Piacenza: “To Maria Callas”

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by OPERA Charm Team
March 11, 2023

La Fondazione Teatri di Pianceza pays tribute to La Divina on the centenary of her birth on Sunday, May 7th, at the Sala dei Teatini with a concert of the celebrated baritone Leo Nucci and presentation of the book by Eleonora Bagarotti “100 anni di Maria Callas nei ricordi di chi l’ha conosciuta”.

BIOGRAPHY

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INTERVIEW

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.
For information: biglietteria@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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