Carmen Monarcha: our contemporary “Diva”

          n a day to day basis she is a simple girl who at the same time is sophisticated and very tender. After all, she has the “Diva’s” DNA and why not accept  it, she is one of them. Of course, being the daughter of Marina Monarcha a true legend of Brazilian “belcanto” and one of the  most respected lyric voices of her time. Carmen Monarcha couldn’t be different, and Thank God she decided to become a singer! If you are not acquainted with her you must know she is as sweet as sugar, firm as a roc and decided as a Puccini’s heroine. Born in the state of Pará, she grew up watching her mother perform in the most important theatres of Brazil until she realized she was in love with all that. As a child, she became interested in the science of instruments and decided to study violin, piano, cello and even had a flirt with classic ballet. But it was in the singing classes with Marina Monarcha that she understood her real passion and what had she been born for in all the colors of the chromatic scale and decided what she really wanted out of life.


She grew up briefly, went through Faculdade de Artes Alcântara Machado, but was soon discovered by Prof. Mya Besselink and departed to Holland, where she is stationed for twelve years. Abroad, she got a degree in 2002 in Solo Singing Performance at the Conservatorium van Hogeschool Maastricht through a Vitae Foundation scholarship. She polished her voice of pure lyric soprano and by now has a consolidated international career (and you will know why) besides being more and more recognized in the Brazilian scenario. Being in the European cultural  “milieu” she took master classes with Barbara Schlik, Elly Emmeling and maestro Ludo Clasen  with whom she performed in a concert at the Nederland Radio.


In Germany she studied under Prof. Monika Hausvater. She was awarded important prizes such as "Concurso Nacional de Canto Irmaos Nobre" (1999), “Concurso Jovens Solistas da Orquestra Petrobras” (2000) and “Concurso Internacional de Canto Bidu Sayão) (2001). The following step was to make her official debut on Brazilian stages and in 1999 won the role of “Contessa di Boissy” in the production of “Lo Schiavo”, opera by Carlos Gomes. From there on she became an habituée of lyrical seasons and Brazilian opera festivals, such as Teatro Municipal de Sâo Paulo; Teatro da Paz (Belém do Pará); Belas Artes (Belo Horizonte); Amazonas (Manaus) and Sala São Paulo which were some of the stages she presented great performances in.


Among  the most famous characters she interpreted,  were Nanetta in Falstaff by Verdi, under the direction of José Possi Neto; Melisande in Pelleas et Melissande by Debussy; Juliette in Romeo and Juliette by Gounod at the Belas Artes Theater in Bogotá/Colombia and at the “Festival Amazonas de Ópera in Manaus,  Liberty, in Ça Ira by Roger Waters, and Rosalinde in “Die Fledermaus” by Johann Strauss. Since 10 years now she is an invited singer of “André Rieu& Johann Strauss Orchestra” touring Europe, North and Latin  America, Mexico, Japan, Corea, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. In 2013 she was Adina in “L'elisir d'amore” by Donizetti at the Theatro da Paz Opera Festival, and was part of the festivities celebrating Vinicius de Morais centenary, singing at Sala São Paulo the premiere of five songs with the poet’s lyrics composed especially for her performance by the well known brazilian composer João Guilherme Ripper.


Do you think that is all? Presently she is head of her own company, the Monarcha Productions, producing her show “These Women”, with music direction by Miguel Briamonte. This show makes more accessible to the public her lyrical repertoire, as well it pays tribute and honors the great classics of national and international references as Judy Garland, Chaplin, Barbra Streisand, Elis Regina, Elizete Cardoso, Villa-Lobos, Puccini and Gershwin. Following her mother's steps, she begins to travel all over Brazil giving Workshops, where she can share with other singers, all the experience she earned after so many years on stage. And I was blessed with writing about her career.


Simões Neto