Operas 2021

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47th Festival della Valle d’Itria

17th July – 4th August 2021

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.

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 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.

Fabio Luisi conductor
Fabio Ceresa director

Franz Joseph Haydn (Rohrau 1732 – Vienna 1809), demiurge of the so-called “Wiener Klassik” from whom all composers at least up to Brahms took inspiration for their symphonies and chamber works, also wrote a few oratorios. Die Schöpfung is an oratorio in three parts, with libretto by Baron Gottfried van Swieten (in whose circles some of the best musicians in Vienna, including Mozart, were introduced to Bach’s music). It was inspired by Milton’s Paradise Lost, and is rich in symphonic passages. Since the 19th century it is customary to perform the work also in Italian, in the adaptation by Giovanni Simone Mayr, and here in Martina Franca with the translation by philologist Dario Del Corno, already staged in Martina Franca in 1988 and now revised by his son Filippo, composer.

George Petrou conductor
Rosetta Cucchi director

Alessandro Scarlatti (Palermo 1660 – Naples 1725) is the father of music drama and of da capo aria (not to mention of Domenico, the cusp of Baroque keyboard creativity). He composed La Griselda with libretto by Apostolo Zeno, re-worked by an anonymous author – possibly the dedicatee Francesco Maria Ruspoli – and based on the final tale of Boccaccio’d Decameron (set between Sicily and Apulia). It was a very successful text, set to music by a number of composers: from Albinoni to Paër and Massenet. The opera was staged in 1721 in Rome’s Teatro Capranica with a cast of acclaimed castratos including Antonio Bernacchi, Giacinto Fontana known as “Il farfallino”, and Giovanni Carestini.

 

Nicola Porpora (Naples 1686-1768) contributed decisively to the distribution and success of Neapolitan opera in Austria and Germany. He was a great connoisseur of all the secrets of vocal virtuosity; among his works features L’Angelica, serenata (a dramatic cantata usually performed in the open air), with libretto by Pietro Metastasio inspired by the poetry of Ariosto and Boiardo. It was performed for the first time in Naples in 1720 at the palace of the Prince of Torella, on the occasion of the birthday celebrations of Empress Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick. It was then that Porpora’s most famous pupil, then fifteen years old, made his debut: Carlo Broschi, better known as Farinelli.

 

Among the immense repertoire of Franz Schubert (Vienna 1797-1828), maestro of disquietude and of the poetics which saw the decline of Classicism, Winterreise is the most-performed and celebrated series of Lieder (works for voice and piano, sung in German, in this case with words by Wilhelm Müller). This is also due to its narrative organicity, which has inspired several interpretations, to infuse and complement the score and piano-voice duet with imaginative inspirations and dramatic, scenic, and choreographic suggestions.

Fabio Luisi, direttore
Fabio Ceresa, regia

Franz Josef Haydn (Rohrau 1732 – Vienna 1809), demiurgo della cosiddetta “Wiener Klassik” sul cui modello sinfonico e cameristico si sono basati tutti i compositori fino almeno a Brahms, produsse anche alcuni oratori. Die Schöpfung è un oratorio su libretto del barone Gottfried van Swieten (nella cui cerchia i migliori musicisti attivi a Vienna, Mozart compreso, vennero introdotti alla musica di Bach) e ispirato al Paradise Lostdi Milton e ricco di passaggi sinfonici. Sin dall’Ottocento è consueto eseguire la partitura anche in italiano, sia nell’adattamento che ne fece Giovanni Simone Mayr, sia nella traduzione del grecista Dario Del Corno, già eseguita a Martina Franca nel 1988 e ora rivista dal figlio Filippo, compositore XXXXXXX.

Fabio Luisi, direttore
Fabio Ceresa, regia

Franz Josef Haydn (Rohrau 1732 – Vienna 1809), demiurgo della cosiddetta “Wiener Klassik” sul cui modello sinfonico e cameristico si sono basati tutti i compositori fino almeno a Brahms, produsse anche alcuni oratori. Die Schöpfung è un oratorio su libretto del barone Gottfried van Swieten (nella cui cerchia i migliori musicisti attivi a Vienna, Mozart compreso, vennero introdotti alla musica di Bach) e ispirato al Paradise Lostdi Milton e ricco di passaggi sinfonici. Sin dall’Ottocento è consueto eseguire la partitura anche in italiano, sia nell’adattamento che ne fece Giovanni Simone Mayr, sia nella traduzione del grecista Dario Del Corno, già eseguita a Martina Franca nel 1988 e ora rivista dal figlio Filippo, compositore XXXXXXX.