Text: Silvia Cruz
Photos: Ana Palma
Esperanza Fernández – De lo Jondo y Verdadero / Guest artist: Ana Morales
Paco Cepero – Tradición y Duende / Guest artists: Carmen Herrera – Almudena Serrano, Rancapino Chico
Javier Latorre, director and choreographer
Generous people have no fear. And Esperanza Fernández, who presented her “De lo Jondo y Verdadero” showed in the Festival de Jerez that she is fearless. The woman from Triana did an exact repeat of her presentation at the Bienal de Sevilla five months ago. And she did it bravely, confidently and with a strong well-tuned voice. In Seville her guest artist was Rocío Márquez, but in Jerez it was only the compás and dancing of Ana Morales who opened the show performing some heart-stopping peteneras which Esperanza interpreted with the same intensity.
And despite that brilliant beginning, she gave the audience the gift of getting better and better as the show progressed. Miguel Ángel Cortés on guitar set his protective glance upon her, and together they managed to make each song sound like pure magic. Soleá de Triana, mariana, guajita and milonga were some of the pieces offered, and with which there was no doubt about the motif she was after: highlighting forms not usually heard. But she didn't forget about alegrías and bulerías for a wink and a nod to Cádiz and Jerez, and she was wonderful and powerful, both with her voice and her body. Ana Morales ended up with a liviana that drove the audience wild, and showed that Esperanza is indeed generous: the way she went over to Ana, kissed her and urged the audience to applaud her was proof. She did the same with the rest of her group, and it's what she always does when accompanied by terrific artists: she doesn't hold back, nor does she feel too envious to applaud others and give them their rightful place.
There were many in the audience who had seen the same show in Seville, and they agreed that despite being a carbon copy of the repertoire, Esperanza sounded different, more solid, finer and more evolved, perhaps wiser. Photo Gallery – Video
Cepero, right at home
Expectation was high surrounding Paco Cepero's performance at the Villamarta Theater. He interpreted original pieces of his from various recordings, and to the women in the audience he dedicated the theme “Capricho” from his record “Abolengo”, which he originally composed for his wife, and which he played beautifully. “Tradición y Duende” was the name of the show with which the man from Jerez got the audience to their feet. The previous day at the press conference, Cepero pointed out that Jerez is a tough audience, but it was clear the guitarist was right at home and feeling good.
The show began with some good dancers who reappeared throughout the show, because the concept is still popular that a guitar concert of only guitar is not enough. And with someone of Cepero's stature, it would have been enough just to see him move his prodigious fingers, tracing the history of flamenco guitar-playing of which he forms a part. He brought a wonderful violinist, Sophia Quarenghi, in addition to Chicharito on guitar, and two fabulous guitarists, Paco León and Miguel Salado. It's hard to understand why, with those two great guitarists on hand, why the violinist had a solo, and not the young guitarists who played a secondary role backing up the maestro.
Cepero was more generous with Rancapino Chico whom he accompanied in a nana that sliced through the air, and which even the guitarist applauded enthusiastically. Rancapino sang some bulerías, but with little shading. To end, a fiesta finale and final medley of pieces with lots of flavor, including Cepero's “Esta Cobardía” popularized by Chiquetete. The evening ended with the entire audience standing to pay tribute to the maestro who, with a career of 50 years under his belt, worked hard to be worthy of this tribute in his own backyard.