ANNA BOLENA RETURNS TO TEATRO MUNICIPALE PIACENZA

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by Opera Charm Team
February 14, 2024

Anna Bolena by Gaetano Donizetti

FEB 16 | 18

For the opera season of the Teatro Municipal Piacenza

Musical direction | Diego Fasolis

Direction | Carmelo Rifici

Protagonists Carmela Remigio, Arianna Vendittelli, Simone Alberghini, Ruzil Gatin, Paola Gardina.

Thursday 15 February at 6 pm in the foyer of the municipal theatre Aperi Opera returns with the students of the Liceo Respighi di Piacenza.

BIOGRAPHY

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INTERVIEW

The second title of Teatro Municipal Piacenza’s Opera Season, Gaetano Donizetti’s Anna Bolena will be staged on Friday 16 (8pm) and Sunday 18 February (3.30pm). The opera tragedy in two acts, on a libretto by Felice Romani, will be conducted by Diego Fasolis and directed by Carmelo Rifici. The prestigious cast features Carmela Remigio as Anna Bolena – winner of the 2016 Abbiati Prize for the role of Donizetti’s queen – Arianna Vendittelli (Giovanna Seymour), Ruzil Gatin (Lord Riccardo Percy), Paola Gardina (Smeton), Simone Alberghini (Henry VIII), Luigi De Donato (Lord Rochefort) and Marcello Nardis (Sir Hervey). On stage the Claudio Merulo Choir of Reggio Emilia directed by Martino Faggiani. The sets are by Guido Buganza, costumes by Margherita Baldoni, lights by Alessandro Verazzi. The opera is a co-production of LAC Lugano Arte e Cultura, Fondazione I Teatri di Reggio Emilia, Fondazione Teatri di Piacenza, Fondazione Teatro Comunale di Modena, Associazione “I Barocchisti”.
Diego Fasolis at the helm of I Classicisti, a direct emanation of I Barocchisti, chooses to bring this milestone of 19th-century romanticism back to life in its purest form, with painstaking philological research: all the cuts are reopened for a total of almost four hours of music, tuning forks at 430 Hz and period instruments.

Anna Bolena represents one of the highest peaks of Donizetti’s operatic production and of romantic opera in general. Inspired by the drama Henri VIII by Marie-Joseph Blaise de Chénier, it debuted at the Teatro Carcano in Milan on 26 December 1830 to extraordinary success. Donizetti composed it on the spur of the moment, in just thirty days, for the soprano who was to star in it, Giuditta Pasta. Despite its initial success, the opera gradually disappeared from the repertoire until, in 1957 at La Scala, Maria Callas gave it a real second life thanks to a memorable performance, in a production conducted by Gianandrea Gavazzeni and directed by Luchino Visconti. In this production, Anna is the true dramatic fulcrum of the entire opera, a character endowed with great expressive force. A characteristic that, together with the psychological precision of the characters, the dramatic capacity of the duets, and the introspection, so timely in the journey that leads Boleyn to her death, make this opera almost unique.

Carmelo Rifici, who directed the opera, explains: ‘Listening to the opera, it was impossible for me to renounce a dynamic image of the performance. The music itself seems to transport you into a world where everything moves, non-stop; despite the long duets, indeed precisely because of the length of the sections of the score, the director is able to penetrate the mental and spiritual labyrinths of the characters. The inner and narrative plots move together. The feeling that lingers with every listening is precisely this: the drama moves menacingly towards Anna’. And so scenographer Guido Buganza places the work on a revolving device with a sober design, but made up of sliding wings, secret passages, and retractable doors. Continuing in the director’s notes, Rifici explains that ‘This eternal movement, this unstoppable force, so subtly amplified by a tragic chorus that sentimentally accompanies the tragedy to its ominous consequences, made me imagine a threatening and tumultuous stage space, which prevents the characters from finding protection or comfort. (…) The space is not reassuring, but changing, labyrinthine; it leads the characters to perdition and bewilderment. At the same time, it is not a realistic space, but a space of the soul: the rooms the characters pass through are interior rooms, opening doors to their fears, to their most brutal impulses. This is why I avoided overly realistic details, preferring, on the contrary, to imagine symbolic and artistic objects and furnishings, capable of containing the brutal force of the drama, but also of bringing to life the sentimental need of the characters, their need for love’.

Presenting the opera on Thursday 15 February at 6 p.m. in the foyer of the Municipal Theatre will be the students of Piacenza’s Liceo Respighi, thanks to the Aperi Opera project, under the guidance of teachers Elena Metti and Arianna Gazzola. Between acting and music, the protagonists will be students Emma Agosti, Michele Baldrighi, Mattia Barella, Matilde Braghieri, Emma Bricchi, Angelo Caronia, Rebecca Chiesa, Christopher Crescimanna, Veronica Fulcini, Adem Gaddour, Nathaly Gaggioli, Laura Maggi, Isacco Marchesi, Amy Mazzocchi, Sofia Moglia, Giada Rolleri, Laura Tosi. At the piano, Maestro Corrado Pozzoli, with the participation of the Liceo Respighi Choir prepared by Ilaria Italia. Admission is free.

Information: Municipal Theatre Box Office: tel. 0523 385720/21 – biglietteria@teatripiacenza.it, www.teatripiacenza.it

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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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