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          10th. JULY 1968-2003: 35th. ANNIVERSARY OPUS CUATRO

OPUS CUATRO has rightly become one of the most important vocal groups in Argentina at present and has received world recognition in countries of America, Europe and Asia. Since its creation in 1968, its repertoire has tended to concentrate on the performance of popular music and music rooted in the folk traditions of Argentina and Latin America, on spirituals, jazz and musicals.

OPUS CUATRO has already performed 6500 times in theatres, on radio and television in 400 cities and towns in ARGENTINA, GERMANY, AUSTRIA, BELGIQUE, BOLIVIA, BRAZIL, CANADA, COLOMBIA, COSTA RICA, THE CZECH REPUBLIC, CHILE, DENMARK, ECUADOR, EL SALVADOR, SPAIN, UNITED STATES, FRANCE, GUATEMALA, HOLLAND, HONDURAS, ENGLAND, ITALY, JAPAN, LUXEMBOURG, PANAMA, PARAGUAY, RUSSIA, SLOVENIA,  SWITZERLAND, SWEDEN, URUGUAY and VENEZUELA.

Among the most successful performances of OPUS CUATRO are: “Black and Blue” (A History of Jazz), “Canto Fundado”, “Latin-America Lives”, “Singueando...” (from tango to jazz...), “Concierto de Tangos”, "Los Opus y los Vientos", etc.  Worthy of special mention are its visits to the Bariloche Music Festival (1970/78), the Choral Festival Society meeting in Villa Gesell (1988/2002), the special performances given in the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires (1974), in the San Martín and Alvear Theatres (1970/2000) as well as in official and private theatres in the most important cities in Argentina, its performances at popular and folk festivals in every part of the country along with concerts given in the National Universities , etc.  Since 1977 OPUS CUATRO has given concerts in conjunction with over 300 choirs in Argentina ranging from polyphonic, popular and chamber choirs to children´s, youth, university and municipal choral groups. During these concerts they have performed works from the Argentine and Latin American popular repertoire contributing in this way to the spreading of the country´s rich choral tradition.  Along the way the group has had special participation in “Cantapueblo ´95/98” (Mendoza), “Madryn-Canto” ´96” (Puerto Madryn) and “Cantares ´96” (Sacanta-Cordoba).  OPUS CUATRO received the “Estrella del Mar” (Sea Star) prize in 1993 in recognition of its artistry. It was also nominated for the 1994 A.C.E. prize for the best production of its “Opus Cuatro-Jazz” recording and 1995 it received the “Homero Manzi “  prize and in 2002 the "Carlos Gardel Prize" by it´s recording "Tangos, Valses y Milongas".

                       

                    

OPUS CUATRO has performed in Latin America at: the Aula Magna of the University of Venezuela (Caracas, 1975), the House of Culture (Guatemala, 1976), the University of Los Andes, the Jorge Eliecer Gaitán and the Colsubsidios Theatres (Bogotá, Colombia 1975/94); the Jorge Isaacs Theatre (Cali) and the Fundadores Theatre (Manizales), both in Colombia (1994); the National Theatre of El Salvador (San Salvador, 1976); the National Theatre “Manuel Bonilla” (Tegucigalpa, Honduras 1976); the Aula Magna of the Central University of Equador (Quito, 1976); the Municipal Theatre of Viña del Mar and on Channel 13 T.V. in Santiago de Chile (197/84; the Aula Magna of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (Porto Alegre, 1977) and at the “Memorial for Latin America” (San Pablo, 1991), Banco do Brasil (Rio de Janeiro, 2002), Festival de Sâo Luis (Maranhâo, 2002),  in Brazil; the Notariado Theatre (Montevideo, 1986) and the Florencio Sanchez Theatre (Paysandú, 1992) both of which are in Uruguay; Channel 9 T.V. in La Paz (Bolivia, 1988); the “Guarani” Cultural Centre and the Paraguayan-Japanese Centre (Asunción del Paraguay, 1993/95/96/98/99/2000); the National Theatre, Anita Villalaz Theatre and Arco Chato (Panamá, 1996/2002/03), etc.    

            Since the beginning of 1987 OPUS CUATRO has toured very frequently in EUROPE, UNITED STATES and JAPAN and has had very notable success with its performances at the Ibero-American Festival (Huelva, Spain 1988), the Iberoamerican Festival in Jaen (Andalucia, Spain, 1995); the “Conde Duque” Cultural Centre, the O.N.C.E Auditoriums and America House (Madrid, 1995/96/98); concerts in the cities of Torrejón de Ardoz, Torrelodones, Vitoria, Badajoz, Ferrol, San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Pamplona,Valladolid, San Fernando de Henares, Pinto, Rivas Vaciamadrid, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Lanzarfote, Fuerteventura, Guadarrama and Segovia (Spain, 1995/96/2001/02) and in Paris in the “Cité Universitaire”, F.I.A.P., the Churches of St. Merri, Notre Dame du Liban and St Germain L’Auxerrois, Maison de L’Amerique latine, headquarters of UNESCO (1987/2002) as well as concerts in the French cities of Arsac, Agen, Bergerac. Blois, Bordeaux, Bayonne, Bassussarry, Bethune, Colmar, Cognac, Cordes sur Ciel, Foulayronnes, Poitiers, Lormont, Libourne, Lille, Lectoure, Lome, Montlflanquin, Nanterre, Port St. Louis, Tours, Versailles, St. Denis, St. Jean Pied de Port, Compiegne, Marmande, etc. (between the years 1987 and 2001); in the German cities of Bad Honnef, Bonn, Buxtehude, Köln, Frankfurt, Mettlach, Munich, Saarbrucken, Karlsruhe, Stuttgart, Kiel, Marburg, Giessen, Gusenburg, Gelsenkirchen, Tunsdorf, Obertshausen, etc. (between the years 1988 and 2002); the Campana Auditorium and the Carolian University  (Prague, 1989/90/98); the Bossendorfer Auditorium (Vienna, Austria 1990) and Feldkirch Forum (Feldkirch, Austria, 2002),  and the Italian cities of Grosetto, Cremona, Ostiano, Latina, Roma and Milan (1991, 93 and 2002);  the Sacre Coeur Church (Montreux), the Basilica of Lausanne; Kuntshaus Auditorium, the Church of Maur and St, Peter (Zurich), Iglesia Reformata and Radio Swissera-Italiana (Lugano), Nydeeg Church (Bern), in Switzerland 1996/1997/99/2001/02; the Friendship House for Foreigners, (Moscow, Russia 1989); “Maya-.Quetzal” and the Hotel de Ville, Chateau de Vianden and Eglise Protestant du Luxembourg (Luxembourg, 1996/97/99/2001/02) and the Churches of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and St. James’s-Piccadilly (London, England, 1991/98), and Raandetorn Hall at Copenhaguen (Denmark, 1998), Cervantes Institute (Bruxelles, Belgique, 1999/2000) and Petruskerk at Leiden, Holland,  and Amsterdam (1999/2000/2001),  etc..

                        OPUS CUATRO visited the UNITED STATES, five times between 1990 and 2002, giving concerts in New York (Latinamerican Workshop), Washington (the Americas Auditorium of the OAS) Greenville (University of North Carolina), Detroit (Argentine Centre); Chicago (Oak Theatre and Auditorium of Illinois University), New Orleans (Loyola University), Tampa (Argentine Centre), and Indianapolis (“Fiesta Indianapolis-2001” as solists of the Butler Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Mr. Stan DeRusha), and Dallas-Fort-Worth (as soloists of TCU Symphony Orchestra and Dallas Symphony Orchestra, both conducted by German Gutierrez, 2002), etc.  In Canada the group gave concerts in the cities of Toronto (Bickford Centre University), Ottawa (Alumni Auditorium Ottawa University). In Montreal in the “Au Gesu” Auditorium, S.U.C.O and the University of Montreal and in Quebec in the College of Jesus-Marie de Sillery and in the Pablo Neruda Cultural Centre (1991).

                        Towards the end of 1990 OPUS CUATRO visited Japan and made its debut there in the Festival of Takasaki. It also gave concerts in the Omonia Theatre in Tokyo.

                         The recordings of OPUS CUATRO comprise EIGHTEEN L.P´s (actually all in digital CD recordings): “America” (1970);  “Con America en la sangre” (“America in the blood”) (1971); “Si Somos Americanos” (“If we are Americans”) (1973); “Opus Cuatro - Op.4-Vol IV” (1976); “Opus Cuatro.CBS” (1980); “Militantes de la Vida” (“Life´s Militants) (1984); “Un Nuevo Tiempo” (“A New Time”) (1987); “Por Amor”(“For Love”) (1992); “Jazz-Spìrituals-Musicals”(1993);“Opus Cuatro Canta con los Coros Argentinos” (Opus Four Sing with Argentine Choirs”(1994);  “No Dejes de Cantar” (Don’t Stop Singing”) (1996), “Opus Cuatro Canta con los Coros Argentinos, Volumn II” (1997), “Milagro de Amor” (1998) and “Opus Cuatro, se vuelve a mas” (1999, recorded in Germany during a live concert performed at Havanna Café in Karsruhe, March 1998), “Cantata al Gral. Don José de San Martín”(1999) under the General Direction of Luis María Serra, “Opus Cuatro-Europa en vivo” (2000), “Opus Cuatro, Tangos, Valses y Milongas” (2001) and "Los Opus y los Vientos" (together with "Cuatro Vientos" Saxs Group, 2003).  Part of this recorded material was published in Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Spain, Japan and Venezuela. The musical arrangements are by Juan Carlos Cuacci, Guillermo Masi, Rubén Verna, Horacio Corral, Chango Farias Gomez, Damián Sánchez, Enrique Núñez, Alberto Tramontana, Liliana Cangiano, Ariel Ujaldón, Vivian Tabbush, Luis María Serra, Jorge Polanuer, Sergio Blostein, Arturo Rodriguez and Hernando Irahola. General Production is by Opus Artistic Productions

 

The members of OPUS CUATRO are:

ALBERTO HASSAN     (1st. tenor)

MARCELO BALSELLS   (2nd. tenor)

HERNANDO IRAHOLA (baritone

FEDERICO GALIANA   (bass)

 

PRESS: Chicago, IL Opus Cuatro graced the stage at the Chicago Circle Center of the University of Illinois at Chicago last 15th. October. The show, presented through the collaboration of the UIC and Columbia College Chicago Latino Cultural Centers, marked the presence of this legendary group in the Chicago area for the first time in ten years.

            Opus Cuatro, has since its formation in 1968 consistently toured the world to give their ever expanding repertoire to new listeners. The a capella group consists of Federico Galiana (Bass), Marcelo Balsells (2nd Tenor), Hernando Irahola (Baritone), and Alberto Hassan (1st Tenor). They sang well into their newest addition to their discography, “Opus Cuatro: Tangos, Valses y Milongas.”

            The accolades cannot overflow, for their performance was everything you couldn’t have imagined it being. In a throwback to the times of a capella music, the group interprets the very threads of Argentine musical culture. The delicacy of Hassan and Balsells’ leads are underscored by the sublime touches of Galiana’s firm assistance. The color of Irahola rounds the songs in a way that could make the most enthralled ignore the absence of played instruments. At several points, the artists were accompanied by those that new the tunes and words to such classics as La Cumparsita. Galiana’s introduction smooths into Balsells impassioned and light interpretation.  For their American fans they included an original rendition of It Don’t Mean A Thing ( If It Ain’t Got That Swing), a display of the versatility that has allowed them to adapt and understand the many forms of song they have made their and their audiences own for the last 33 years.

The night was full with the combination of their professionalism, their humor, and their supreme fidelity to the pieces with which they have woven their careers. They closed with a bolero and accompaniment from two teachers of Tango of the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. The concert had almost 300 attendees, considering it was postponed from its previous date due to the events surrounding the Sept. 11.

Opus plans to return for in April of 2002 to the United States, but for any information, their website at www.opuscuatro.com serves as their best resource.

 

 

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