On his admission to the Academy of the National Opera of Paris
The Almeria’s tenor has been one of the five chosen among 370 applicants from all over the world to train in the institution
After spending more than a year as a member of the Paris National Opera Choir, Juan de Dios Mateos Segura (Almeria, 1989) has just taken an important step in his career as a tenor: in September he will enter the Academy of the institution Gala, a project of professionalization of singers and instrumentalists born in 2005.
His admission to this training program, one of the best in Europe, is a personal and professional triumph: he has been one of the five candidates chosen from among 370 candidates from all over the world for the coming season. It is also the first Spanish tenor to access the French Opera Studio, which until now had only opened its doors on one occasion to a voice of our country: it was in 2009 with the mezzosoprano Carol Garcia.
“It is not a conservatory but rather a school of soloists. It is a very complete project: we have a monthly salary for expenses, which are many: lessons, scores, trips … And at the same time we receive continuous training with invited teachers, we work daily with repertoire pianists, we can prepare our own repertoire, Perform auditions for agents and for other theaters … When I started to study I saw this as a dream “, tells LA VOZ taking advantage of his brief vacations in Almería. In fact, before joining the Opera Studio, he will travel next week to the French festival of Pierres Lyriques and from there he will travel to Frankfurt to receive a singing course.
Juan de Dios Mateos has managed to enter the Academy of the Opera of Paris after surpassing two tests realized in January. “First I had to prepare two arias out of five that gave me the choice of different styles and languages. And then I overcame a second audition with the artistic director of the Opera and with the directors of the Opera Studio, with a repertoire chosen by them. ”
In addition to the technical quality and the interpretive skills, the jury “looks at the finger” the handling of languages. The almerians speaks four languages -Spanish, French, English and Italian- and now German has begun to work. “Although the accent of your country is always there, the language has to be impeccable. Especially these five, who are the most sing “.
In the brilliant way he is writing, the tenor from Almeria is well aware of the importance – and the fortune – of having found teachers such as he has known. “Coral Morales, in Granada, taught me the whole basis of singing. Then I made a breakthrough by meeting Carlos Aransay, my mentor, mentor and friend whom I must have made a leap at all levels. And in Paris I have Guy Flechter, who gives me a continuous training in terms of technique, repertoire, languages … “.
Professional relationships that have been transferred to the personal field. “I think the teacher should not be limited to teaching: I need to have a friendly relationship to make things happen.”
Mateos also emphasizes another proper name: Iñaki Encina, former repertorista of Opera Studio, who invited him to sing to France.
In Almeria, the tenor has also left its mark: he taught at the Roquetas Music School and founded the Choir of the San Indalecio group of La Cañada, which he also directed. In this he was when he auditioned to enter the Choir of the National Opera of Paris, where it began in March of last year. Another test surpassed that today puts a new goal in its way.
The boy who grew up with the Choir of the Cathedral
When he was born, his father, Juan de Dios Mateos del Nido, directed the Choir of the Cathedral of Almeria, which also included his mother. “I have the privilege of being able to say that I have contact with the music since I was in his belly. After I was born, I went through the knees of all members of the choir. And as a child he was imitating the different voices. I have been able to give classes to some of them“, recalls Juan de Dios Mateos Segura.
After studying singing and obtaining the title of professional degree of flute transvesera in the Conservatory of Almería and of Magisterio in the specialty of Music in the University of Almería, realized in the year 2013 the master Interpretation lyrical and scenic in the University of Jaén, where Participated during the first three editions of the project ‘Jaén Ópera Joven’.
His solo career began in 2009 with ‘The Weddings of Figaro‘ (roles of Basilio and Curzio). Since then he has participated in different productions, among them the Don Giovanni (Don Ottavio) operas – performed at the Teatro Auditorio in Roquetas de Mar by the Indalian Foundation for Music and the Arts – ‘Bastien und Bastienne‘ (Bastien) and ‘Vol Retour (Bidule)’; The musicals ‘West Side Story‘(Tony) and ‘The Phantom of the Opera‘ (Raoul); The zarzuela ‘Luisa Fernanda‘ (Javier) and numerous recitals and oratorios in Spain, France and England.
After spending more than a year in the Choir of the National Opera of Paris and having participated in the production of the Bastille Opera Amphitheater in the aforementioned ‘Vol Retour‘ as guest soloist, it has been accepted in the Academy of the National Opera of Paris for next season, with option to a second.
“You do not realize how much you can get until you do not leave your comfort zone. I did it when I went to France: there I realized everything I needed to learn. ”
That’s why he knows that being at the Paris Academy is the “easy part” of his future. “When you leave, the hard part will begin: jump into the pool, hold auditions around the world and show your competitors the teeth.” Rivals but friends, yes. “If there is an audition, I tell all my tenors friends. I do not want the post for keeping it to myself, but for being the best. If they exceed me, I have another motivation: that makes you grow as a singer and as a person. ”
Small details make the difference
Juan de Dios Mateos has had his “moments of weakness” where the usual activities of a young boy should be in the background for a passion, music, which today is outlined as a profession that promises to give him many satisfactions. “You have to sacrifice your social life, you can not go to discos, be around people who smoke, wear a scarf even if they laugh at you … There you realize who your real friends are.”
But he is clear. “I’m not going to play it jeopardizing my work tool because something embarrasses me. It’s like the swimmer who has to shave his whole body to earn five hundredths: it’s the little details that make the difference. ”
In addition to individual work, Juan de Dios Mateos emphasizes the strength of his environment. “It is very important that your parents support you and it may seem like a drawer but it is not something common: I have known very good voices that have been left behind because of the family. It is also necessary to find the complicity of your partner: my girlfriend always gives me encouragement and accompanies me. And, of course, your friends. ”
The tenor says that, to dream, he would like to perform at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. As for its referents, there are classic names such as Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo and Alfredo Kraus, and current voices such as Juan Diego Flórez, Javier Camarena and Lawrence Brownlee.