Our production of Antonio Vivaldi's "Arsilda, Regina di Ponto" at the Slovak National Theatre, with Collegium 1704 and Václav Luks (and the beautiful staging by David Radok) is now available on YouTube, courtesy of CultureBox. Enjoy!:)
Orfeo live on Arte!
Tonight our Orfeo will be live on #ARTEfr at 20h CET, directly from the Opéra de Lausanne. Don't miss this lively new production by #RobertCarsen, with#OttavioDantone at the helm and myself on the title role!:)
A few snaps from last weekend's concert at the wonderful festival Dias da Música em Belém: my first time singing Mahler's breathtaking Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth), alongside the extraordinary Ensemble Mediterrain and Bruno Borralhinho. During a pause in the rehearsals, I was also very happy to be a guest to the conference "Music: an eternal tour", moderated by journalist Nuno Galopim, with my lovely friend Marta Araújo (from Os Músicos do Tejo).
Nothing but great memories and positive reactions from the Holy Week concerts of St. John's Passion with Aedes and Les Surprises:
"The same can be said about the interventions of the Evangelist (magnificent Fernando Guimarães), whose affects are underlined non-stop, as if he was truly narrating the story to the audience." | La Lettre du Musicien
"Last, but not least, Fernando Guimarães' Evangelist - of great sobriety but remarkably expressive - gives life to the recitatives with a permanent commitment." | Musicologie.org
Fernando at the Grammys!
Fernando Guimarães and Boston Baroque got a nice taste of the red carpet at the 58th Grammy Awards Ceremony (this year held at Los Angeles' Staples Center), as their critically-acclaimed recording of Monteverdi's Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria was twice nominated (Best Opera Recording and Best Engineered Recording). Unfortunately, this time the award went elsewhere, but the fun, pride and honor stay. Fingers crossed for next time!:)
Unanimous praise for Ulisse!
Fernando's recent recording of Monteverdi's Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria with Boston Baroque has attracted an enthusiastic reception from the specialised critic worldwide. Here's some of what's been said:
>> The singing cast is excellent, too. Fernando Guimarães is magnificent as Ulisse himself. His voice is passionate, ardent and fully committed, a delight in this role which he makes sound totally human. His mannerisms are technically very impressive too. He knows and loves the style of the period, which makes him a first-rate travelling companion for Pearlman's vision. | Simon Thompson - MusicWeb International
>> Singing the title rôle, Portuguese tenor Fernando Guimarães is a revelation. Compared with several of the singers who have recorded Ulisse, especially the baritones, Guimarães's voice is light for the music, but the dividends paid by his artistic investment enrich the performance considerably. (…) Ulisse has fared well on recordings, amassing fine performances from burly ‘modern' voices as well as Early Music specialists, but Guimarães sets new standards of technical achievement and the simple but impalpable art of bel canto. | Joseph A. Newsome - Voix des Arts
>> The opera's distribution is excellent. Portuguese tenor and baroque specialist Fernando Guimarães is a wonderful Ulisse.” | Rémy Franck - Pizzicato
>> Fernando Guimarães as a multi-dimensional Ulisse exploits his rich middle register. | David Vickers - Gramophone
>> Fernando Guimarães sings Ulisse with feeling, intelligence, and an appealing light baritenor. | Robert Levine - Classics Today
>> A splendid Boston Baroque recording of Martin Pearlman's own new edition of the opera, released by Linn Records, shows this work to be richly textured and - thanks to fine performances by tenor Fernando Guimarães as Ulisse and mezzo-soprano Jennifer Rivera as Penelope - emotionally trenchant. (…) ...the youthful cast here is particularly fine, with Guimarães tremendously moving in the recognition scene with Telemachus. | InfoDad
>> Jennifer Rivera (Penelope) and Fernando Guimaraes (Ulisse) both give fine performances in their emotionally wrought roles. | Andrew Benson-Wilson - Early Music Review
Fernando's debut in Australia, in an all-Handel program with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, was enthusiastically received by the local press! Here's some of what's been said:
"Look Down Harmonious Saint", a cantata for solo tenor, gave us our first hearing of tenor Fernando Guimarães, whose smoulderingly communicative performance was matched by a velvet tone and sonorous upper register. Guimarães’ judicious use of vibrato gave a bell-like clarity to the more sotto voce passages that gave way to a buoyant agility through Handel’s characterically florid melismas. (...)
…Guimarães displayed control in spades during Handel’s English settings (…) ...providing the perfect foil for Guimarães’ rich and creamy tenor. | Maxim Boon - Limelight Magazine
Handel’s devotional cantata for solo tenor, "Look down, harmonious saint", introduced us to Guimarães’ superbly controlled, warm, mellow timbre, the quality of which doesn’t inhibit quantity, as required. (…) This often makes for very tricky passages, placing very great demands on the vocalist. That’s certainly the case with this compact work, but Guimarães didn’t miss a single melismatic mark. (...) Thereby [in the Ode to St. Cecilia’s Day], we were privileged to hear another spirited rendition by Guimarães. | Syke on Stage
Guimarães led the vocal proceedings with a stunning Look Down Harmonious Saint with “Musick’s force” on display in his upper register and with his very emotive face. | Jacqui Smith - Classik On
Guimaraes' velvety, flexible tenor and confident declamation were a good fit for his solo cantata Look down, harmonious saint. | Martin Duffy - The Sydney Morning Herald
Look Down, Harmonious Saint, a cantata for solo tenor, got off to a more measured start with clarion tones from Guimarães, who has a fine, ringing upper register. (…) Guimarães handled the florid melismatic passages with style. | Joel Meares - The Sydney Morning Herald
Guimarães has a clear, focused sound which is well suited to Handel. He pointed the text dramatically and his coloratura was clean. | Larry Turner - Sounds Like Sydney
…portuguese tenor Fernando Guimarães made a very impressive debut. (...) …the wonderful Cantata "Look Down Harmonious Saint", a rarely heard showcase for very handsome guest artist Guimarães in a thrilling performance. (…) …more vibrant string passages followed and then the hypnotic tenor aria Sharp violins proclaim - marvelously sung by Guimarães. | Lynne Lancaster - Sydney Arts Guide
Portuguese tenor Fernando Guimarães impressed with his clear, unadorned tone and excellent diction. (…) Both soloists possess a strong sense of line and executed their fast coloratura and intricate ornamentations with flair and sensitivity. | Murray Black - The Australian
Fernando will be very well represented at the 2015 edition of the prestigious Belgian awards "Les Octaves de la Musique", after being nominated twice in the Classical Music category: with Les Muffatti in their moving recording of Keiser's Brockes-Passion (Ramée); and with Cappella Mediterranea and their wonderful version of Monteverdi's Vespers (Ambronay Editions).
After snapping up the award in 2011 (with Romerico Florido) and 2012 (Il Diluvio Universale), fingers are crossed for a third win! The results will be announced on March 9th.
Handel feast in Australia!
Handel's Ode for St. Cecilia's Day is the centerpiece for Fernando's début in Australia with the amazing Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, coming up in only a couple of weeks in both Sydney and Melbourne! Here's a preview, from the orchestra's website:
Handel’s triumphant “Arrival of the Queen of Sheba” also heralds the arrival, for the first time in Australia, of two of the most exciting young singers working in the world today.
Portuguese tenor Fernando Guimarães’ skill as an actor brings a rare dramatic realism to Handel’s seldom heard, but glorious cantata “Look down, harmonious Saint”. Guimarães’ total command of the stage is underpinned by a formidable technique, and a searching, academic mind.
To hear the masterful Ode for St Cecilia’s Day in its entirety is to experience exactly what music meant to Handel. Taken from a text by the poet John Dryden, it celebrates music as the central force in the creation of the world. Argentine soprano Mariana Flores’ clear toned authority and sensual edge will take this ravishing showcase for soprano, tenor, orchestra and choir to new heights.
And finally, the distinct and contrasting sounds of these two very special singers are brought together in the love duet “Tra amplessi innocenti” (Only amid innocent embraces), from the cantata Cecilia, creating, for a few moments, a singular perfection.
The recording of Reinhard Keiser's "Brockes-Passion", in which Fernando appears alongside Les Muffatti, Vox Luminis and Peter van Heyghen has just been awarded "Best Recording of 2014" by the Belgian classical radio Klara. Congratulations to all!
Click here to buy or to read the full info on Ramée's website.
Naxos, one of the world's leading classical music labels, officially announced today on its website the forthcoming release of the recording of Francisco António de Almeida's Il Trionfo d'Amore with Os Músicos do Tejo, in which Fernando sings the role of Adraste. Here's the official press release:
Os Músicos do Tejo records Almeida’s Il Trionfo d’Amore for Naxos
January 30, 2015
First performed in 1729 at the Ribeira Palace in Lisbon in honour of King João V, Francisco António de Almeida’s stage work Il Trionfo d’Amore has received its world première recording under the direction of Marcos Magalhães, director of the Lisbon-based Os Músicos do Tejo, one of Portugal’s leading early music ensembles. The recording, made in November 2013, will be released on the Naxos label this coming October.
Magalhães explained that the work doesn’t completely fit the description of Baroque opera: “It’s a serenata, which was something more musical, more of a concert for special occasions in the court,” he said. “The music is very festive, the trumpets with their royal connotation have an important role.”
The cast includes soprano Ana Quintans (Nerina), counter-tenor Carlos Mena (Arsindo), soprano Joana Seara (Termosia), tenor Fernando Guimarães (Adraste), mezzo-soprano Cátia Moreso (Giano) and bass João Fernandes (Mirenio).
With the exception of Spanish counter-tenor Mena, all the cast are Portuguese artists who also performed in Os Músicos do Tejo’s 2011 recording for Naxos of Almeida’s opera La Spinalba. The ensemble specialises in researching and rediscovering Portuguese music from the Baroque era.
“Il Trionfo d’Amore is a very beautiful work,” says Magalhães. “We’re happy that it will be finally accessible, thus making our musical heritage available not only for us in Portugal but also for an international audience.
Happy new year!:)
Dear friends, fans and followers,
The very day in which I complete 9 years of career seems to be the perfect occasion to wish you all a very happy new year!
2015 will bring a series of Handel concerts in Sydney and Melbourne with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra; Lully's "Armide" with Cristophe Rousset et Les Talens Lyriques at the Opéra de Lorraine; Monteverdi's "L'Incoronazione di Poppea" at the Theater an der Wien; concert appearances at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Philharmonie de Paris, the Chapelle Royale de Versailles, the Festival de Beaune and the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, among many others; and, of course, two new CD recordings.
It's going to be a great year! Looking forward to having you around...
L'Orontea in the press...
Our production of Pietro Antonio Cesti's L'Orontea at the Innsbrucker Festwochen der Alten Musik has been the target of unanimous praise! Here's some of what's been said so far:
The painter Alidoro - a foundling who is identified at the end as Floridano, brother of the Phoenician queen Arnea - introduced the Portuguese tenor Fernando Guimarães. The fact that this dashing young man was sought after not only by the Queen Orontea, but also by other ladies of the court was credible. Vocally he convinced with his pleasant timbre. | Udo Pacolt - Der Neue Merker full review
Fernando Guimarães sings Orontea's heartbreaker Alidoro - who also confuses all the other women's hearts - with a naturally virile tenor voice. He plays the erotic sun king (the supposed tramp turns out to be an aristocrat) with charming self-irony. | Dieter David Scholz full review
The portuguese Fernando Guimarães plays the charming painter Alidoro - a good-looking and flighty young man who will eventually be crowned King of Egypt - with a beautiful sense of stage. | Luc Roger - Munich & Co. full review
Fernando Guimarães gives his Alidoro much strength and mellowness during the quite long way to the final party. | Jörn Florian Fuchs - Deutschlandfunk full review
Fernando Guimarães plays and sings through the favours and mistreats of all the women as in a parody of the Sun King, with tenoral freshness and delicious self-irony. | Ursula Strohal - Tiroler Tageszeitung full review
L'Orontea in images...
© Rupert Larl - Innsbrucker Festwochen der Alten Musik
Fernando will play the role of Alidoro on tonight's première of the opera L'Orontea, by Pietro Antonio Cesti. Here are some photographic impressions by Rupert Larl of what tonight's show will be!
Cesti's beautiful score will be performed by the british ensemble La Nuova Musica and a wonderful cast of young singers, alongside the talented creative team composed by David Bates (musical direction), Stefano Vizioli (stage direction), Anna Maria Heinreich (costume design) and Gloria Giordano (choreography)
Orontea Giuseppina Bridelli (Mezzo-soprano)
Silandra Solen Mainguené (Soprano)Alidoro Fernando Guimarães (Tenor)
Aristea David Hernández Anfruns (Tenor)
Giacinta Anat Edri (Soprano)
Corindo Michał Czerniawski (Countertenor)
Creonte Jeffrey Francis (Tenor)
Gelone Giorgio Celenza (Bariton)
Tibrino Aurora Faggioli (Mezzo-soprano)
And, finally, here's the first set of press pictures for our wonderful Der goldene Apfel production, at Musikfestpiele Potsdam Sanssouci. Still 3 performances to go!:)
(more info here)
Unanimous praise for Ulisse!
Our production of Monteverdi's Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria with Boston Baroque has been attracting all sort of rave reviews! Here's some of what's been said so far:
The singing itself rose to an even higher sphere. (...) the leads were nothing less than superb. (...) As the title hero, Portuguese tenor Fernando Guimarães was likewise remarkable; his intelligently reserved presence, facility with period convention, and warmly flexible timbre made for an all but ideal Ulisse.
Thomas Garvey – The Hub Review full review
Portuguese tenor Fernando Guimarães is here making his U.S. debut as Ulysses, and gave a smoldering and passionate interpretation of a fairly uninspiring role. None of the cleverness, hubris, or fatigue of Homer’s original is manifest in Monteverdi’s version, but Guimarães–aided by an expressive tenor capable of both ringing declamation and tender wisps of sound–was nonetheless magnetic.
Angelo Mao – Boston Classical Review full review
The show's star, Fernando Guimarães in the role of Ulisse, excelled at bringing a melodic, yet conversational quality to the abundance of recitatives.
Melanie O'Neill – Examiner.com full review
The large cast of opera veterans and relative tyros, of international stars and local stalwarts, was superb. (...) As Ulysses, Fernando Guimarães sang with fluency and total understanding of Baroque style.
David Bonetti – Berkshire Fine Arts full review
As Ulisse, tenor Fernando Guimarães was equally accomplished vocally, with a rhythmic and tonal clarity that remained distinct even in his lowest range.
Virginia Newes – The Boston Musical Intelligencer full review
A performance on April 25 in the New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall byBoston Baroque (...) marked two significant debuts: the first appearance in the U.S. of the impressive Portuguese tenor Fernando Guimarães in the title role, and that of Pearlman’s new performance edition of Claudio Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria. It proved to be the most accurate, authentic, and convincing revival of an early Italian opera I have ever witnessed.
Marvin J. Ward – Classical Voice North America full review
The singing throughout was excellent (...) Fernando Guimarães created an animated and differentiated Ulysses.
Jeffrey Gantz – The Boston Globe full review
Opening night for Ulisse!
Tonight, at the New England's Conservatory Jordan Hall, Boston Baroque premiers their semi-staged version of Claudio Monteverdi’s “Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria". Fernando will tackle the leading role with Jennifer Rivera as Penelope, alongside an incredibly talented cast and the clever stage direction of Mark Streshinsky. Can't wait!:)
Fernando's most recent recording of the Monteverdi Vespers, with Cappella Mediterranea and Leonardo García Alarcón (under the label Ambronay Editions) is now available for sale. (Re)Discover this incredibly beautiful piece of music in a very exciting version, where Fernando is joined by an extraordinary cast which includes the likes of Céline Scheen and Victor Torres.
Click here to buy or see below for a couple of audio excerpts!
As we approach the final stages of preparation of Boston Baroque's production of Monteverdi's Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria - with Fernando in the title role - specialised webzine The Boston Musical Intelligencer prepared a very interesting article about the opera, featuring interviews with the conductor and stage director, as well as several cast members. A nice insight on this exciting event!
Click here for the full article by Virginia Newes.
"Marty Pearlman, Emmy-Award winning arts & entertainment reporter Joyce Kulhawik and the fabulous tenor from Portugal, Fernando Guimarães who is making his U.S. Debut with Boston Baroque atNew England Conservatory's Jordan Hall Friday, April 25 and Saturday April 26."
March 25th saw the long-awaited release of Reinhard Keiser's Brockes-Passion by Les Muffatti and Vox Luminis, under the conducting of Peter van Heyghen (on the label Ramée).
Fernando, singing the part of Petrus, joins the likes of Peter Kooij (Jesus), Jan van Elsacker (Evangelist), Zsuzsi Tóth (Tochter Zion) et al., in this quintessential piece of Passion music.
Click here to order and/or listen to samples online...
... or here to take a look at the CD booklet!
"The Brockes-Passion can be considered the archetype of the German Passion oratorio. As such, it served as a model and source of inspiration for famous later masterpieces, enjoying uninterrupted popularity throughout the 18th century when no less than 11 composers, including Handel and Telemann, set it to music. The superb version by Reinhard Keiser (1674-1739) is not only the first but also adheres most closely to the great rhetorical power and rich changes of affects of the poet’s text. In German literary history, Barthold Heinrich Brockes (1680-1747) is known above all for his innovative role during the second quarter of the 18th century. In 1712, the year of the Brockes-Passion's first performance, Keiser, fellow citizen of Brockes in Hamburg, was already recognized as the most important opera composer in Germany – and, in some opinions, even in Europe. When the genius of these two great artists combined in a single work, the result could only be spectacular. The tricentennial of its first performance justified a belated but nonetheless dithyrambic tribute, here presented by the singers of the Vox Luminis ensemble and the instrumentalists of Les Muffatti."
Portuguese tenor, with an emphasis on the baroque and classical repertoire.