1st International Zarzuela Contest


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Biography of Ana María Iriarte

Ana Maria Iriarte started her singing lessons at the age of eighteen at the Conservatory of Madrid with Ramona Nieto, Jose Luis Lloret and Lola Rodriguez Aragon. “She is remarkable for her voice, presence, natural manner, temperament and precision”; and this was certainly true, as her vocal range, pleasant tone, flexible, colored and clear voice, refined music school, great musicality and richness in nuances justified it. She made a big display of these enviable faculties in several concerts with the Chamber Orchestra of Madrid, directed by Ataulfo Argenta, but then she pushed her own limits and went on to broaden her studies of opera, oratory concerts and “lieder” in Vienna. She took part in the performance of “Madrid in the Zarzuela”, held in the Spanish Theatre with three concert acts and three gems of the small genre. She played "Casta" in “The Fair of the Dove”; "Manuela" in “Water, Sweets and Spirits”, and "Mari-Pepa" in “La Revoltosa”. That was a joyous preamble for the albums of the same musical genre that she would record from the following year onwards. She opened the Festival of Granada with the National Orchestra and then went on a long tour through France, Belgium and Switzerland. She also performed at the Royal Festival Hall with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. She took part in the world premier of “Don Perlimplín”, an opera by Rieti based on the play by Garcia Lorca, which took place in the 20th Century Festival of Paris. Jose Tamayo chooses her to play the "Beltrana" in “Doña Francisquita” in the 100th anniversary performance of the Zarzuela Theatre in 1956, a play with which this coliseum was re-opened after many years of uncertainty over its future. She alternated her part with Ines Rivadeneyra; "Francisquita" was played by Ana Maria Olaria and Lina Huarte, and "Fernando" was played by tenor Alfredo Kraus, Carlos Munguia and Agustin Godoy. This famous zarzuela was performed shortly after at the Volkoper of Vienna, with the book translated to German.

Ana Maria replayed her role as the “Beltrana” in this language as the only Spanish performer in the cast. During the next four years, she went on tour over the main French cities performing Carmen and Samson and Delilah. For over 25 years she has devoted herself in body and soul to the teaching profession at her own Private Academy. From her school there have already emerged first figures in singing, both at a national and international level, such as Maria Jose Montiel, Ewa Hyla or Jose Garcia Quijada. Her unceasing work to open new plays and to highlight unknown figures of the Spanish music has led her to show many unpublished zarzuelas as well as the Opera “La Celestina”, which established this Foundation as an example of private struggle, from the sphere of civil society, for culture and music in Spain. The winners of the 1st International Zarzuela Contest, Andeka Gorrochategui, Gloria Londoño, Teresa Vazquez and Belen Lopez already show promising abilities and reflect the mission of this Contest, especially the work that the Fundación Ana Maria Iriarte intends to carry out.

Superior Singing School of Madrid

The Superior Singing School of Madrid was founded in 1970, based on a project by the remarkable teacher Lola Rodriguez Aragon, who was also its first director. This project consisted in creating a steady environment for the training of lyric singers who, in time, would become the artistic staff at the Royal Theatre of Madrid, and also to set an environment where young people could develop their talent in the most comprehensive, dignified and admirable School of their time.

Nowadays, this school offers its students training in three specialties: Opera and Zarzuela, Concert and Oratory, and Teaching. For this purpose, it has relied from the very beginning on excellent teachers, devoted to the integral training of singers. We must highlight the important part played by the exquisite theatre which, as it is equipped with the latest technical installations, allows for the staging of highly professional plays. Supplementarily, it offers lectures and single subject courses by internationally renowned figures.



The president of the Judging Panel will be Mrs. Ana Maria Iriarte. The rest of the Judging Panel will be made up by:

1. Mrs. Rosa Kraus. Musical Agent.
2. Mr. José García Quijada.
Mr. Enrique García Asensio. Orchestra Director.
4. Mr. Francisco Rosado.
Musicologist and Music Critic.
5. Mr. Miguel Roa . Orchestra Director.


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