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The history of the Festival della Valle d’Itria

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″Norma″, 1977

The festival’s success was helped by its staging of works such as Rossini’s Tancredi (in 1976, even before the Rossini Renaissance which characterised subsequent decades) and the original version of Bellini’s Norma, with the protagonist’s voice in a darker timbre than that of the young Adalgisa.

From 1980, under the presidency of Franco Punzi and artistic direction of Rodolfo Celletti – a leading voice specialist – the festival reaffirmed its original identity as a re-evaluation of the bel canto repertoire (from Monteverdi to early Romanticism) and the Neapolitan School, whose greatest stars were Puglia-born composers, without neglecting the vast European repertoire and, in particular, the appreciation of Italian bel canto elements in the work of non-Italian composers. Emblematic examples of operas included  Adelaide di Borgogna and Semiramide by Rossini, L’incoronazione di Poppea by Monteverdi, Giulio Cesare by Handel and Fra Diavolo by Auber.

With Sergio Segalini as artistic director from 1994 to 2009, the festival further developed the international flavour of its repertoire choices, beginning with Cherubini’s Medée in the original French with spoken dialogue, followed by masterpieces such as Meyerbeer’s Robert le diable, La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein by Offenbach, and the French version of Salomé by Richard Strauss.

Alberto Triola took the helm as artistic director of the festival in 2010, and refocused attention on the bel canto repertoire in Baroque opera, while also planning to extend the festival’s horizons to include twentieth century and contemporary works. The choice of titles in the two-year period 2010-11 is telling: : Gianni di Parigi by Donizetti and Aureliano in Palmira by Rossini, RodelindaRegina de’Longobardi by Handel and Il Novello Giasone by Cavalli and Stradella, Napoli Milionaria! by Rota and de Filippo, Der Ring des Polykrates (Korngold) – Das Geheime Königreich (Krenek), Orfeo by Luigi Rossi and Daniela Terranova, Nur by Marco Taralli, Zaira by Bellini, Artaserse by Hasse, Crispino e la Comare by the Ricci brothers, Maria di Venosa by Francesco d’Avalos and Giovann ad’arco by Verdi.

The festival’s productions stand out for the authenticity of their librettos (often unabridged) and their respect for voice types, in keeping with the scores and the original performances. The festival has contributed to the establishment of artists who would go on to write the history books, such as Mariella DeviaMartine DupuyPaolo ConiDaniela DessìPatrizia CiofiFabio Luisi and Renato Palumbo, to name but a few. Since 1975, more than one hundred operas have been presented in the Festival della Valle d’Itria. Among other achievements, it should be remembered that over the years the festival has been awarded the sought-after Premio Abbiati nine times by the national association of Italian music critics; it is also a member of numerous major associations including the EFFE [Europe for Festivals – Festivals for Europe], the CIDIM [Comitato Nazionale Italiano Musica] and Italiafestival, of which it is a founding member.

″Re pastore″, 2008

″Il novello Giasone″, 2011

″Artaserse″, 2012

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24
Jul

Griselda

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Music by Alessandro Scarlatti, opera drama in three acts by Apostolo Zeno

25
Jul

Concerto del Mare

25 July H 21:00

Angela Meade soprano and Carmen Santoro piano. Music by Wagner, Verdi, Korngold, Meyerbeer, Bellini

26
Jul

Concerto per lo spirito

26 July H 21:00

Raffaele Pe countertenor, Giulio Prandi conductor, Coro Ghislieri e La Lira d'Orfeo. Music by Alessandro Scarlatti e Nicola Porpora

27
Jul

Il canto degli ulivi

27 July H 21:00

Marianna Pizzolato mezzo-soprano and Daniela Pellegrino piano. Music by Giordani, Caldara, Rossini, Gariboldi, Bellini

28
Jul

Il canto degli ulivi

28 July H 21:00

Veronica Simeoni mezzo-soprano and Vincenzo Rana piano. Music by Gluck, Berlioz, Sgambati, Gounod, Strauss, Mahler

29
Jul

Griselda

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Music by Alessandro Scarlatti, opera drama in three acts by Apostolo Zeno

30
Jul

L’Angelica

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Music by Antonio Porpora, serenata for six voices and musical instruments on a text by Pietro Metastasio

31
Jul

La Creazione

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Music by Franz Joseph Haydn Oratorio. Libretto by Gottfried van Swieten Hob. XXI:2 
Italian version by Dario Del Corno revised by Filippo Del Corno Scenic version

01
Aug

Griselda

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Music by Alessandro Scarlatti, opera drama in three acts by Apostolo Zeno

02
Aug

Concerto di Belcanto

2 August H 21:00

Lisette Oropesa soprano, Corrado Rovaris conductor and Orchestra del Teatro Petruzzelli. Music by Rossini, Thomas, Massenet, Donizetti, Gounod, Gimenez, Barbieri, Chapí, Bellini, Verdi

03
Aug

L’Angelica

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Music by Antonio Porpora, serenata for six voices and musical instruments on a text by Pietro Metastasio

04
Aug

Winterreise

4 August H 21:00

Musica by Franz Schubert. Lieder Cycle op. 89 D911. Poems by Wilhelm Müller. Scenic version. Markus Werba baritone, Michele Gamba piano, Libero Stelluti director and scenes, Gianni Bertoli light designer, Fattoria Vittadini

05
Aug

1921: Caruso Piazzolla

5 August H 21:00

On the centenary of the death of Enrico Caruso and the birth of Astor Piazzolla. Joseph Calleja tenor, Mario Stefano Pietrodarchi bandoneón, Gianluca Marcianò conductor, Orchestra della Magna Grecia. Music by Bizet, Rota, Verdi, Piazzolla, Cilea, Puccini

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