Pedro Pablo Prudencio, conducting the orchestra towards innovation

He said he is bicycle rider, he assists to theaters in his free time, he likes art cinema, and he said he loved Bohemian Rhapsody, he is 40 years old, has a wife, three children and is resident director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Municipal Theater of Santiago. He is Pedro Pablo Prudencio in an interview for Arte Al Límite.

Recently he won an Award of the Circle of Art Critics by his highlighted work as a Director of the Orchestra in Opera productions of the Municipal Theater of Santiago, how do you deal with the awards you win?

It is a pleasant acknowledgment to all the effort and work that I have invested in the musical field, but it is clearly also a reward for an entire team that is working with me, an entire orchestra, the theater’s residents. I am the visible face but there is a team that is working. For me it is not the first time that the Circle of Critics rewards me and it is always a pleasant acknowledgment to what one is working.

“They classified classic music as boredom, I was willing to sue those people, that is a slander, how is possible that someone thinks about spreading something like that”

What can you tell us about your participation in the 2019 season of Municipal Theater?

The next season that we premiere here at the Municipal de Santiago is a very interesting season with many innovations, other works that are not innovative but are special. We have La fuerza del destino, which is done very little, basically because it is very difficult to get singers for that opera, as sometimes happens with Norma, it is very difficult to cast. There is the prejudice that it is a forbidden opera or that it comes with bad luck – like Macbeth for the theater – it is believed. The same is a masterpiece that must be done, leaving behind beliefs. Then, in the field of ballet we re-enact the great choreography of Luis Ortigoza of this great dancer of the Municipal who is now assistant director of the Ballet of Santiago, he mounted the Raymonda ballet two seasons ago and we are going to replace him this year. It is a beautiful setting with great dancers and, continuing with the ballet, we have a great milestone because we do in the Festival de Coreógrafos two of Stravinsky’s ballets The Firebird and The Consecration of Spring, the two ballets are rarely made together for the great difficulty they have in putting it together for orchestra and ballet, it is a tremendous milestone that we are going to have. Within the concert season I will direct a concert dedicated to Strauss, who turns 70 years of his death, in which we have a funny play, a play cheerful, almost ironic, the cheerful mischief of Till Eulenspiegel, op. 28, where Till is a character who makes fun of society, is a great German traditional tale that Strauss popularized through his music. And on the other hand, in contrast, in the same program we have An Alpine Symphony, op. 64, which is a little more serious, analyzes the cycle of life. This poem describes to the spectator the ascent and descent of a hill that can be interpreted as the cycle of life. And in that program, we will have the work that will be the winner of the Second Contest for Composers in Chile, which we have already implemented last year with great success, we received many works and this year we will repeat it to give space to Chileans or residents in Chile. Of the things that I am directing, there is Gounot’s Faust, Così fan tutte by Mozzart, the ballet La Sylphide and a program dedicated to film music. We have The Nutcracker that every year is a tremendous success, the room is full is a production that come several years ago, and it is always beautiful the children come delighted and the music is beautiful. Rodelinda de Händel, a baroque opera, we do not do much baroque operas but it is a wonderful world with a rich musical language, we have a great season of Municipal Small for the family audience, to which we put a lot of emphasis knowing the importance of creating new audiences , just like this program of the Culture Pass to bring young people closer, for us it is very important to train children in the taste to come to the Municipal. I remember as a child, when I came to see this tremendous theater, that magic that occurs when the orchestra begins to tune, the lights go out and the show begins; is what we want to transmit to children so that they keep coming and we can compete against YouTube.

This 2019 seems to have higher presence of national composers (Vila, Farías, Soro, Falabella)

I do not know if there are more, we have always tried to have a lot of presence of national composers. Although in the concert season of last year there was, perhaps, a little less, but there was, and we had an opera that is a tremendous milestone, the Christ of Elqui by Miguel Farías, several decades ago that an opera was not released Chilean in season And in that line we want to continue, we have premieres by Miguel Farías directed by Paolo Bortolameolli and we have this work that we still do not know which one will be, which will be the winner of the contest.

How is the rehearsal period?

It depends, a concert, a ballet, an opera, each one has its own particular and different process. I put for example the opera, where the director joins the singers a month before to start working musically, then they work when the singer’s part of the piano is firm, they go on to rehearse the scene, the movements, always singing , always music, but it is only the pianist so as not to have the whole orchestra. After about two and a half weeks the orchestra begins to study music, there are rehearsals with the conductor and orchestra and then the singers join with the orchestra, and the last four days singers, orchestra and stage. On the other hand, in concerts one concentrates only on the part of the orchestra, it is a week or four days of rehearsals. They are days that can last 5 hours.

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Does the mind/environment of the orchestra change between a comedy and a tragedy? How the musicians deal with it?

I had not asked me the question. Obviously when you perform a work you enter it and eventually you always get involved with what is being expressed, but I could not tell you, for example, that when we did Lulu last year, which is a tremendous tragedy, we have all left depressed of the function. It is a very dark subject, very heavy, but one lives that moment, it is transported, it transports all the public, it lives in a parallel world at that moment, but I do not know if one leaves depressed, rather in some cases it leaves happy to have done it. But for the public one tries to enchant it so much – in the sense of turning it, to produce the magic – that do I hope that it influences in its state of mind.

There will be more presence of contemporary music? Is the Chilean audience ready for that?

We have to go step by step, just as the taste for classical music has to create a taste for contemporary music, there is a large audience but we are far from sufficient, we need more.

“The theater was full of clapping and laughs, it is a piece goes beyond time”

Is there any reason why audience find difficult to understand or to cherish contemporary music?

I think it’s a usual thing, to be open to innovation, there are a lot of people who like to go to the theater who like the traditional, the known, what has already been done, but we also need to generate openness through the unknown , I do not want to say the pleasure because there may be things that you like or others that you do not like, but the important thing is to give the possibility to do.

There is a lack of audience or theaters?

The greatest importance is the generation of new audiences, there we have the responsibility of the artists and we need the media to help us. When the audience asks for the theaters will come out on their own, they should. There is the case of the Coquimbo region, which is urgently required to have a theater. But I think that by generating audiences hunger for culture alone will generate these instances of creating theaters. Missing more instances for contemporary music, not so much classical music, within the learned music that there is more space for innovation, that is a social obligation that one has to give space to new artists emerge. It is the same as sports, if we want to be successful in sports we have to invest not in a person, but in the mass so that new talent comes out, it is a long-term policy that must be implemented. The same goes for music, you have to open spaces for it to be created, or for musicians who want to train as instrumentalists. This program of youth orchestras, for example, that gives them values ​​of how to work in groups, moves them away from drugs, not all of them are going to come out musicians but they will come out with a taste for music, with values ​​that all this work.

How do you see the presence of classic music in other disciplines of Chilean creation?

The more presence we have, the better it will be and, be aware, that classic music can be music of films, baroque, classical, romantic, contemporary, or there can be different influences, then the range is very wide. The important thing is to demystify that classical music is elitist, or selective, or even boring, I remember an advertisement on the radio where I do not even remember in what situation classical music was equal to boredom, I was eager to sue Those people, that’s a slander, how is it possible for someone to think or spread something like that? It is possible that some young people have that prejudice, but when young people come to hear the Carmina Burana or some concerts the theater falls with applause, classical music is not equivalent to boredom, or old fashion, something old, something not very innovative, last year we did Don Giovanni and in the general rehearsal there was a young audience here and the theater was full of clapping and laughs; It is a work that goes beyond time, it was composed in an era but the subject it deals with speaks to the people of today as well.

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