PAGLIACCI, IN FRANCO ZEFFIRELLI’S HISTORIC STAGING, CLOSES THE 2023 OPERA SEASON OF THE TEATRO REGIO DI PARMA

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by OPERA Charm Team
April 22, 2023

On the centenary of the Florentine Maestro's birth, Ruggero Leoncavallo's opera is conducted by Andrea Battistoni and directed by Stefano Trespidi. Starring Valeria Sepe, Gregory Kunde, Vladimir Stoyanov, Matteo Mezzaro, Alessandro Luongo.

BIOGRAPHY

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INTERVIEW

In the year of the centenary of Franco Zeffirelli’s birth, Pagliacci, an opera in a prologue and two acts by Ruggero Leoncavallo, will be staged at the Teatro Regio di Parma in the Florentine Maestro’s historic staging, closing the 2023 Opera Season, Friday, May 5th 2023 at 8.00 p.m. (performances on Sunday, May 7th at 8.00 p.m., Friday, May 12th at 8.00 p.m., Sunday, May 14th at 3.30 p.m.). The conductor is Andrea Battistoni, on the podium of the Orchestra dell’Emilia-Romagna Arturo Toscanini, the Choir of the Teatro Regio di Parma, prepared by Martino Faggiani, and the Children’s Choir of the Teatro Regio di Parma, prepared by Massimo Fiocchi Malaspina.

Stefano Trespidi takes the direction, and Carlo Centolavigna the sets by Franco Zeffirelli; costumes are by Raimonda Gaetani, the director’s historic collaborator, and lighting by Andrea Borelli. In the cast are Valeria Sepe (Nedda, in the comedy Colombina), Gregory Kunde (Canio, in the comedy Pagliaccio), Vladimir Stoyanov (making his debut in the role of Tonio, in the comedy Taddeo lo scemo), Matteo Mezzaro (Peppe, in the comedy Arlecchino), Alessandro Luongo (Silvio, peasant).

A veristic opera par excellence along with Cavalleria rusticanaPagliacci made its debut on May 21st, 1892, at the Teatro Dal Verme in Milan under the baton of a young Arturo Toscanini and has never since left the great repertoire. For the libretto, Leoncavallo was inspired by a crime story that really happened in 1865 in Montalto Uffugo, a small Calabrian village where the composer’s father worked as a magistrate for a few years. In this backward and peripheral context, but at the same time colourful and pulsating with vitality, Canio, the leader of an itinerant company, discovers that his wife Nedda is cheating on him, exactly as in the fictional play he was going to stage. The moment he steps onto the stage to play the jealous character, however, he loses his perception of reality and, in a crescendo of obsession and violence, ends up murdering his wife and her lover, to the horror of the audience who only then realise that fiction has become reality.

This extraordinarily sumptuous staging, famous for its multicoloured hues, the richness of the scenes, the number of performers, mimes, acrobats and the liveliness of the costumes, shifts the setting of the story to the 1960s. Franco Zeffirelli explained this choice as follows:

This production of Pagliacci is particularly dear to me and arose from my desire to seek a contemporary interpretation of that masterpiece. I chose a southern suburb, with mopeds, workshops and decay. I wanted to pull Pagliacci even further into the present: it is said to be the masterpiece of Verismo. And I agree. But it is also something more: it is a work in which truth and fiction miraculously merge,
chronicle and art. And so, it is almost an obligation to bring back to the present day the chronological framework in which the story moves. Jealousy and Canio’s passionate murder are everyday news, they are always valid
“.

BEFORE THE CURTAIN RISES

The composer, the style, and the genesis of the opera are some of the themes explored by Giuseppe Martini in Prima che si alzi il si curtain, Saturday, April 29th, 2023, 5 pm., at the Ridotto of the Teatro Regio in Parma, with the participation of sopranos Sara Mihali and He Xinyue, tenor Liang Zhanlong, baritones Lee Chi Hoon and Lee Hosung, students of the Conservatorio di Musica “Arrigo Boito” in Parma, accompanied on piano by Claudia Rondelli, with musical coordination by Donatella Saccardi.

OPEN REHEARSALS & AFTERSHOW

The rehearsals of Pagliacci are open to the public in the days leading up to the debut: crucial moments in which the complex work on stage and behind the scenes finds a fascinating synthesis.

The rehearsal on Sunday, April 30th, 2023, at 6 p.m., is reserved for the under-30 audience. Without prejudice to the possibility of purchasing a ticket for the opera alone at the usual price of € 5.00, young spectators will have the opportunity to end the evening with an aperitif in the rooms of the Ridotto, with a ticket at the cost of € 10.00 including the open rehearsal and the Aftershow. Tickets can be purchased at the box office and online at teatroregioparma.it using the code “PAGLIACCIAFTER” until all 100 seats are available.

The dress rehearsal on Wednesday, May 3rd 2023, at 6 p.m., is open to the public.

BOX OFFICE OF THE TEATRO REGIO DI PARMA

Tickets from €10.00 to €110.00. Reductions of 50% for those under-30s.

Strada Giuseppe Garibaldi, 16/A 43121 Parma Tel. +39 0521 203999 biglietteria@teatroregioparma.it

Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. and one hour before the performance. On closing days, one hour before the performance. Closed Mondays, Sundays and public holidays. Payment at the Teatro Regio di Parma Ticket Office can be made with cash in Euro, with a non-transferable bank draft made out to Fondazione Teatro Regio di Parma, with PagoBancomat, with Visa, Cartasi, Diners, Mastercard, American Express credit cards. It is also possible to use the reimbursement vouchers received for performances cancelled due to the health emergency. Tickets for all performances are also available on teatroregioparma.it. Online purchase does not incur any service fees.

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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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