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, a responsibility that he soon added to that 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 d'Aix-en-Provence. Or the next 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, which he will soon mark with Les Indes galantes of Rameau at the Bastille). Or Antonio Draghi's El Prometeo, which he has just 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 concert "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 to festivals and concert halls all over the world.
In November 2018, he conducts Monteverdi's Orfeo in the staging of Sacha Walz at the Berlin Staatsoper. In September 2019, he'll conduct the 35Oth anniversary spectacle of the Opéra de Paris, Rameau's Indes Galantes.
His discography has been unanimously acclaimed by critics. In September 2016, Leonardo García Alarcón recorded with Alpha Classic I7 Peccati Capitali. 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 Lully, Jacques Arcadelt and Joan Manuel Serrat. The Opera Il Giasone will be released on DVD by Alpha Classics in the summer of 2019.
_ november 2018, according to Pierre-René Serna
© Laurent Cools, décembre 2016
© Jean-Baptiste Millot, mai 2016
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© Franck Ferville, septembre 2016
© Bertrand Pichene, septembre 2016
© Cappella Mediterranea