Enrique Carreón-Robledo truly believes that his fate was written in the stars. He did not come from a musical family, and it was by chance that he stumbled upon an old gentleman sitting outside near his home in Mexico, teaching children how to play the mandolin. Mesmerized, the young Carreón-Robledo persuaded his parents to buy him a mandolin, and shortly after he began teaching himself how to read music. Soon enough, he was instructing all the children how to play so that he could form his very first orchestra.
Today, as a Crystal Globe nominee for Best Music Direction in Opera and Ballet and having worked internationally with orchestras across four continents, Enrique Carreón-Robledo has chosen to relocate from London, England to settle in Houston as Opera in the Heights' newest artistic director.
What he does: With a background in opera, ballet, and symphonic repertoire, Enrique was appointed artistic director in April of 2011 when he was still living in London. He spent the next five months commuting before finally deciding to make the big move across the Atlantic in September. At Opera in the Heights (or more commonly know as Oh!), Enrique is in charge of four productions per season, not to mention other freelance engagements during the time he is not performing with the company. The company and Enrique have already completed two productions: La Fille du Regiment (Daughter of the Regiment) and Cosi Fan Tutte, and are now working to put on Anna Bolena, an incredibly powerful opera that is about to have a renaissance.
The company and Enrique only started rehearsing two weeks ago, and will be opening January 25 and are already in a heavy rehearsal schedule, "Like today, I already had five hours of music rehearsals and we are about to do a run through of the opera," says Carreón-Robledo.
What inspires him: It's very simple: it's the artists themselves.
"One reason why I came to work for this company is because in its mission, it's implicit that it is a company for the artists. That element of human contact working with all the artists is what makes my work so inspiring. Anything that I feel, they will take away and benefit from, whether it is from a coaching session or a rehearsal or a production they do with me as a conductor. It's what keeps me going -- it's what makes me want to continue to do that."
If not this, then what? Enrique cannot imagine doing anything unrelated to music, if anything else at all. His passion for this art form is what drives him and allows him to become one of the most powerful and influential maestros of his generation.
"I have always told people who have considered this as a career choice: If there is something that makes you just as happy as playing or singing or conducting, give it a chance. Explore it, because it is a very difficult field, and to me, the only way to survive the odds is if you love it like you love nothing else."
If not here, then where? Carreón-Robledo came to the city for the work.
"It's the company. If this company was anywhere else in the world, that's where I would be. I wanted to be the artistic director of an opera company, and if this hadn't come true, I think it would have been in some other place with some other company. If where the work and where the opportunity to work with the artists the way I just described was somewhere else, that's where I would be."
Whats next: After Anna Bolena comes to a closes on February 5th, Carreón-Robledo will begin almost immediately with his work on Oh!'s next opera, Il Trovatore. In upcoming seasons he will be working with various theater companies, ballet companies, and orchestras, but there is a definite possibility for a long-term commitment to Opera in the Heights.
"I believe in good faith that that was the intention from both parts when I was hired: to be here for a long time, to really invest myself into the company, to get the company to invest in my work because I think they believe in it."
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More Creatives for 2012:
(In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).
More Creatives for 2012 (In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).