ROF 15K: Roberto De Simone at the ROF

1 December 2021

The scale models of stage sets on view at the ROF 15K exhibition allow us to rediscover certain stage directors who have collaborated with the Rossini Opera Festival.  Such is the case with Roberto De Simone, for example: the Neapolitan director, composer and musicologist, creator of two important and historic productions for our Festival.

Il signor Bruschino, staged at the Auditorium Pedrotti in 1985, marked De Simone’s Pesaro début, with scenery and costumes designed by Enrico Job, while the musical direction was in the hands of Gianluigi Gelmetti.  The production was revived twice: in 1988 it inaugurated a new venue, the PalaFestival, with Donato Renzetti conducting, and then it was revived once more in 1997, conducted by Corrado Rovaris.  De Simone’s vision is singled out by his arranging the orchestra on the stage, beside the singing actors and in full view of the audience.

Ermione was performed in 1987, the first staged performance of the opera in modern times. The neo-baroque staging arose once more from collaboration between the director and Enrico Job, who designed the symmetrical and prospective scenery, and also the costumes.  The Orchestra Giovanile Italiana and the Chorus of Radio Budapest were conducted by Gustav Kuhn; the singers included Montserrat Caballé, Marilyn Horne, Chris Merritt and Rockwell Blake.

Both these scale models are now being exhibited at the Museo Nazionale Rossini, Pesaro, as part of the ROF 15K exhibition.