The 47th edition of the Festival della Valle d’Itria will take place in Martina Franca during the customary summer period, from the 17th July to the 4th August 2021. The programme – drawn up by Artistic Director Alberto Triola together with Music Director Fabio Luisi – leads us through the Neapolitan Baroque of Alessandro Scarlatti and Nicola Porpora – which caught on Europe-wide also thanks to the vocal stardom of Farinelli and his rivals – and all the way to the Viennese Classicism of Haydn, and ultimately Schubert.
«After the successes of the 2020 edition – notes President Franco Punzi – which took place last summer even when many other festivals had had to cancel their performances, we wish to look to the future with the optimism which has accompanied and characterised us for almost half a century now. It is our duty to proceed with caution, but the inauguration of the programme for the 2021 edition of our festival marks one of Europe’s key musical appointments, as well as an unmissable opportunity for our territory».
For the first time Fabio Luisi will star in the opening night of the 47th edition, on the 17 July in Martina Franca’s Palazzo Ducale, with Franz Joseph Haydn’s Die Schöpfung (1798), in a version in Italian written for our Festival in 1988 (when Fabio Luisi also directed it) by celebrated philologist Dario Del Corno. This new edition is revised by his son Filippo (composer, and currently Councillor for Culture of the City of Milan), who has worked on lexicon and metre to endow the text with greater adherence to the dramatic and music structure for the 2021 performance, directed by Fabio Ceresa with scenes by Tiziano Santi, both well-known and much-loved artists here in Martina Franca. This opening performance marks once again a collaboration with the Fondazione Teatro Petruzzelli di Bari, and its Orchestra. «The plan of the Festival della Valle d’Itria 2021 to stage Haydn’s oratorio Die Schöpfung – stresses Music Director Fabio Luisi – is extremely interesting, and bold in its intention to sustain the music with dramatic visuals. This is the very DNA of this Festival, which has always connected the Italian Belcanto repertoire with the European experiences deriving from it. We know that Haydn’s operas lacked dramatisation, in spite of often being musically flamboyant. Since it is not strictly connected to a theatrical form of drama, but rather to a pre-existing biblical-historical form, Die Schöpfung lends itself to the exploration of a Mediterranean vocality, more adequate for the Habsburg and Middle-European music scenario. Furthermore this project, from a personal point of view, brings me back to the first years of my conducting career, when here in Martina Franca I had the privilege, under the artistic direction of Rodolfo Celletti, of grappling with this masterpiece brought to life, yesterday like today, thanks to our request».
The second title on the bill is La Griselda, opera seria in three acts by Alessandro Scarlatti with libretto by Apostolo Zeno (from the last homonymous tale in Boccaccio’s Decameron), three hundred years from the 1721 Rome debut at the Teatro Capranica with a cast of celebrated castratos such as Antonio Bernacchi, Giacinto Fontana known as “Il farfallino”, and Giovanni Carestini. The choice of staging Scarlatti follows our festival’s tradition, being one of the unmissable summer music events for all enthusiasts of ancient music and rare repertoires. The director of this new staging of the work is Rosetta Cucchi; scenes are by Santi – so as to conceive two different set-ups in the same space – and the conductor is George Petrou, specialist of the Baroque repertoire and acclaimed guest in our festival two years ago.
We have other two true gems of the Baroque and Classical repertoire, staged in scenic form: the serenata for 6 voices L’Angelica by Neapolitan Nicola Porpora, with words by Metastasio from the Orlando Furioso (1720 – Mnemes ed. by Gaetano Pitarresi), and Winterreise by Franz Schubert (1827), a series of Lieder on 24 poems by Wilhelm Müller.
Further details, the complete programme with the much-loved appointments in our local masserie, the artists involved, and ticket sale info will be disclosed over the next few months, as soon as we have clear instructions about the rules and regulations for live performances in relation to the current global medical emergency.