Having been established as an outstanding interpreter of Azucena and other
dramatic Italian roles, Mexican mezzo-soprano Conchita de Antuñano has recently
taken the step of embracing the German repertoire as well. Therefore, in
addition to Azucena, Ulrica, Amneris, and Eboli, this singer has become an
exciting and idiomatic interpreter of Wagner, as well as many other important
roles such as Carmen and Dalila, and on the concert stage, the works of Mahler,
Beethoven, Verdi’s Requiem, and de Falla’s El Amor Brujo.
An early bloomer, Ms. De Antuñano debuted while still a student in Carmen at Mexico City’s Palacio de Bellas Artes. After beginning her formal musical studies at the Conservatorio Nacional de Música, while earning a degree in History from the University of Mexico City, at the same time, she won a full scholarship to Philadelphia’s Academy of Vocal Arts. She later continued her studies, also with a full scholarship, at the Julliard School, in New York City. During this time, she was a finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and a winner of the Baltimore Opera Competition, which gave her the opportunity to work closely with legendary soprano Rosa Ponselle. She also received grants from the National Institute in Washington D.C.., and from the William Matheus Sullivan Musical Foundation.
Ms. De Antuñano began her career as a soprano, appearing as Norma at the Teatro Municipal in Caracas, Venezuela, in La Rondine with the Opera Company of Philadelphia, under Maestro Anton Guadagno. She also performed as Desdemona in Otello, and as Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera, at Bellas Artes, in Mexico City. Amelia was also a vehicle for her in Europe, as were Tosca and Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana, all of which she performed in Germany, Italy, and France.
No stranger to the concert stage, Ms de Antuñano is equally at home in Verdi’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and Mahler’s Eighth, which she performed in Puerto Rico under Maestro Eugene Kohn. She has appeared in Rossini’s Stabat Mater and Petite Messe Solennelle, Handel’s Messiah, and excelled in de Falla’s La Vida Breve and El Amor Brujo, the latter performed with the Sudwest Rundfunkorchester, which was broadcast by Eurovision. She had a great success at Philadelphia’s Academy of Music for her part in the 60th anniversary gala of the Academy of Vocal Arts. From 1987-1989 she gave annual recitals at London’s St. John Smith’s Square, accompanied by the renowned Mexican pianist Jorge Federico Osorio. She has also appeared in recital at Carnegie Hall, the Sala Netzahualcoyoti and Sala Ponce in Mexico City, and at the Philadelphia Art Museum.
In 1989, at the instigation of her mentor Maestro Giusepe Patanè, who recognized her impressive range and vocal power, Ms. de Antuñano made the transition to the mezzo-soprano Fach, after appearing with Plácido Domingo on the Maestro’s world premier recording of Mascagni’s Iris for CBS/Sony Classical. The switch to mezzo allowed her voice to blossom into its true colors, which she was able to develop in appearances throughout Europe and the United States, particularly as Amneris, Azucena and Ulrica. Aiding her in this transition to the mezzo-soprano repertoire was Maestro Patanè, as well as famed mezzo-sopranos Guilietta Simionato and Bianca Berini, with whom she worked extensively in Milan. This in turn led to her remarkable international success.
Ms. de Antuñano’s future performances include: Verdi’s Requiem, and her signature role of Azucena in Il Trovatore, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, De Falla’s El Amor Brujo. She will also appear in Operatic Gala Concerts and Song Recitals. Ms. de Antuñano is presently preparing for the orchestral recordings of “Dramatic Mezzo-Soprano and Contralto Arias,” “Tribute to the Music of Mexico,” and “Recital of Spanish Classical Songs.”
In recognition of her outstanding contributions and dedication to the performing arts, the Mexican State of Yucat án has awarded her the prestigious YUCATÁN MEDAL.
FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY
CARLOS RIAZUELO/ YEHUDA HANANI
FREDERICK KAUFMAN’S KADDISH (11-2-06)
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