On September 15th, Juanjo Mena marked the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month conducting the orchestra of Madrid’s Teatro Real in their Carnegie Hall debut. The program featured Spanish composers including Falla and Albéniz, as well as zarzuelas with soloists Javier Perianes and Sabina Puértolas. The gala performance, which was attended by Queen Sofía of Spain, was enthusiastically received by the press and the audience.
Francisco Salazar from Opera Wire wrote, “Madrid’s opera house brings passion and elegance to triumphant Carnegie Hall debut…Mena drew the audience in with the mysterious opening which turned into a ravishing and joyous dance…The music was played with rhythmic precision and virtuosity…In all this was an unforgettable evening with a major takeaway.”
Harry Rolnick from ConcertoNet wrote, “After 120 years, New York has finally caught up with one of the most exhilarating orchestras in the world.”
Photo credit: Michal Novak