Carmen Linares: “The most important thing for a cantaora is to convey and touch people’s hearts”

Cantaora Carmen Linares (Linares, Jaén 1951) is honored with the Princess of Asturias Art Award, which she shares with bailaora María Pagés. Before leaving for Asturias, Linares answered this newspaper by telephone.

-You received an award a few days ago. National Dance Award to Ana Morales

–Yes and Andrés Marín. I’m so glad I know them both: I’ve worked with them and they’re friends and great artists.

–If we add this award to the “Princess of Asturias” that you shared with María Pagés, isn’t it a very important double commendation for the world of flamenco?

-Of course, of course. I am happy to share “Princesa” with María Pagés and it is a nice coincidence that the National Dance Award was given to two flamenco artists I admire and love. Personally, I was very surprised when they called to give me the news that they had awarded me the “Princess of Asturias” because I wasn’t expecting it. Other times I didn’t even know I was nominated. I am very happy that flamenco, an art that deserves to be there, is recognized in these very important awards, not only because it means recognition of my career and my profession. Double joy for what it stands for and flamenco being given the place it deserves.

–And it’s been a long time since he’s been back: Paco de Lucía, the other award-winning flamenco artist, took him back in 2004.

-It was a great pleasure. Paco is the best, an artist who made flamenco his flag. As if they gave it to all of us, the award ceremony was very exciting. I see the awards every year because it’s an act that I love very much, but it was very, very exciting.

– Have you ever dreamed of getting the same award at Campoamor?

-The truth is, no. It looks like the ban has been broken, we’re already three award-winning artists and I hope flamenco continues to be there because there are great artists.

One of those great artists, Manolo Sanlúcar, passed away this summer.

– Think about it, Manolo Sanlúcar would have deserved this award. Also Morente, Camarón… many people who are no longer here and deserve it, artists who fought hard to glorify flamenco and do a great job. “Princess” isn’t rewarded posthumously, is it?


-What a pity! I had a very special relationship with Manolo Sanlúcar, we worked together, we recorded an album together. A huge loss for all of us.

– “Tauromagia” is one of the biggest milestones in the world. Flemishdoesn’t he believe?

-Yes. “Tauromagia” is not only Manolo’s excellent album, but also one of flamenco’s “hits” combined into one great piece. Manolo paid great attention to his discography. He did things like “Medea”, symphonic works… Manolo was a unique artist, a flamenco genius. Your art.

– Celebrating 40 years on stage but more in reality, right?

-Yeah yeah. It’s the name of a show we premiered before the pandemic. We did a few shows and limited ourselves. I celebrate forty years as a soloist, but before that I spent ten years singing for dance. I have been singing professionally for fifty years. In that decade of singing for dance, I learned a lot in every sense: acting, performing, working with dancers… Those forty years were when I decided to start singing, but yes, forty more. like fifty.

– At the age of fifteen or twenty, do you perceive the change in your voice more than at that initial stage?

– Sure, a lot. The sound is clearly changing and molding and shaping. And it also takes on personality, because you already take on personality: as an adult you sing with other knowledge or knowing what you want. Your personality and your voice are united, like that over the years. It is changing. His voice gets deeper over the years, but you still have nuances and more knowledge. You express yourself and sing in a different way. Different. The important thing is to convey, convey and reach people’s hearts. Now I reach people with my age, and I reached them when I was thirty. It reaches the hearts of the people when you say everything you want to convey and give. This is the most important.

– We were talking about the National Dance Award and the “Princess of Asturias”. They also coincide with an important anniversary: ​​the centenary of the Granada Cante Jondo competition.

Yes, it’s a nice coincidence. I guess something must have had an effect, because celebrating the centennial of a competition that is so important to flamenco… I guess things don’t just happen by themselves, maybe it had an effect, like an awakening. Search about this important art. But the truth is, between one thing and the other, this is a year of cante jondo celebration. There was a lot of action in Granada, we had cante jondo shows at Generalife all summer long. It is very meaningful that this coincides with our claim for the two awards, the National Dance and the “Princess of Asturias”. I think so, this is our year and hopefully not just this year. Flamenco is a great art, it’s so wonderful.

– Would you like to sing with Diego “el Tenazas”, the winner of that competition?

-Of course! I would love to meet everyone who participated in that competition in Granada. But if I had met “Tenazas”, I would not have met Camarón, Morente, Manolo Sanlúcar, Paco de Lucia… I would like to see him in my own time, because I am very happy with the times I live and with the artists I come across. But I would love to listen to those teachers. Yes, I listened to (Antonio) Chacón and saw Pastora (Imperio), because there are recordings. But it is difficult.

– Have you always wanted to be a singer or did you have another profession as a child?

-I’ve been singing ever since I remember existing because my father was very fond of flamenco and guitar. He was playing as an amateur and when he got home he would pick up his guitar and start singing. When I was five or six years old, I used to sing Christmas carols with my father that I heard on the radio. There has always been music in my life. As a kid, I had a normal life singing in a competition. But my father nurtured this profession: he always told me that God gave me a gift, “How beautifully you sing!” he told me he has always been very supportive of me.

–Can you elaborate on your show with María Pagés during Awards Week?

There is one thing in common that is poetry. María’s path and mine have the same look, we came together to share this look and the same concept, I think we are very similar and it will be a beautiful show with both musicians playing together. I hope the public will like it, we are very excited.

-Flamenco is loved by people from all over Spain, but it can also move a Japanese with a lot of fans. What is limitless in this art?

-When an art has that quality and expressionism, that musicality, that passion that flamenco has, and when it is made with the technique and heart that flamenco has, it reaches people, even if they are from another race or another culture. , because our hearts are all in the same place. And I’m talking about all flamenco here: guitar, dance and cante. I don’t understand opera, but an aria can move me because I have that sensitivity necessary to understand art and music. That’s why they really like flamenco in a country different from ours like Japan. They are mysterious, but they show that music and art are universal. It is the same in other arts: if you see a painting that moves you, it touches your heart, no matter where it is. This is the greatness of art.

Source: Informacion


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