A double tribute to the Divine Maria Callas on the centenary of her birth, promoted by the Fondazione Teatri di Piacenza. Sunday, May 7th, 8 p.m., at the Sala dei Teatini, is scheduled “To Maria Callas”, a concert with the famous baritone Leo Nucci, preceded by the presentation of the book by Eleonora Bagarotti, entitled “100 anni di Maria Callas nei ricordi di chi l’ha conosciuta”, published by Arcana Lit Edizioni.
The concert with Leo Nucci – also awarded the Maria Callas International Prize in 2022 – will feature Paolo Marcarini on piano, soprano Elisa Maffi and Marco Righi on cello. On the programme will be some famous pieces by Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Puccini, Gaetano Donizetti and Vincenzo Bellini: a repertoire beloved by Maria Callas, including “Casta Diva”, the aria forever linked to one of the greatest opera performers of all time.
“The great French composer Fromental Halévy said that he would have bartered all his music for ‘Casta Diva’,” explains Leo Nucci. “This piece, which reminds us of Maria Callas more than any other, heard without recitative, has a structure of two stanzas made up of two quatrains of octonary verses, a typical form of a romance rather than an opera aria. Therefore we thought of performing the entire programme, creating, through Maestro Marcarini’s arrangements, a chamber colour linked to the melody to emphasise our love for Maria Callas”.
Born on December 2nd, 1923, the Divina lives again in “100 anni di Maria Callas nei ricordi di chi l’ha conosciuta”, the book dedicated to her on the occasion of her centenary, which will be presented as a preview in Piacenza and will precede the concert. Written by the journalist of Piacenza’s Libertà newspaper, Eleonora Bagarotti, the book reconstructs the career and life of Maria Callas mainly through the memories of those who knew her. These include Giovanna Lomazzi, honorary vice-president of the Teatro Sociale in Como, who had a relationship of great friendship and solidarity with La Divina. Then, the Olympic champion Giuseppe Gentile, Maria Callas’ partner in Pier Paolo Pasolini’s film Medea. Also, the famous soprano’s driver and factotum, Ferruccio Mezzadri.
Special guest of the presentation will be Giovanna Lomazzi, who will speak at the Sala dei Teatini in dialogue with Leo Nucci, with the author Eleonora Bagarotti and Gian Francesco Amoroso, musicologist and conductor who edited the book’s preface.
The book chronologically follows the most significant moments of Callas’s life, with excerpts from interviews of the time retrieved from the archives of the most important newspapers, from the Corriere della Sera to the New York Times. One chapter is devoted to Maria Callas’s places and another to the “premieres” of the roles she performed in various theatres in Italy and worldwide. The book is enriched by some unpublished photographs spontaneously donated by Giovanna Lomazzi and Ferruccio Mezzadri.
“A great story of music and passion”, as stated in the book’s presentation, to which tribute will be paid in memory of Maria Callas, in a meeting full of memories and events that have now become part of the history and myth of opera.
Information and tickets
Tickets for the “To Maria Callas” concert will be on sale from Wednesday, March 15th at the box office of the Teatro Municipale in Piacenza and online at www.teatripiacenza.it.
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