert being broadcasted?

MAESTRO: It will be livestreamed on Facebook, and all the Spanish cultural centers around the world are going to be connected to the Facebook livestream.

Tower: To put together this concert, did you have any former connections at the residence?

MAESTRO: I had the idea to program some Spanish music, because we have not done any Spanish pieces in the last few years. One of our professors in the music school is from Spain, Esperanza Berrocal, and she went with me to the embassy for a few meetings.

Tower: How did you pick the pieces that we are playing?

MAESTRO: I had a list of potential pieces, and due to the specific size of our orchestra I decided accordingly. I also didn’t want to do all Spanish pieces, so instead I chose some Spanish-themed pieces as well, like the Rossini.

Tower: Thank you for joining us for the CUA Symphony Orchestra’s first concert of the season! You will be performing Manuel De Falla’s Siete Canciones Populaires Espagnoles with us. Have you performed these before? If so, where?

ARBERAS: Yes, I performed these with orchestra and piano in Spain, in the US specifically in New York, but this is my first time performing them in D.C.

Tower: Does Spanish music have a special place in your heart since you hail from San Sebastian, Spain?

ARBERAS: I like to perform Spanish music because I feel that I know inside me the character of the music. When I sing in English, or in French as well, I like to know what’s going on in the piece, what the composer wants me to do. So I like to, when I perform not only learn the music and sing, but also I want to study more deeply inside the music, to feel the motions that the composer wants to create in each piece.

Tower: What is your favorite type of music to sing (opera, etc)?

ARBERAS: Yes, I like opera because I studied opera and choir music in the beginning of my career, in a professional choir and then as a soloist. I feel most comfortable singing with small chamber choirs or small orchestra, or just with piano or guitar. This feels great because I can select the pieces I want to perform to add to my repertoire. So, it depends, if I have the opportunity to sing opera, I love opera (because I’m a very theatrical woman). And if not opera, I can do concerts with orchestra or ensembles…I love it. I love it because it’s more intimate and I like that.

Tower: What are your other plans for the fall?

ARBERAS: Yes, I will continue with my Rinaldo project. I will perform a tribute to Enrique Rinaldo, the baroque Spanish composer, and also I’m going to perform a tribute to Jose de Nebra, who also is a baroque composer, and 2018 is the anniversary of his death. He is also a Spanish composer who composed operas and zarzuelas.

Tower: And where will those concerts be?

ARBERAS: It will be a tour, and my idea first will be to perform in Spain, and then we would like to bring it to the states!

Tower: How exciting. We would love to come see you perform! Thank you again for your time today.

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