XXIII FESTIVAL VERDI – Parma & Busseto, September 16th-October 16th, 2023

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by OPERA Charm Team
March 6, 2023

I Lombardi alla prima Crociata, Il trovatore, Falstaff. Tutto nel mondo è burla, Nabucco in forma di concerto, Messa da Requiem, Gala verdiano.

Pier Luigi Pizzi, Davide Livermore, Manuel Renga sign three new stagings, with the conductors Francesco Lanzillotta, Francesco Ivan Ciampa, Alessandro Palumbo.

Giampaolo Bisanti will conduct Nabucco and Omer Meir Wellber the Gala Verdiano.

The protagonists onstage will be Eleonora Buratto, Lidia Fridman, Clementine Margaine, 

Riccardo Massi, Michele Pertusi, Antonio Poli, Giovanni Sala, Marco Spotti, 

Vladimir Stoyanov, Franco Vassallo, Markus Werba.

The Festival renews the collaboration with La Toscanini, Teatro Comunale di Bologna 

and Coro del Teatro Regio di Parma prompted by Martino Faggiani.

El Trovador is the newly-commissioned opera in world premiere

curated by Società dei Concerti di Parma, written and interpreted by the actor Marco Baliani.

The charity gala Fuoco di gioia, concerts and shows at Teatro Giuseppe Verdi di Busseto e al Teatro Girolamo Magnani di Fidenza.

The full program with all the shows, open rehearsals, concerts and meetings 

will be presented on May 9th, 2023 at Teatro Regio di Parma.

BIOGRAPHY

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INTERVIEW

I Lombardi alla prima Crociata, Il trovatore, Falstaff. Tutto nel mondo è burla, in three new stagings in Parma and Busseto, Nabucco in forma di concerto in Fidenza are the operas of the XIII edition of Festival Verdi, from September 16 to October al 16, 2023. The program is enriched by Messa da Requiem and Gala verdiano, part of the project “Viva Verdi” promoted by the Italian Ministry of Culture.

The three new stagings by Pier Luigi Pizzi, Davide Livermore, Manuel Renga will present Francesco Ivan Ciampa, Francesco Lanzillotta, Alessandro Palumbo as conductors. Giampaolo Bisanti will conduct Nabucco and Omer Meir Wellber the Gala Verdiano. A Choral concert and a Symphonic concert complete the Festival Verdi in Busseto. El Trovador the newly-commissioned opera in world premiere curated by Società dei Concerti di Parma, written and interpreted by the actor Marco Baliani, will debut in Parma. The charity gala Fuoco di gioia returns at Teatro Regio di Parma.

The protagonists onstage will be Lidia Fridman, Eleonora Buratto, Clementine Margaine, Riccardo Massi, Michele Pertusi, Antonio Poli, Giovanni Sala, Marco Spotti, Vladimir Stoyanov, Franco Vassallo, Markus Werba. The Festival renews the collaboration with La Toscanini, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, with Coro del Teatro Regio di Parma prompted by Martino Faggiani and with Istituto Nazionale di Studi Verdiani.

The Festival will be inaugurated by the singers, dancers and actors of the Verdi Street Parade, which will bring in the city of Parma the joyous and cheerful spirit of Verdi Off.

The full program with all the shows, open rehearsals, concerts and meetings will be presented on May 9th, 2023 at Teatro Regio di Parma.

INAUGURATION

Verdi Off and Festival Verdi kick off with a great musical celebration in the streets of Parma: after its success in the 2019 edition, the itinerary show Verdi Street Parade returns on Saturday, September 16 from 6 pm to 9 pm to spread the celebrative spirit of Verdi Off, from Teatro Regio to the Oltretorrente region, with the performance of singers, dancers and actors.

OPERA SHOWS

I Lombardi alla Prima Crociata inaugurates the program of the XXIII Festival Verdi on Thrusday, September 21 at 8 pm at Teatro Regio di Parma (reruns: September 29, October 7 at 8 pm and October 15 at 3.30 pm), with its new staging directed by Pier Luigi Pizzi, who is also stage and costume designer for such an occasion. Francesco Lanzillotta will be conducting the Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini and the Coro del Teatro Regio di Parma prompted by Martino Faggiani through the critical edition of the score curated by David R.B. Kimbell (prepared for The University of Chicago Press and Casa Ricordi), which will be premiered in Parma. The cast sees as protagonists Lidia Fridman (debuting in the role of Giselda), Antonio Poli (Oronte), Michele Pertusi (Pagano), Giovanni Sala (Arvino. Composed right after the triumph of the Nabucco, the fourth melodramma by Giuseppe Verdi is inspired by the epic poem in fifteen chants written by Tommaso Grossi, published in 1826 and admired by Alessandro Manzoni. The libretto by Temistocle Solera articulates the action in four parts, each one with its own title – La vendetta, L’uomo della caverna, La conversione, Il Santo Sepolcro – giving a charming, epic dimension to the melodrama. On February 11 of 1843, the night of the debut at Teatro alla Scala, the audience acclaimed the new with enthusiasm and transformed the career of Verdi in an unstoppable force.

Teatro Giuseppe Verdi di Busseto will host Falstaff: Tutto nel mondo è burla on Friday, September 22 at 8 pm (reruns: September 30 at 8 pm, October 8 at 3.30 pm, October 14 at 8 pm). The show will present the Verdian masterpiece in a renewed form, a successful concept experimented in the latest edition of the festival with Rigoletto e la maledizione. In fact, such a show counts on the very same creative team: Manuel Renga is the director of the staging and scenic design by Aurelio Colombo, while Alessandro Palumbo manages a special show that will present the whole opera in a chamber, intimate dimension interpreted by the Wind-sor Ensemble and arranged by the Palumbo himself. The cast sees Franco Vassallo in the role of the protagonist and includes various young singers and ex-students of the advanced specialization singing course of Accademia Verdiana (Corso di Alto perfezionamento in repertorio verdiano), many of which have already been pursuing a successful career. Falstaff – whose composition started in1890 and finished when Verdi was almost 80 years old – closes the Verdian catalogue and represents a unique example of his mature composition style, after the youthful Un giorno di regno. “It’s been forty that I’ve wished to write a comic opera – wrote Verdi in 1890 – and it’s been fifty years that I’ve known Le allegre comari di Windsor; also… the usual “buts” that I find everywhere and that have always opposed to the satisfaction of this desire of mine.” Encouraged by the success of Otello, Arrigo Boito managed to convince the composer to work on a new libretto based on a Shakespearian subject. Falstaff was finally staged on February 9 of 1893 at Teatro alla Scala di Milano, gathering the awe of the audience and the applauses of Giacomo Puccini and Pietro Mascagni.

Il trovatore is the lyrical drama in four parts with libretto by Salvadore Cammarano and the third title in program at Teatro Regio di Parma on Sunday, September 24 at 8 pm (reruns: October 1 at 3.30, October 5 and 12 at 8 pm) in the new staging by Davide Livermore, for the first time at Teatro Regio and at Festival Verdi. Co-produced together with Teatro Comunale di Bologna, the opera will be present by Francesco Ivan Ciampa conducting the Orchestra e del Coro del Teatro Comunale di Bologna prompted by Gea Garatti Ansini. The critical edition of the score is by David Lawton. The protagonist onstage: Eleonora Buratto (debuting in the role of Leonora), Riccardo Massi (Manrico), Markus Werba (debuting in the role of Conte di Luna), Clementine Margaine (Azucena), Marco Spotti (Ferrando). Structured in four parts, each one with its own (Il duello, La gitana, Il figlio della gitana, Il supplizio), such an opera was first staged between 1851 and 1853 at Teatro Apollo di Roma gathering a lot of success. The composer chose the libretto of the drama El Trovador by Antonio Garcìa Gutiérrez as the subject of the opera, defining it “beautiful, imaginative and with powerful situations.”

Festival Verdi presents once again the Nabucco in its concert form at Teatro Girolamo Magnani di Fidenza on Thursday, September 28 and on Friday, October 6 at 8 pm with the Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini conducted by Giampaolo Bisanti, the Coro del Teatro Regio di Parma prompted by Martino Faggiani and the Vladimir Stoyanov in the role of Nabucco. The critical edition is curated by Roger Parker. Nabucco is the third opera by Giuseppe Verdi: he composed it between 1841 and 1842 after a particularly dire and painful period after the fiasco of Un giorno di regno, the death of his wife Margherita Barezzi and of his two children. Such events brought Verdi far from musical composition up until when the entrepreneur Bartolomeo Merelli proposed the libretto by Temistocle Solera as a new subject, convincing him to write music for a new opera. It is exactly after the premiere of Nabucco at Teatro alla Scala on March 9, 1842 – with his future wife Giuseppina Strepponi in the role of Abigaille – that the career of Verdi was written in the stone.

CONCERTS AND SHOWS

The Messa da Requiem is Verdi’s masterpiece of sacred music. The Mass will be performed at Teatro Regio on September 23 of 2023 at 8.00 pm, in its critical edition by David B. Rosen. A splendid, monumental composition written during Verdi’s period of isolation from the opera genre following the success of Aida. Dedicated to Alessandro Manzoni, Messa da Requiem reflects the spirituality of the composer as well as the dialogue between sacred and profane appearing in his opera works, though remaining a mystery regarding his most intimate beliefs. 

Fuoco di gioia, the traditional charity opera gala of the festival organized by Gruppo Appassionati Verdiani “Club dei 27”, returns to Teatro Regio in Parma on September 27, 2023, at 8.00 pm, with the friendly participation of the most famous performers accompanied by choir and orchestra.

On Tuesday, October 10 at 8 pm, the traditional Gala Verdiano closes the celebrations of the 210th anniversary from Verdi’s birth, with the direction of Omer Meir Wellber and as protagonists onstage of Teatro di Parma the most beloved Verdian interpreters in parallel with Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini and Coro del Teatro Regio di Parma prompted by Martino Faggiani. The concert is supported by Reggio Parma Festival and it’s part of the project “Viva Verdi” promoted by the Italian Ministry of Culture. The celebrations will begin with the traditional event Cerimonia in onore di Verdi in Piazza della Pace, where the monument to Giuseppe Verdi stands out. The event will count on the participation of the institutions and of the citizens associations, rejoicing on the notes of the “Va pensiero” together with Coro del Teatro Regio di Parma and Corale Giuseppe Verdi.

Teatro Verdi di Busseto will host two events with the artistic ensembles from Parma: a program dedicated to the most beloved choral pages written by Verdi will be interpreted by Coro del Teatro Regio di Parma conducted by Martino Faggiani in the special concert Concerto corale, scheduled for Sunday, October 1 at 8 pm; Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini will be the protagonist of the Concerto sinfonico on Friday, October 13 at 8 pm.

On Friday, October 13 at 8.30 pm at Teatro Regio di Parma, a newly-commissioned opera in world premiere: the El trovador, curated by Società dei Concerti di Parma, written and interpreted by the actor Marco Baliani. Music prose intertwine on the themes from the Verdian opera, interpreted by Filarmonici di Busseto, giving a voice to the nocturnal torments of Leonora and Azucena.

ACCADEMIA VERDIANA 2023

The final concert, Concerto finale dell’Accademia Verdiana, closes the 2023 Festival Verdi on Monday, October 16 at 8 pm at Teatro Regio di Parma. Onstage, the 12 students of the advanced specialization course for singers (Corso di alto perfezionamento in repertorio verdiano) celebrating the end of their course and their musical, vocal and theatrical formation with the most renowned Verdian interpreters.

Accademia Verdiana was born in 2017 as a project co-funded by Regione Emilia-Romagna and European Union. The academy presents nine months of individual and group lessons pivoting on the study and perfectioning of the vocal technique, on seminars dedicated to choreographic and scenic movement, on meetings, lectures and classes dedicated to historiographical, contractual and managerial subjects in order to form a complete version of a lyrical artist.

The didactic director of the 2023 edition is Francesco Izzo. He is a musicologist, pianist and coach, musicology professor at the Università of Southampton, where he teaches music history and theory. Izzo is the scientific director of Festival Verdi since 2017.

VERDI OFF

The purpose of Verdi Off is stimulating, creating and sharing a festive atmosphere that embraces those who live and those who visit the lands of the Maestro on the occasion of the Verdi Festival. Verdi Off is a series of free events in parallel with Festival Verdi, which Teatro Regio Parma has been working on since 2016 with Comune di Parma and with the support of the Associazione “Parma, io ci sto!”. The eighth edition of Verdi Off will begin with Verdi Street Parade and will continue with a rich calendar of events including concerts, exhibitions, installations, meetings and special projects involving local artists and associations. This year, two great innovations are the fulcres of the event: in Piazzale Picelli, where a yurt tent will host meetings and shows for children and families; the Wopa in via Palermo, which will be the reference point for the younger audience.

Verdi Off is always in touch with the most fragile realities such as places of care and suffering, hospitals, prisons, nursing homes and the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Once again, the festival reconfirms its mission and brings the joy of music to such an audience, reconfirming its strong social commitment.

The complete Verdi Off calendar will be presented in the upcoming months.

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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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