After studying piano in Argentina, Leonardo García Alarcón moved to Europe in 1997 and joined the Geneva Conservatory in the class of harpsichordist Christiane Jaccottet. Leonardo García Alarcón emerged in a few years as the leading conductor of the baroque world. Argentinian by origin and holder of both Swiss and Argentinian nationality, he is coveted by the greatest musical and lyrical institutions, from the Paris Opera to the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid and the Grand Theatre in Geneva, the city where he made his first appearance. It was under the guidance of Gabriel Garrido that he embarked on the baroque adventure, while also receiving the support of John Eliot Gardiner and Philippe Herreweghe.
Under the patronage of these established masters, he created about ten years ago his ensemble Cappella Mediterranea, following by the foundation of the Millennium Orchestra, which he also founded to accompany the Namur Chamber Choir, of which he took over the conductorship in 2010, one of the best baroque choirs in existence. He is divided between Geneva, France (notably as an assiduous pillar of the Ambronay Festival and, since this year, artist in residence at the Opéra de Dijon), Belgium, but also with sporadic visits to his native South America. A form of geographical eclecticism, to which his repertoire corresponds. With a taste and a vocation to bring back to life unknown works from Cavalli, Sacrati, Draghi, Falvetti…
This is how we owe the reinstatement of Cavalli's operas to this barely forty-two-year-old conductor: Eliogabalo, to open the Paris Opera season in 2016, Il Giasone in Geneva and Erismena at the 2017 Festival of Aix-en-Provence. Or the recent rediscovery (at the Opéra de Dijon) of Francesco Sacrati's La finta pazza, the very first opera imported to Paris. To celebrate the 350th anniversary of the Royal Academy of Music, the Paris Opera, Leonardo García Alarcón has been invited to conduct a new production of Rameau’s Les Indes galantes at the Bastille in September 2019. Last year Antonio Draghi's El Prometeo was also recreated in Dijon. An opera that resembles him: on a libretto in Spanish but premiered in Vienna in 1669 and a score by an Italian composer. The empire of Charles V in a way, on which "the sun never sets". Because García Alarcón also focuses on the repertoire of his roots. After his programme "Carmina latina" made of works from the Baroque Americas and presented since 2012 in different venues, after Sebastián Durón's La guerra de los gigantes and El imposible mayor en amor (dated early in the 18th century) at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid in 2016, he should tackle in the near future Celos aun del aire matan by Juan Hidalgo, another Spanish opera written in 1660.
As a conductor or harpsichordist, he is invited by festivals and concert halls all over the world to conduct different orchestra (Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Freiburger Barokorchester,
In November 2018, he conducted Monteverdi's Orfeo in the staging of Sasha Waltz at the Berlin Staatsoper Berlin.
His discography has been unanimously acclaimed by critics. In September 2016, I 7 Peccati Capitali was released by Alpha Classic: an imaginary programme based on Monteverdi's tunes, hailed by the press and nominated in the "best recording" category at the “Victoires de la Musique” 2017. In 2018, he recorded works by Jean-Baptiste Lully, Jacques Arcadelt and Joan Manuel Serrat. The opera production of Il Giasone from Geneva was released on DVD by Alpha Classics in February 2019.
In June 2019, Leonardo García Alarcón was made « Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts et Lettres” by the French government.
© Laurent Cools, décembre 2016
© Jean-Baptiste Millot, mai 2016
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© Franck Ferville, septembre 2016
© Bertrand Pichene, septembre 2016
© Cappella Mediterranea