Riccardo Muti returns to the Teatro Regio di Torino

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by Opera Charm Team
February 9, 2024

Un ballo in maschera
Opera and Ballet Season 2023/2024

Riccardo Muti returns to the Teatro Regio, Andrea De Rosa signs the new staging of Verdi's masterpiece, expected debut for Luca Micheletti.

Teatro Regio, from 21 February to 3 March 2024

BIOGRAPHY

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INTERVIEW

Riccardo Muti returns to the Regio to conduct the theatre’s Orchestra and Chorus and a superlative cast of performers in Giuseppe Verdi‘s Un ballo in maschera that promises to be a must-see. The new staging – on stage for six performances from Wednesday 21 February at 8 p.m. until Sunday 3 March – is by Andrea De Rosa, director of the TPE Teatro Astra in Turin. The stars of Verdi’s masterpiece are: Piero Pretti as Riccardo, Luca Micheletti as Renato and Lidia Fridman as Amelia.

“We are thrilled and proud to welcome Maestro Riccardo Muti back to the Regio,” declares Superintendent Mathieu Jouvin. “Together with Artistic Director Cristiano Sandri, we have planned the 2023-2024 Amour Toujours Season around two central points: Giacomo Puccini – in the year of the centenary celebrations – and the extraordinary presence of Maestro Muti with a new production of Verdi’s masterpiece”.

The new production at the Regio is realised thanks to the contribution of Reale Mutua, whose President Luigi Lana declares: ‘Reale Mutua renews its deep commitment to supporting the Teatro Regio and Verdi’s opera, especially under the masterful direction of maestro Muti. This long-standing collaboration, which has lasted several years and includes unforgettable productions, goes beyond mere cultural support. It embodies our deep-rooted commitment to tradition and art, reflected in our 196-year history. We are proud to be part of this extraordinary project and wish the audience an unforgettable experience with Un ballo in maschera, conducted by maestro Riccardo Muti”.

Riccardo Muti is undoubtedly one of the most prestigious conductors in the world, ‘the apostle of the Italian myth’ (as the journalist Lorenzo Arruga called him): his brilliant career and magnetic personality make him a constant source of inspiration and fascination. He will be back on the podium of the Teatro Regio after Così fan tutte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, streamed in March 2021, and after Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, in November 2022. In a recent interview with la Repubblica, collected by Susanna Franchi, the Maestro said: ‘The Regio is a very important theatre, which has done important things, there has been Toscanini, there have been great conductors, I hope it can continue to improve all the time. The meeting with orchestra, choir and technicians was extraordinary, there is a way of being there that perhaps comes from the elegance of the city. It is an excellent working environment and that is the reason why I came back, I go back, and I hope to go back again’.

Theatre director of prose and opera, Andrea De Rosa was director of the Teatro Stabile in Naples and is now director of the TPE Teatro Astra in Turin. He has already collaborated with Maestro Riccardo Muti on Donizetti’s Don Pasquale (Ravenna, Madrid) and Paisiello’s Il matrimonio inaspettato (Salzburg Whitsun Festival). The Turin audience was able to appreciate his directorial reading in Schumann/Byron’s Manfred and in the diptych formed by Goyescasdi Granados and Puccini’s Suor Angelica. He describes his work as follows: ‘Riccardo’s court, his palace, will be constantly immersed in a festive atmosphere. From the very first scene, I will portray an atmosphere of exhaustion, of drunkenness, as if we were at the end of one of the many masked balls that take place in this house. I imagined a young Richard who, before being a governor, is a man who gives off a vital energy similar in some ways to that of Don Juan. For such a man, the impossible love for Amelia, the wife of his closest friend, becomes the insurmountable limit that he is tempted to cross. The dark side of this love, which drags the unfortunate towards the final tragedy and death, will have the face of Ulrica, the sorceress, the seer who, like the witches in Macbeth, will give the final push to what was already precipitating. The mask will be the central element, not only in the final dance, but in the staging of the whole play’.

Riccardo, Earl of Warwick, will have the voice and face of tenor Piero Pretti, an artist with an international career, much loved by the Regio audience, where he has played key roles in important productions: I Vespri siciliani, Rigoletto, Lucia di Lammermoor and La traviata in the 2011 and 2012 Seasons; the award-winning La donna serpente in the 2015-16 Season and Macbeth in June 2017 directed by Emma Dante. He has worked on all the most important stages: from the Paris Opera to the Vienna State Opera, via La Scala. His repertoire, as a true lyric tenor, ranges from Donizetti’s masterpieces to those of Puccini, including all the main roles created by Verdi. And he has participated in numerous productions directed by Maestro Muti. So has Luca Micheletti – the star of the last Don Giovanni – who makes his debut in the role of Renato. The 38-year-old baritone, actor and director, but also essayist, translator and playwright with a doctorate in Italian studies, is a child of art, heir to a dynasty of wandering artists. He began singing almost by chance when Marco Bellocchio asked him to do so for the film on Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci. Since his debut in 2018, he has performed on the most important stages from La Scala to the Royal Opera House in London, from Sydney to Tokyo under the direction of maestros such as Riccardo Muti and Zubin Mehta. Amelia, Renato’s wife, will be Lidia Fridman, a rising star on the operatic scene. Born in 1996, the Russian singer trained at the Conservatories of Udine and Venice, a sensitive performer with a well-calibrated, fluid voice and a stage presence that has proved to be extremely incisive; she returns to the Teatro Regio after Norma in the 2022 Season. Mezzo-soprano Alla Pozniak will be the soothsayer Ulrica, soprano Damiana Mizzi the pageboy Oscar. The cast also includes baritone Sergio Vitale (Silvano), bass Daniel Giulianini (Samuel), bass Luca Dall’Amico (Tom) and tenor Riccardo Rados (Un giudice and Un servitore di Amelia).

The new production makes use of the extremely refined and elegant sets by Nicolas Bovey, Ubu Award 2021 for Best Set Design of La casa di Bernarda Alba and Le sedie, Ubu Award 2022 for Best Lighting Design of La signorina Giulia and I due gemelli veneziani, Le Maschere del Teatro Award for the set design of Le Sedie.

The costumes are designed by Ilaria Ariemme, a Turinese who lives and works in Milan, a pupil of Luisa Spinatelli, Gastone Mariani, Maria Carla Ricotti, Miretta Tovini and Edoardo Sanchi. Choreographic movements are by Alessio Maria Romani and lighting by Pasquale Mari. The Teatro Regio Chorus is instructed, as usual, by Maestro Ulisse Trabacchin.

Giuseppe Verdi’s three-act melodrama, on a libretto by Antonio Somma based on Eugène Scribe’s play Gustave III, ou Le Bal masqué, debuted at the Teatro Apollo in Rome on 17 February 1859 (and not in Naples as planned) after a gruelling dispute with the Bourbon censors, who forced Verdi to disguise potentially anti-monarchist messages. At the centre of the story are Riccardo, Count of Warwick and governor of Boston, Renato, his secretary, and Amelia, Renato’s wife. The Count has organised a grand ball where he will be able to see Amelia, the woman he is secretly in love with, but who is married to his close friend, Renato. The latter warns him of a conspiracy hatched by his enemies Samuel and Tom, while the fortune-teller Ulrica predicts that Riccardo’s death will be at the hands of Renato, a prophecy to which no one listens. The discovery of the love between his wife and Riccardo convinces Renato to collaborate with the conspirators to kill the Count. Everything happens during the famous masked ball scene, when Riccardo is shot dead by Renato, blinded by jealousy. In the opera, based on a true story, the comic and the tragic coexist in masterly balance, the frivolity of the pageboy Oscar, the only character in disguise in all of Verdi’s theatre, and the passion of the love duet in Act II and Renato’s great aria “Eri tu che macchiavi quell’anima”.

The Anteprima Giovani, reserved for the Under 30s, is scheduled for Monday 19 February at 8 pm.

The opera will be presented on Wednesday 14 February at the Piccolo Regio Puccini at 6 p.m., in a conference-concert with free admission conducted by Susanna Franchi.

Ticketing and information

Tickets for Un ballo in maschera are on sale at the Teatro Regio box office and online at www.teatroregio.torino.it

Teatro Regio Box Office: Piazza Castello 215 – Turin | Tel. 011.8815.241 – 011.8815.242 | biglietteria@teatroregio.torino.it. Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 11am-7pm; Sunday: 10.30am-3.30pm; one hour before performances.

For all information and updates: www.teatroregio.torino.it

Follow Teatro Regio on our social media.

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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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