ROF 15K: Damiano Michieletto at the ROF

10 November 2021

On the occasion of the ROF 15K exhibition  we are taking the opportunity of going over the history of the bond between the Rossini Opera Festival and certain stage directors.  This second chapter is dedicated to the Venetian director Damiano Michieletto, today one of the most notable names in the contemporary world of opera. His productions have also been staged at the Rossini Opera Festival, with a particularly intense collaboration between 2004 and 2016.  During those years he produced five operas in Pesaro, four of them by Rossini. Our ROF 15K exhibition assesses Michieletto’s contribution to our Festival, presenting, among the 24 maquettes on show, the scale model of his set for La gazza ladra.

Il trionfo delle belle by Stefano Pavesi marked the director’s debut at our festival in 2004.  In dealing with a composer whose works are rarely performed, this production explores the world of the one-act comic opera, a genre that Rossini wrote for during his earliest years as a theatrical composer.  Antonino Fogliani was the conductor, Pietro Chiarenza was responsible for the scenery and the costumes were by Carla Teti.

The 2007 La gazza ladra was the first Rossini opera staged by Michieletto for the Rossini Opera Festival.  The production met with noteworthy success, winning the  Premio Abbiati for its director.  Lü Jia conducted the Orchestra Haydn di Bolzano e Trento and the Prague Chamber Chorus.  The stage setting, designed by Paolo Fantin, was complemented by a dancer representing the thieving magpie who was on stage throughout the opera; the costumes were again by Carla Teti. This production was revived in 2015, on this occasion conducted by Donato Renzetti.

La scala di seta was performed at the ROF in 2009.  This one-act opera was presented in an agile and appealing production that was very successful both in Italy and abroad, and was revived by the ROF two years after its first production. Claudio Scimone conducted the Orchestra Haydn di Bolzano e Trento, the scenery and costumes were by Paolo Fantin and the lighting by Alessandro Carletti.  The cast included three ex-pupils of the Accademia Rossiniana “Alberto Zedda”: Olga Peretyatko as Giulia, Carlo Lepore as Blansac and Paolo Bordogna as Germano. The production was restaged two years later, conducted by José Miguel Pérez-Sierra.

In 2010 Michieletto undertook the staging of the first modern performances of Sigismondo.  The production won the Abbiati Prize for Paolo Fantin and Carla Teti, responsible respectively for scenery and costumes.  The Polish King Sigismondo, sung by Daniela Barcellona, is locked up by Michieletto in a psychiatric hospital.  A prey to hallucinations, he is persecuted by visions of his wife Aldimira, believed dead, sung by Olga Peretyatko.  Michele Mariotti conducted the Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro Comunale, Bologna.

The most recent production presented by Michieletto at the ROF was La donna del lago, which was staged at the 2016 Festival.  The scenery was again by Paolo Fantin, while the principal rôles were sung by Salome Jicia, Juan Diego Flórez, Michael Spyres, Varduhi Abrahamyan and Marko Mimica.  Michele Mariotti conducted the Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro Comunale, Bologna.