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Manuel Ausensi

Manuel Ausensi i Albalat
(Barcelona, 1919 - Creixell, Tarragona, 2005) was a Catalan baritone opera singer.

During the Spanish Civil War, he studied singing in Valencia and then in the Municipal Conservatory of Barcelona. His debut was in 1946 at the Tivoli Theater. In 1947 he sang in Donizetti's Anna Bolena at the Liceu.

He was considered particularly outstanding in roles such as Rigoletto, but also sang eighteenth century music such as Mozart and Cimarosa and French romantic opera at the Liceu for thirteen consecutive seasons. He recorded a famous full version of The Barber of Seville conducted by Silvio Varviso and co-starring Teresa Berganza and Ugo Benelli in 1964. He also recorded the leading role in several Spanish zarzuelas such as La calesera, El caserío, Los gavilanes, Katiuska, La legió d'honor and Jugar con fuego.

He retired in 1973, but in 1990 he returned to the stage for a benefit concert for the Opera House in Catalonia. In 1997 he received the Creu de Sant Jordi.

Manuel Ausensi was born in Barcelona (Spain) on October 8, 1919. The Times, full of uncertainty, and later the civil war, not a little marred his youth. No family history related to the world of music, his father sensed potential in him and enrolled at the Liceo Conservatory in Barcelona. It made three music theory courses and Italian language. And when he thought he had found his way war broke out. Was mobilized to be called the fifth youngest, and all was in suspense.

Still remained in ranks when in 1941, being in Valencia, received singing lessons from a teacher and after that it was eminent soprano Maria Llácer. For the first time stepped on the scene in Seville with two short roles in Tosca and La bohème.

At graduation he rejoined Barcelona to continue singing studies with Concepcion Callao. In those days, won first prize in a radio contest and this supposed to sing Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Teatro Barcelona with excellent success. On December 30, 1947 made its debut at the Liceu in Barcelona with Anna Bolena, in commemoration of the centenary of this theater. The result could not be better, because from then on he sang during the twenty years, a vast repertoire.

At this time of life Ausensi, it is necessary to roughly his career which is centered mainly in Spain and America. The victories achieved in his country endorsed increased in the Colon in Buenos Aires at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico in the United States and several Spanish-speaking nations over fourteen years. He sang in Israel, Greece, Egypt, Italy and Germany, where he opened a theater in Berlin, with a success out of the ordinary. In this last capital came to play for two straight seasons, the Count de Luna in Il trovatore. But, year after year, never missed Ausensi MANUEL at the Lyceum, in aplaudiéndosele Canigó releases and La Lola is going to ports, as well as in the great operas as Lucia di Lammermoor, La Traviata, La Boheme, La Favorita, Faust , Werther, Manon Lescaut, Andrea Chenier and many more in seducing with her singing always attractive and expressive.

In the 1954-55 season played La bohème at the Lyceum, with Renata Tebaldi and Gianni Raimondi Raimondi and Magda Olivero to sing well La traviata in the following season, repeating the aria "Di Provence il mar" the four functions. During the sixties she sang a lot in the U.S., noted for the distributions: Pagliacci, in Dallas, with Mario del Monaco, and Aida, in Philadelphia, with Franco Corelli, Martina Arroyo and Grace Bumbry.

He came to have a repertoire of one hundred and fifty titles. Among the works that are sang Rigoletto, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, La Traviata and Nabucco, about a hundred performances each. Few can match this number baritones. It was a waste of important powers, always in the same tone as he himself demanded. In 1966 he was awarded as the best baritone of the year. It also has the National Performance Award "Emilio Mesejo" the Liceo Gold Medal, Gold Medal of Bellas Artes in Madrid and Knight of the Order of Civil Merit.

His contribution to the world of zarzuela was vital, despite the little represented on stage and had its origin in some functions of La verbena de la Paloma in Madrid, led by Ataulfo ​​Argenta. Fruit of the great work done is recorded over 50 titles, covering the most important works of the repertoire, both the genre and the zarzuela grande. His dark baritone tone, along with a flawless musicianship, perfect diction and ability to Spanish papers made it a lyric irreplaceable singer at the time of the great recordings.

Ausensi last season at the Lyceum was that of 1968-69. It sang Don Carlo and Peter Lavirgen Cossotto Fiorenza, Canigó with Raymond Torres and Pedro Farrés and Un ballo in maschera with Carlo Bergonzi. There was no organized or advertised departure. The great baritone left the scene as quietly as he had done to get there. It only appeared on the scene of his triumphs in 1971 to take part in the special function to mark the 125th anniversary of the inauguration and 25 as a business management of Don Juan Antonio Pamias. Among a host of performances by eminent artists, sang superbly Ausensi the same outpouring of art and power of their best times.

Since his retirement he lived in Barcelona, ​​his hometown, away from outside their world as entirely devoted to the family to compensate, in part, the long months when he was forcibly separated from her for the world to spread the name of Spain reaping laurels for the national lyric.