Fidelio, the integrating power of music, hand in hand with Bancamiga

The teacher Gustavo Dudamel, the filmmaker Alberto "Beto" Arvelo and Bancamiga joined forces this weekend to show Venezuelans a historic event, when the members of the Coro de Manos Blancas (special education) became the protagonists of the only opera composed by Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven is considered one of the most important composers in the history of music and his contributions were decisive in the evolution of this art of creating and organizing sounds. In his long career he has composed only one opera: Fidelio, which premiered this weekend at the National Center for Social Action for Music, with the accompaniment of Bancamiga, the musical direction of maestro Gustavo Dudamel and the artistic direction of the filmmaker Alberto ” Beto” Arvelo.

For “Beto” Arvelo, what was experienced this Saturday and Sunday in Caracas was a historical event, because “it is the first time since he composed it in 1805 that this genius is presented for the deaf community”, in which the members of the Choir de Manos Blancas of the National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras and Choirs of Venezuela also become the protagonists of this opera in two acts, showing their great acting capacity.

“Fidelio is the most recent dream that we are working on with Gustavo. From the first conversation I had with him when maestro José Antonio Abreu asked me to interview him when we were preparing to film Tocar y Luchar, there was instant empathy. He had not yet won the prestigious Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition (2004), but maestro Abreu sensed what would happen. That same day, a few hours later, we were already brothers, and over time we have not stopped creating, inventing, dreaming”.

“Beto” Arvelo said that the fact that it was composed by Beethoven when he was already deaf is a sign of man’s ability to overcome adversity and of the integrating power of music.

Fidelio is one of the most popular operas in the world. Last year he performed in Los Angeles with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, the Manos Blancas Choir and the Deaf West Theater arts organization.

And now with the support of Bancamiga, the Venezuelans made the Sistema room in Quebrada Honda resound with their applause, to thank the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, the Simón Bolívar National Choir and the Manos Blancas Choir, Dudamel, Arvelo and the artistic producer Gabriela Camejo the possibility they had to witness a first-rate staging.

The executive president of Bancamiga, Ariel José Martínez, said he was moved because the institution accompanied Dudamel and Arvelo in a work that exalts integration, within the framework of its strategy of social commitment and dissemination of culture.

“I connected with each one of them”

In his long career, “Beto” Arvelo led the Together We Team campaign, which he described as a “very beautiful” experience for two reasons. First, for working with an exceptional team, five assertively selected inspirational machines such as the karate fighter Antonio Díaz, the photographer Henry González, the biologist and climber Federico Pisani, the designer and universal viceroy of beauty Amanda Dudamel and the soccer player Deyna Castellanos, who they share the importance of believing, insisting and growing to achieve goals.

“I connected with every one of them. They are people who make you believe in human capabilities and that achieving dreams is possible. There is also the human team of Bancamiga. They were extraordinary people and committed to doing something beautiful and that we could transmit a message of optimism and hope for the youth and for the country”.

“Beto” Arvelo’s relationship with the System dates back to when he was a child when he began in the orchestra system in his native Merida. First as a clarinetist and then with the cello.

“I grew up in the orchestra system and my mom is a sculptor. I grew up in an environment connected to art. It was in this environment that I came into contact with photography and for the first time a camera fell into my hands. I knew at that moment that I had found my passion. I found it fascinating to tell stories. I was 11-12 years old and I felt like that was what I wanted to do.”

He confessed that despite the fact that at one point in his life he debated between music and cinema, “the camera pulled harder. But I have always been making movies connected with music. I have made documentaries about music such as Tocar y Luchar and my life has been linked to both. I think I came to the cinema through music”.

“Beto” Arvelo did not want to finish the conversation without inviting Venezuelans to dream and believe in what they do, because the first step to achieve the goals is to be convinced that this dream is possible.

With information from Bancamiga Banco Universal

(Image: artistic director Beto Arvelo in conversation with journalist Ernesto Linzalata)

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