Artist of the Week: Airam Hernández

Spanish Tenor Headlines World Premiere of ‘El abrecartas’

By Francisco Salazar

On Feb. 16, the Teatro Real will present the world premiere of “El abrecartas” by Luis de Pablo y Vicente Molina Foix. The work is the final opera by De Pablo and was a passion project for the composer who convinced Foix to adapt the novel of the same name for the opera stage. The result is an opera with a prologue and six scenes. The opera will also represent characters from real life including Federico García Lorca who will be performed by Airam Hernández who is one of the most in-demand tenors of his generation.

As the tenor prepares for the new role, Hernández has rediscovered Lorca, noting in a recent interview that he has also read some of his books and plays and has been surprised by “El público” and “Así que pasen cinco años.”

Regarding the world premiere and the music by De Pablo, Hernández noted that he would have liked to speak to the composer about the music and his writing style.

This is not the first time that the tenor world premieres a piece as he was part of the first performances of the recovered opera “Sardanapalo” by Franz Liszt and “Caruso a Cuba,,” for which he wins the Schaunard Award for the best individual performance of 2019 in the Netherlands. As a result, audiences are in for a treat as Hernández creates another iconic character.

“El abrecartas” will be performed six times and for audiences not in Madrid to see Hernández, the tenor has an incredible season ahead of him with the Spanish premiere of “Florencia en el Amazonas” as well as productions of “La Traviata” and “Norma” in Spain.


For audiences not familiar with the tenor’s voice there is a recording of “Sardanapalo” with Joyce El-Khoury.

Here is the tenor performing excerpts by Mozart, Donizetti, ad Verdi.


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