From our archives

1 April 2022

Within the history of the Rossini Opera Festival, Pier Luigi Pizzi occupies a fundamental position. The Milanese director boasts numerous productions presented in Pesaro, from the first editions until today. In the 2022 edition with the Gala “Tra rondò e tournedos” on August 21st, Pizzi will celebrate forty years of collaboration with the Festival. In addition, five of his stage models are currently on display at the Rossini National Museum in the ROF15k exhibition.

Tancredi occupies a privileged space in his collaboration with the ROF, both because it represents the beginning of a very rich and lasting cooperation, but due to the very diverse stagings with which Pizzi approached this Masterpiece. The opera was first performed in 1982 with the set now on display in the exhibition. On stage, Lucia Valentini Terrani as the protagonist and Katia Ricciarelli as Amenaide. In 1991 a new production was staged, with a medieval setting, Tancredi played again by Valentini Terrani, along with Mariella Devia. A third and more symbolic staging was presented in 1999, with Daniela Barcellona and Darina Takova in the role of the couple of lovers and revived in 2004 with the duo Marianna Pizzolato and Patrizia Ciofi.

In 1983 Pizzi’s second opera at the ROF was Mosè in Egitto. As always Pizzi also designed the sets and the costumes and the orchestra was conducted by Claudio Scimone. The staging was then resumed two years later with Donato Renzetti on the podium.

Le Comte Ory debuted in 1984 with Donato Renzetti as conductor and was revived after two years with Gabriele Ferro.

In 1985 came a brand new production of Maometto II with a stellar cast, Chris Merritt, Cecilia Gasdia, Lucia Valentini Terrani, William Matteuzzi, Samuel Ramey and conducted by Claudio Scimone. The staging was revived in 1993 with Ramón Vargas, Cecilia Gasdia, Gloria Scalchi, Francesco Piccoli and Michele Pertusi conducted by Gianluigi Gelmetti.

1986 was the turn of Bianca e Falliero, an opera presented again in the 1989 ROF edition.  Katia Ricciarelli and Marilyn Horne sang the title roles in 1986, whereas Lella Cuberli and Martine Dupuy sang in 1989

In 1988 Pizzi staged ROF’s first Otello conducted by John Pritchard: Chris Merritt played the lead, Rodrigo was Rockwell Blake and June Anderson played Desdemona. The production was staged in 1991 with Chris Merritt and Bruce Ford alternating in the eponymous role, William Matteuzzi and Cecilia Gasdia conducted by Gianluigi Gelmetti; ten years after the premiere with Bruce Ford, Paul Austin Kelly and Mariella Devia, on the podium Corrado Rovaris. 

Pier Luigi Pizzi had the merit of having staged Guillaume Tell for the first time at the Rossini Opera Festival. In 1995, the opera debuted with Gianluigi Gelmetti at the head of the Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart, while Heinz Spoerli choreographed the Ballet Nacional de Cuba. The action was set in a dark forest, made even more disturbing by the Airs de danse that simulated molestations and rape by the soldiers that reminded the audience of the war in Bosnia ongoing at the time. The model scene of this staging is now on display in the ROF15k exhibition.

Among the models hosted by the Rossini National Museum you will also find Le nozze di Teti e di Peleo that Pizzi staged in 2001 in the evocative Villa Caprile in Pesaro. Including other Cantatas and music by Rossini it became a delightful “Pastiche” conducted by Giuliano Carella. On stage Rockwell Blake, Patrizia Ciofi, Cinzia Forte, Juan José Lopera and Ewa Podle?.

2002 features La pietra di paragone, conducted by Carlo Rizzi and presented again in 2017 conducted by Daniele Rustioni. The maquette of this gorgeous Pizzi production is also in the exhibition.

In 2018 Pier Luigi Pizzi staged his very first Barbiere di Siviglia, one of Rossini’s most famous works. Yves Abel was on the podium conducting the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai and the Coro del Teatro Ventidio Basso. The production was resumed in November 2020 on the occasion of the autumn ROF, under the direction of Michele Spotti. The model is also part of the ROF15k exhibition.

In the last edition of the Rossini Opera Festival Pizzi staged Moïse et Pharaon, the French version of Mosè in Egitto, conducted by Giacomo Sagripanti and choreographed by Georghe Iancu. In the cast Roberto Tagliavini, Erwin Schrott, Andrew Owens, Alexey Tatarintsev, Nicolò Donini, Matteo Roma, Vasilisa Berzhanskaya, Eleonora Buratto and Monica Bacelli.