Festival della Valle d’Itria: it’s an OK for the 46th edition, to be held from the 14th July to the 2nd August 2020, with a revised programme inspired by Strauss

Festival della Valle d’Itria: it’s an OK for the 46th edition, to be held from the 14th July to the 2nd August 2020, with a revised programme inspired by Strauss

On the 14thJuly Martina Franca will open its doors with Il borghese gentiluomo conducted by Michele Spotti Arianna a Nasso is conducted by music director Fabio Luisi

Confirming our yearly event is a sign that things are picking up for the local economy, and for the workers in the fields of theatre and the performing arts

The 2020 edition of the Festival della Valle d’Itria is confirmed: from the 14thJuly to the 2ndAugust, once again the summer of Martina Franca will have its key moment in the field of shows and festivals – as has been for the past 46 years. After months of doubt, apprehension and great attention by festival directors as a consequence of the Covid-19 emergency, the Committee of the Fondazione Paolo Grassi – the promoting foundation behind the festival led by President Franco Punzi – has approved the revisitation of the programme, presented by artistic director Alberto Triola and music director Fabio Luisi.

The courtyard of the Palazzo Ducale – re-organised according to current security requirements – will see the staging of two rare works by Richard Strauss: Arianna a Nasso (21, 24, 26 July, and 2 August) conducted by Fabio Luisi, in a new version in Italian of the libretto edited by Quirino Principe and in a semiscenic version by Walter Pagliaro; and also Molière’s commedia Il Borghese gentiluomo rearranged as a monologue, with mise en espace by Davide Gasparro, with music by the Munich composer and conducted by Michele Spotti. He will inaugurate the opening night on the 14th July (with repeats on the 22, 25 July and 1 August). As per original plan, the Orchestra is that of the Teatro Petruzzelli di Bari.

Around the theme of Ariadne, situated between the Baroque world and recuperation of classical culture, we have developed a series of other musical and cultural events which we will present in detail after finalising the details of all the aspects proposed by the new ministerial guidelines, currently being updated daily: from social distancing to the entrance of the audience, from the artists’ travel arrangements to health and safety on the workplace.

Confirming this year’s Festival della Valle d’Itria marks an important signal for the theatre and performing arts sector, which has been one of the worst-affected by the effect of quarantine and self-isolation: the Festival has been able to guarantee collaborations with artists and suppliers, re-activate relationships with workers, and re-fuel the tourism network of Martina Franca and the Valle d’Itria. The festival’s economic repercussion on the activities of the area is always significant, especially for the accommodation sector, restaurants, and commercial activities more broadly. The 46thedition of the Festival will also constitute a push forward to re-ignite national and international tourist and cultural interest for the region as a whole.

The thematically-compact programme for 2020 retains and preserves the festival’s identity, between rarities and research in vocality, and marks a return of Richard Strauss’s works in Martina Franca, after his version of Mozart’s Idomeneostaged in 2006, the French version of Salomein 2007, and his re-arranged version of Gluck’s Iphigenie auf Taurisin 2009. It is a broad artistic project, which will involve the world of prose theatre, following the steps of Paolo Grassi.

The two works we propose in this revisited version for the 46thedition of the Festival della Valle d’Itria– Il borghese gentiluomo, andArianna a Nasso– are the outcomes of Strauss’ collaboration with poet and playwright Hugo von Hofmannsthal. Their debut dates to 1912, in Stuttgart’s Court Theatre, directed by Max Reinhardt with his theatre company, and conducted by the composer himself. They were presented as a unitary project, with the original combination of the subject taken from the comédie-ballet Le bourgeois gentilhomme – with words by Molière and music by Jean-Baptiste Lully – and the myth of Ariadne. These themes are, on a temporal level, very far apart, and this made it possible for the two authors to create the successful connections which brought about Der Rosenkavalier. However, the audience’s reaction towards this work was tepid, and the two pieces were “separated” and revised, thus creating two new successful works. To Ariadne auf Naxoswas added a prologue, and Der Bürger als Edelmann was turned into an orchestra suite (op. 60, 1919). Although in separate evenings, Martina Franca proposes the two works in the original version of 1912.

We would like to remind our readers and audience that the first version of our 2020 calendar included Saverio Mercadante’s La rappresaglia, Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari’sGli amanti sposi, Ferdinando Paër’s Leonora, and Niccolò Piccinni’s intermezzoIl perucchiere. We will soon release information to members of our audience who have already purchased tickets for the operas originally scheduled, and on how to purchase new tickets.