Camerata Pacifica, considered one of the nation’s leading chamber ensembles and celebrated for its adventurous programming, caps its 2022-23 season with the highly anticipated U.S. debut of acclaimed Venezuelan male soprano Samuel Mariño in a program of Bach and Pergolesi. Hailed as “a rarity in opera” (New York Times), Mariño describes himself as a true natural male soprano whose voice at puberty only “partially broke.” He performs Bach’s cantata Non sa che sia dolore, BWV 209, and Pergolesi’s exquisite Salve Regina in C Minor. Camerata Pacifica also performs John Adams’ exhilarating Shaker Loops. The program is presented in four locations across Southern California, from the San Gabriel Valley to Santa Barbara, with performances on Friday, May 12, 7:30 pm, at Santa Barbara’s Music Academy of the West; Sunday, May 14, 3 pm, at Museum of Ventura County in Ventura; Tuesday, May 16, 7:30 pm, at The Huntington’s Rothenberg Hall in San Marino; and Thursday, May 18, 2023, 8 pm, at Zipper Hall in Downtown Los Angeles.
Camerata Pacifica members featured include Joseph Lin, Tricia Park, Jason Uyeyama, and Agnes Gottschewski, violin; Jonathan Moerschel and Mathis Rochat, viola; Ani Aznavoorian and Raman Ramakrishnan, cello; Timothy Eckert, double bass; Matvey Demin, flute; and Paolo Bordignon, harpsichord.
Mariño, born in 1993, began his studies in piano and voice at the National Conservatory in Caracas, and also studied ballet at the National School of Dance in Venezuela. After puberty, he was considering surgical and vocal treatment options for his high voice when a doctor suggested he focus on singing, instead. Ultimately, Mariño “chose to leave his unusually high voice intact” (WBUR), and subsequently studied at the Paris Conservatory and with soprano Barbara Bonney. He explains that he is not a countertenor and doesn’t sing in a falsetto, but rather “my voice is a light lyric soprano, with a bit of coloratura.” Mariño’s natural musicality and unique vocal talent have set the stage for a career which allows him to perform a wide range of operatic roles in the baroque and classical repertoire.
His first operatic experience was with the Camerata Barroca in Caracas, where he had the opportunity to work with conductors such as Gustavo Dudamel, Helmuth Rilling, and Theodore Kuchar. It was there that his passion and affinity for the baroque repertoire was ignited. At his young age, Mariño has already portrayed some of the most monumental roles in baroque and classical opera and oratorio, including works by Monteverdi, Handel, Porpora, Vivaldi, Hasse, Mozart, and Salieri. His versatility and ample vocal range have enabled the male soprano to explore such roles in the Bel Canto repertoire as Oscar (Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera), Romeo (Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi), and Arsace (Rossini’s Aureliano in Palmira). Mariño was awarded the Interpretation Award at the 2017 Opéra de Marseille International Singing Competition and won the 2017 Neue Stimmen Audience prize. Following his passion for rediscovering music and innovating period performance practice, Mariño founded Ensemble Teseo in 2019, where he aims to bring forgotten Baroque works and techniques to mainstream opera and concert stages. He is featured on four recordings, including his most recent, Sopranista released by Decca in 2022.
For tickets ($68) and information, visit www.cameratapacifica.org.Music Academy of the West
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