Festival della Valle d’Itria: preview of the operatic titles of the 2020 edition

Festival della Valle d’Itria: preview of the operatic titles of the 2020 edition

The 20th century music, the Opera in Masseria and two rarities of the early 19th century come back

For the first time in the history of the Festival della Valle d’Itria, the current edition closes with the announcement of the operatic titles of next year: a result strongly desired by the Paolo Grassi Foundation, in line with the choices made by the major international festivals and useful for a longer and more widespread promotion of the Apulian event on the tourist markets.

The 46th edition of the Festival will take place in Martina Franca in the usual period between mid-July and beginning of August. The Board of Directors of the Paolo Grassi Foundation, led by President Franco Punzi, approved in recent days the project presented by the artistic director Alberto Triola which was confirmed also for 2020 in the role together with the musical director Fabio Luisi.

The operatic titles that will be stages in 2020 will be: Gli amanti sposi by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, La rappresaglia by Saverio Mercadante and Leonora by Ferdinando PaërA choice in line with the decades-long artistic project of the Festival, between rarities and rediscoveries, with the return of a twentieth-century historical title never seen again in the contemporary age, and two nineteenth-century rarities. These titles will also be accompanied by interludes of the Neapolitan School, destined for the successful “Opera in masseria” initiative and selected from the critical editions prepared by the University of Milan.

« The Martinese festival – president Franco Punzi says – is heading towards the half century of activity, in the sign of the teaching of Paolo Grassi, in search of new perspectives for the dissemination and enhancement of music and opera. Rarity and scientific research, new talents and masters of reference characterize our choices in continuity and perennial renewal, according to a formula that also in 2019 brought to Martina Franca a qualified international audience and the major names of Italian and foreign critics».

The operas scheduled at Palazzo Ducale for 2020

Gli amanti sposi, a playful opera in three acts to a libretto by Giovacchino Forzano, it was staged at the Fenice in 1925 and is among the least known works of the Venetian composer Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari (1876-1948). The author embodies the Italian opera model which, at the beginning of the twentieth century, shows confidence in hypotheses of eclecticism however based on tradition: in this case the libretto of Goldoni matrix (Il ventaglio) and a clear musical writing that seems to be affected by the Rossini lesson.

La rappresaglia, a comic opera of the Apulian composer Saverio Mercadante (1795-1870) to a libretto rewritten by Cesare Sterbini and Felice Romani, performed for the first time at Cadice in 1829, is proposed in first performance in contemporary age following the critical edition by Francesco Lora and Elisabetta Pasquini , on the 150th anniversary of the death of the composer from Altamura. The score illustrates the ties of Mercadante with the Neapolitan school and it can be considered as a brilliant example of reception of the Rossinian funny style, with explicit references to the Barbiere di Siviglia and Cenerentola, conceived by Mercadante for the Spanish public wishing to know the novelties of the Italian opera.

The choice of Leonora, semi-serious melodrama of Ferdinand Paër (1771-1839), is linked to the 250th anniversary of the death of Ludwig van Beethoven: the native composer of Parma, in fact, with his Leonora of 1804, just precedes the Fidelio Beethovenian of which he shares the cue. The opera was successful on the European stages of the time (from Dresden to Paris from Florence to Palermo) due to a freshness of writing that many, from nineteenth-century commentators to the criticism of the following century, have always recognized.