Tenors Milos Bulajic and Li Biao are interpreting Lindoro in Rossini’s The Italian in Algiers, on stage in late October at Sala Sinfónica in Auditorio de Tenerife. Bulajic and Biao -both part of the sixth Opera (e)Studio production- will share the role of the man who loves Isabella in the four performances that will open the Ópera de Tenerife season.

This is the first time they are performing on the Island but this opera, which they highly praised, is not new to them. “This is Rossini’s best opera and the best comedy I’ve ever seen”, they say about Ópera de Tenerife’s production.  

Milos Bulajic is from Bonn (Germany), and he studied at Berlin’s Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler and at Hochschule für Musik de Würzburg. The performer, who was recently on the Island to enjoy The Traviata, heard about the academic programme of Opera (e)Studio through some friends. He highlights “the work it carries out to become a great opera reference”.

Li Biao comes from Gansu (China). He obtained his degree from Sichuan Conservatoire in 2011 and meant to take part in the auditions for Don Pasquale during the 2016-2017 season but different commitments prevented it.  He says that “he’s never been to Tenerife, but the Auditorio, apart from being a most beautiful building, has a great reputation outside the Island”.

Milos Bulajic, who has already played the role at Nationaltheater Weimar in the 2016-2017 season, points out that “it has high technical demands”. In Li Biao’s view, who has also performed this opera at Italian and Austrian venues, the challenge lies in “expressing the personality and nature of the role”. They both conclude that Lindoro requires “balance to deal with the notes, the coloraturas and the long phrases”.

Regarding their work at Opera (e)Studio under the direction of maestro Giulio Zappa, Bulajic hopes to “enjoy the time shared with other young artists”; as well as “being listened to by an opera-loving audience”. On his part, Biao, aspires to “improve and train to become a professional singer”. They both say “they’re looking forward to be on stage at Auditorio de Tenerife”, and state it will be a “fresh and attractive production”.

About their future projects, the German tenor says that he would like to “have a quiet career”, by which he means “far from media attention” so that I can “focus on my work and enjoy something that comes from deep inside my heart”. His preferences regarding future performances include “the roles of Ernesto in Don Pasquale, Tonio in La fille du régiment, Arturo in Puritani, and even Elvino in Sonnambula”. He also expects “to be able to aspire to the roles of Edgardo in Lucia de Lammermoor, Tito in Clemenza or Macduff in Macbeth in two decades’ time”.

Biao says he cannot make plans for the future and he’d rather “experience the moment on the stage” fulfilling his dream. Although he is not bent on one in particular, he again agrees with his colleague in that he would like to play the role of Tonio in La fille du régiment, “an opera I’d like to perform”, he concludes.

Before reaching those future goals, their minds are focused on Tenerife, where on 7 September they are starting a two-month artistic improvement process under the direction of Giulio Zappa, which would lead to four performances of The Italian in Algiers to be held from 25 to 28 October.

This title opens the new Ópera de Tenerife season and includes the debut of Maximilian Nägele as musical director and the return of Giorgia Guerra as stage manager. She has set this new coproduction of Auditorio de Tenerife and Teatro Comunale di Bologna in the surreal atmosphere of a spa located in 1980s Algiers and characters are dressed with the amusing, colourful costumes of that period.