THE JOSÉ CARBÓ TRIO
Images by Will Perez Ronderos
In a unique and exciting collaboration, Australia’s premier baritone José Carbó joins forces with spectacular emerging classical guitarists Andrew Blanch and Ariel Nurhadi to form The José Carbó Trio.
Their debut recital L’Heure Exquise (The Exquisite Hour), named after Reynaldo Hahn’s masterpiece, features music by Schubert, Faure, Debussy, Verdi and more, reimagined by the trio for the colourful and original musical setting of voice and two guitars.
The Trio first appeared together at Canberra’s 2015 Voices in the Forest, after which Carbó invited the guitarists to collaborate on classical works long close to his heart that, for the most part, had never been heard with a guitar
During their 2018 Australian Tour, the Trio completed a successful fundraising campaign, and are currently in the process of recording their debut album. In 2019 the Trio performed at Art Song Canberra and have been regularly recording and working on their debut album. Stay connected to José's social media for regular updates about the recording to be released in 2020.
For upcoming tour dates click here.
To listen to excerpts from the trio live in performance, listen below. Click 'Listen in browser' if prompted.
"The combination is unique and the quality is such that the three could be placed on a stage anywhere in the world and receive ovations of delight."
"The program finished with José Carbó singing ‘Cortigiani vil razza dannata’ from Verdi’s Rigoletto His powerful voice and acting ability demonstrated why he is one of Australia’s foremost opera singers. Although normally sung with a full orchestra, the accompaniment arranged by the trio for guitar was fascinating and honoured Verdi’s original work."
"Carbó’s and the guitarists’ relaxed manner and interaction with the audience gave the concert a welcome intimacy."
“They have been working hard over the past four years translating instrumental music to guitar and the end results are a form of perfection.”
"Not only is José Carbó one of Australia’s current great operatic talents but he is also one of the most personable and his stage patter makes audiences instantly warm to him. As he sings, even though seated and holding a microphone, his body language and facial expressions add visceral strength to his performance."
"A definite highlight was the Schubert Erlkönig arrangement for the trio. With strong guitar playing and balance with the rich baritone, this dramatic piece was loudly applauded."
"A quote often attributed to Chopin comes to mind – “Nothing is more beautiful than a guitar, save perhaps two.” Add to these the voice of Carbó and you have a sound that is quite thrilling."
"For his final bracket, Carbó performed an ethereally beautiful and sublimely controlled rendition of L’Heure Exquise which contrasted with the dramatic and red-blooded Ideale by Tosti. Building to a thrilling climax, Carbó dispensed with amplification to demonstrate the awesome beauty of his voice in full Verdian operatic flight with Cortigiani vil razza dannata from Rigoletto."
"Jose's voice was both rich and powerful, delicate and gentle, while the guitars blended to support and compliment the emotion of the pieces. The craftsmanship of the guitar-playing seemed effortless and intricate, while Jose's intense baritone voice explored a diverse range of gentle emotive top notes to forceful and demanding thrusts of classic operatic baritone."
"The flagship song and truly divine performance of Hahn's L'Heure Exquise is Jose's personal favourite, and his handling of the lilting and evocative top notes was nothing short of magnificent. The grand finale, Verdi's Cortigiani vil razza dannata from Rigoletto was the most challenging piece for the two young guitarists, and, according to Jose, has never before been performed on guitar. The young artists handled it with expertise and aplomb."
"There was great rapport between the trio and some dazzling guitar playing."