Don Carlo by Giuseppe Verdi at Teatro Municipale di Piacenza

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by OPERA Charm Team
November 7, 2023

On the podium, M° Jordi Bernàcer, in a production by Joseph Franconi-Lee.
In the cast, Michele Pertusi, Piero Pretti, Anna Pirozzi, Ernesto Petti and Teresa Romano. Performances on November 10th and 12th.

BIOGRAPHY

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INTERVIEW

It will be Giuseppe Verdi’s Don Carlo, on stage Friday, November 10th, at 8.00 p.m. and Sunday, November 12th, at 3.30 p.m., to conclude the 2022/2023 Opera Season of the Municipal Theatre of Piacenza.
The show, realised in co-production with Fondazione Teatro Comunale di Modena, Fondazione I Teatri di Reggio Emilia and Teatro Galli di Rimini, reprises a staging created on the occasion of Verdi’s bicentenary, reproposed this time in the “Milan version” in four acts. The cast, with artists of absolute international prestige, is made up of Michele Pertusi (Filippo II), Piero Pretti (Don Carlo), Anna Pirozzi (Elisabetta di Valois), Teresa Romano (La principessa Eboli), Ernesto Petti (Rodrigo), Ramaz Chikviladze (Il Grande Inquisitore), Andrea Pellegrini (Un frate), Michela Antenucci (Tebaldo and Una voce dal cielo) and Andrea Galli (Il Conte di Lerma, Un araldo reale).
The musical direction of the performance is entrusted to Jordi Bernàcer, conducting the Orchestra dell’Emilia-Romagna Arturo Toscanini and the Coro Lirico di Modena prepared by Giovanni Farina. The production is by Joseph Franconi-Lee, with sets and costumes by Alessandro Ciammarughi and lighting by Claudio Schmid.

Don Carlo debuted in a French version at the Opéra in Paris in 1867. The opera, Verdi’s longest and most ambitious, is a dark and passionate epic of Spain at the height of the Inquisition and takes a profound look at the intertwining of the personal and political spheres of the protagonists. The disputed love between King Philip II of Spain and his son Don Carlos for the same woman, Elisabeth of Valois, is overlaid by the relationship between the reasons of state and the church, represented by the Grand Inquisitor.

“One of the aspects that I find most fascinating in Don Carlo,” says Jordi Bernàcer, “is the overlapping of so many conflicts that develop in parallel throughout the opera. The fight for freedom against political and religious oppression, absolutism against liberalism, the balance of power of the church with the state, love against the reasons of state, the bright France and its memory through the rest of the opera against the dark and oppressive imperial and inquisitorial Spain”.
“The opera, in a rather extraordinary way,” adds director Joseph Franconi-Lee, “is a kind of corollary of the deepest human passions and feelings, all palpable through Verdi’s music. Freedom, oppression, love, friendship, the inability to communicate, are all elements at the heart of the opera that, as in all Verdi’s operas, effectively pass through the music and constitute the beauty of Don Carlo’.

Preceding the second performance of the opera, on Sunday, November 12th at 11 a.m. in the Ridotto of the theatre, is the presentation of the book Casa Ricordi. Una storia italiana by Francesco Lodola, as part of the LibrinScena review. The author will be present in dialogue with Patrizia Bernelich; the meeting is free admission.Ricordi has become an institution in the world of music and preserves the musical history of our country in its archives and collections. In this essay, Francesco Lodola, an opera connoisseur and animator of various initiatives in Italian theatres, reconstructs a fascinating history, from the battles for the recognition of copyright to the modernisation of production processes, from the correspondence with the great composers – Rossini, Bellini, Verdi – to the performances at La Scala and in the other temples of Italian music.

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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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