86th Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Festival

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by Opera Charm Team
May 25, 2024

Scheduled for Thursday 30 and Friday 31 May 2024 at 8 p.m. in the Mehta Hall, the 'Ecstasy Trilogy'.

Three of the most celebrated compositions of the last century and a half:
Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune by Claude Debussy, the Boléro by Maurice Ravel and Le Sacre du printemps by Igor Stravinsky.

Project by Roberto Zappalà for the Compagnia Zappalà Danza.

BIOGRAPHY

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INTERVIEW

The programme of the 86th Maggio Musicale Festival is enriched with the proposal of a dance performance staged in the Mehta Hall on 30 and 31 May at 8 p.m. – The Trilogy of Ecstasy.

The project, devised by Roberto Zappalà with the collaboration of Nello Calabrò, is a major co-production between the Fondazione Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Compagnia Zappalà Danza, Scenario Pubblico, the Centre Chorégraphique National de Rillieux-la-Pape of Lyon, the Theatres of Reggio Emilia, MilanOltre Festival of Milan, the Teatro Massimo Bellini of Catania and in collaboration with the Fondazione Teatri di Piacenza, the Fondazione Ravenna Manifestazioni and the Teatro del Giglio of Lucca.

The protagonist of the two evenings – for which Roberto Zappalà was in charge of direction, choreography, sets, costumes (in collaboration with Veronica Cornacchini) and lights – is the Compagnia Zappalà Danza, making its debut at the Maggio. The dramaturgy is by Nello Calabrò.

The dancers on stage are Samuele Arisci, Faile Sol Bakker, Giulia Berretta, Andrea Rachele Bruno,Corinne Cilia, Filippo Domini, Laura Finocchiaro, Anna Forzutti, William Mazzei, Silvia Rossi, Damiano Scavo, Thomas Sutton, Alessandra Verona and Erik Zarcone.

The performance – which starting from the Teatro del Maggio will in the coming months also touch Milan, Catania, Bolzano, Pesaro, Piacenza, Reggio Emilia, Ravenna and Lucca – is based on three of the most famous compositions of the last century and a half: Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune by Claude Debussy, the Boléro by Maurice Ravel and Le Sacre du printemps by Igor’ Stravinsky. The key to the trilogy is the work on the space, in which a “scenic device” is created that, from time to time, limits, amplifies, and modifies the choreography, curated by Roberto Zappalà and conceived for a single stage set. The three creations, whose common denominator is Zappalà’s clear and ‘wild’ language, are all presented on the same evening. The challenge and the wager of this trilogy is to find a new imagery that without denying the past does not want to modernise but, on the strength of the maturity it has acquired, personalise a world that already has immense evocative power. For Zappalà, the accent in his creations is on human relations, on the relationships between men and women: denied, exalted, violated in a choreographic ‘reflection’ on the drifts of contemporary society.

The project
The project sees Roberto Zappalà tackle three great classical and for him also ‘sacred’ compositions that have marked the choreographic (and also musical) path of the last century. His respect for these works has made him reflect for more than 10 years. Today the time is ripe to stage them. The three creations that have Zappalà’s clear and wild language as their common denominator are Il pomeriggio di un fauno, Boléro and La sagra della primavera. The challenge and the wager of this trilogy in retrospect is to find a new imagery that without denying the past for its own sake does not want to modernise but, on the strength of the maturity it has acquired, personalise a world that already has immense evocative power. In addition to the specific language of the choreographer, the work on space thus becomes important if not fundamental, creating a “scenic device” that, time after time, performance after performance limits, amplifies, modifies, the dance created by the choreographer.

To give an example, the first piece of the trilogy, already performed in study form, in the piano version played by Leonardo Zunica, Debussy’s L’après midi d’un faune, is danced in a confined space, with what this entails in terms of limiting stage and choreographic space. As always for Zappalà, the accent is on human relations, on the relationships between men and women: denied, exalted, violated in a choreographic “reflection” on the drifts of contemporary society.
The first conceptual mobile of the creation, takes its inspiration from a tragic news story that happened during a party in a villa in the Roman countryside at the beginning of 2021 on which is grafted an evocation of the iconic party/ritual sequence in Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut. The reference/homage to Kubrick explicit in the visual layout of Boléro, combines the obsessiveness of Ravel’s melody with a dance where the ritual aspect present in the film is transfigured and enhanced by Zappalà’s visual and choreographic imagery.
A single stage set hosts the creation, a creation that simultaneously encompasses exclusion, courtship and eroticism in L’après midi d’un faune; inclusion, vice, lust in Boléro and finally persecution and sacrifice in Le Sacre du Printemps. To quote the title of one of Lelouch’s films that ends with Ravel/Béjart’s Boléro, it is always a question of dancing with and for ‘the one and the other’.

Zappalà Danza Company
An important company on the Italian scene, for more than 30 years the bearer of Roberto Zappalà’s artistic thought, it is distinguished by the availability of a wide and articulated repertoire, the result of the synergic work of the choreographer, his reference dramaturge Nello Calabrò and the dancers that over the years have allowed the realisation of more than 80 productions, hosted all over the world by theatres and festivals of international importance. Characteristic of the creations is also a rigorous work on the language that has been built up over time, called MoDem.
Among the awards received, the Danza&Danza Prize for “A.semu tutti devoti tutti?” and “LA NONA”.
Since 2002, Compagnia Zappalà Danza has been resident in Catania at Scenario Pubblico, a structure that has allowed the company and the choreographer to broaden and deepen their choreographic research work and to take root in the territory with production, promotion, hospitality, residencies, training and a rich and articulated programme. In 2015 Scenario Pubblico/Compagnia Zappalà Danza was recognised by the MIC as a National Centre of Dance Production, and in 2022 obtained further recognition as a Centre of Relevant National Interest.

Playbill

Zappalà Danza Company

Trilogy of Ecstasy
Après-midi d’un faune | Boléro | Le Sacre du Printemps

Direction, choreography, sets costumes and lights Roberto Zappalà

Claude Debussy, L’après-midi d’un faune
Maurice Ravel, Boléro
Igor Stravinsky, Le Sacre du Printemps
other music AA.VV

Dance and collaboration: Samuele Arisci, Faile Sol Bakker, Giulia Berretta, Andrea Rachele Bruno, Corinne Cilia, Filippo Domini, Laura Finocchiaro, Anna Forzutti, William Mazzei, Silvia Rossi, Damiano Scavo, Thomas Sutton, Alessandra Verona, Erik Zarcone
Dramaturgy: Nello Calabrò
Costumes: Roberto Zappalà in collaboration with Veronica Cornacchini
Costume design: Majoca | Set design Peroni S.p.a.
Goatmask: Giada Russo Art Atelier | Technical direction: Sammy Torrisi | Lighting technician: David Garaffo
Technical assistance: Maka Dansoko, Muthoor Oma

A co-production Scenario Pubblico/CZD Centro di Rilevante Interesse Nazionale per la Danza; Fondazione Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino; Centre Choréographique National de Rillieux-la-Pape (Lyon); Fondazione I Teatri (Reggio Emilia);
MILANoLTRE Festival (Milan); Teatro Massimo Bellini (Catania)
In collaboration with
Fondazione Teatri di Piacenza; Ravenna Manifestazioni Foundation; Teatro del Giglio (Lucca)

With the support of MiC Ministero della Cultura; Regione Siciliana Assessorato del Turismo, dello Sport e dello Spettacolo

Prices

Sector D 15€; Sector C 20€; Sector B 25€; Sector A 30€

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Alice Lechner

Alice Lechner comes from a music-loving family. Her first encounter with the opera universe was at the tender age of six. The grandeur of the stage productions and costumes, the backstage chatter, and last, but definitely not least, the music left her in awe, beginning with Mozart’s Don Giovanni. The overall feeling that opera awakens in anyone who gets a glimpse into this part of artistic eternity, that each and every day passes the test of time, was what drew her to stay and be a part of this world. The Opera House of Brașov became her second home, and the people who worked there were her second family.

Since then, Alice has devoted her spare time to maximising her musical knowledge through instrumental studies, studying both piano and violin for a short time. In the following years, her number one passion stepped out of the limelight and graciously gave way to Law Studies.
Since 2018 she has been studying Law at “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University in Iași.

Her passion for opera, even if it is no longer her top professional priority in terms of career, it has most definitely become her priority during her free time. Wanting to experience the best of both worlds and extend her musical horizons, she regularly attends opera performances throughout Romania and abroad.
With OPERA Charm Magazine, Alice aims to nurture her creative side to help it flourish and bloom and to discover, alongside the magazine’s readers, the fascinatingly complex world of opera.

Currently, she is an LL.M. in Business Law at “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University in Iași.

Oana Zamfir

Oana Zamfir is a second year MA student at the “George Enescu” National University of Arts, at the Department of Musicology.

She studied violin for 12 years at the “Stefan Luchian” High School of Art in Botosani, later focusing on the theoretical aspects of music. In 2019 she completed her bachelor studies in Musicology as a student of the National Academy of Music “Gheorghe Dima” in Cluj-Napoca. Her research during 2018-2019 brought to the forefront elements of the archaic ritual within works of composers who activated during the communist period, giving her the opportunity to start a research internship at the “Carl von Ossietzky” University in Germany. In this context, she recorded conversations with members of the Sophie Drinker Institute in Bremen, and had access to documents directly from the Myriam Marbé archive.

Since 2019 she has been a teacher of Music Education and Theoretical Music Studies, making full use of interactive methods in the musical training of students and working, at the same time, with the children’s choir founded in the first year of her activity.

Her interests include pursuing a degree in interior design in 2020.

Alexandru Suciu

Alexandru Suciu inherited his passion for art growing up in a family of several generations of musicians. He began his musical studies at the “Augustin Bena” School of Music in Cluj, where he studied piano and guitar. Even though his main study direction was philological, his passion for music prevailed. He began his academical journey at the Faculty of Letters of the “Babeș-Bolyai” University, studying Comparative literature and English. He continued by studying Opera Singing at the “Gheorghe Dima” National Music Academy. He also graduated the Musical Education section, followed by Artistic Directing at the Musical Performing Arts department.

His multidisciplinary education opened the doors towards research, which is seen both through his participation in national and international conferences and symposia, such as the Salzburg Easter School PhD-forum, organized by the Salzburg Universität or the Silesian Meeting of Young Scholars, organized by the Institute of English at the University of Silesia, as well as the collaboration with Opera Charm Magazine.

During his student years, he won several prizes, including the Grand Prize at the “Paul Constantinescu” National Musical Interpretation Competition, the Romanian Composers and Musicologists’ Union Prize at the same competition, the First Prize and the Schubert Prize at the “Ada Ulubeanu” Competition.

He further developed his artistic skills by specializing in courses and masterclasses held by personalities such as Vittorio Terranova, Giuseppe Sabbatini, Marian Pop, Ines Salazar, Riccardo Zanellato, Paolo Bosisio, Valentina Farcaș and Manuel Lange in contexts such as the Internationale Sommerakademie für Operngesang Deutschlandsberg, Corso Internazionale di Canto Lirico I.M.C. Licata or the Europäische Akademie für Musik und darstellende Kunst Montepulciano. Besides his activity on-stage, he currently teaches Opera Singing Didactics, and Pedagogical Practice within the Department for Teacher Education and Training at the “Gheorghe Dima” National Music Academy.

Cristina Fieraru

Cristina is a 24 year-old Romanian soprano & a student at the National University of Music Bucharest, where she pursues the MA program in Vocal Performance.

She made her debut in Pamina from “Die Zauberflöte” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at only 19 years old at the Bucharest National Opera House, as a member of the Ludovic Spiess Experimental Opera Studio. Over the years she made her debut in roles such as Contessa d’Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Mimì & Musetta (La Bohème), Alice Ford (Falstaff), Erste Dame (Die Zauberflöte) in her university’s opera productions.
Her passion and experience extends in the field of choral music, too.

She has been part of our dream team since the fall of 2021. For a good period of time she took care of OPERA Charm’s social media and took you on the monthly journey through the history of opera through our Legends rubric – and a few times through the Theaters around the World rubric.

Her little soul rubric – from 2021 to present – is definitely the Conductors of the Future, where, every month, she gives you the chance to meet a young star of the world of conducting and, of course, to find out what’s the most charming feature of opera in these artists’ views.

BIANCA L. NICA

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