The numbers of 2003

31 December 2023

As we look ahead to 2024, let's take a moment to look back at the recently concluded 2023.

On the occasion of Rossini's birthday, on 28th February at the Teatro Sperimentale in Pesaro, the ROF and the Rossini Conservatory presented Mi lagnerò tacenDO!!!, a revision and re-appropriation in different genres and styles of 11 excerpts from the Péchés de vieillesse, performed by the Orchestra of the Conservatory of Pesaro, conducted by Luca Ferrara; the vocal ensemble also included mezzo-soprano Chiara Tirotta and tenor Pietro Adaíni, alumni of the Accademia Rossiniana. Stefano Belisari (aka Elio), who had already performed at the ROF in 1998 in Isabella, a reinterpretation of L’Italiana in Algeri composed by Azio Corghi, also took part in the event.

On 26 May, the exhibition Rossini Opera Festival in China: The Magic and Mystery of Gioachino Rossini opened at Shanghai's Middle Longhua Road subway station. The event, organised by the Festival in collaboration with the Italian Consulate General in Shanghai, the Shanghai Italian Cultural Institute, the Shanghai Friendship Association and the Shanghai Metro, will be on display for three months, until 26 August. Starting from Pesaro, Italian Capital of Culture 2024, the exhibition told the story of the Festival through texts, videos and images of the process of creating a performance: the workshops, the rehearsals, the theatres and the stage.

On 1 June, on board the Italian Navy frigate 'Margottini', moored at the Oceankaj pier in Copenhagen, two former students of the Accademia Rossiniana 'Alberto Zedda', Francesco Auriemma and Chiara Tirotta, accompanied on the piano by Alessandro Uva, gave a recital of Rossini arias and duets, organised by the Italian Embassy in Denmark.

On 21 June, in Piazza del Popolo, the Municipality of Pesaro awarded honorary citizenship to Gianfranco Mariotti, creator of the ROF and its director from its creation until 2017. The award recognises the quality of the work of a man who, in 1980, gave life to a cultural project of the highest quality, establishing solid roots for the crescendo that led first to Pesaro's designation as a UNESCO City of Music and then to its nomination as Italian Capital of Culture in 2024.

On 2 July, as part of the Piccolo Opera Festival, the Palazzo Coronini Cronberg in Gorizia will host the concert Rossini feat. Charles X, a tribute to the last king of France, who died in Palazzo Coronini in 1836. The soloists of the Academy, Marta Pluda, Gianni Giuga and Victor Jimenez, accompanied on the piano by Alexey Yakimov, performed pages from La Cenerentola, L'Italiana in Algeri and Il barbiere di Siviglia.

The 35th edition of the Accademia Rossiniana 'Alberto Zedda' opened on 3 July. In addition to the lectures given by Ernesto Palacio, with the musical coordination of Rubén Sánchez-Vieco and the collaboration of Luca Canonici as vocal coach, this year's programme included lectures by directors Stefano Poda and Rosetta Cucchi, musicologists Federico Agostinelli and Marco Beghelli (in collaboration with the Rossini Foundation), physiatrist Frank Musarra and phoniatrist Franco Fussi. Three master classes were held, two by the artistic director Juan Diego Flórez and one by the conductor Michele Mariotti. At the end of the courses, on 17 July, the students gave their traditional final concert at the Teatro Sperimentale.

The students of the Accademia Rossiniana were the protagonists of two cycles of concerts during the ROF. The first were the Salons Rossini, held in some of the most evocative historical villages of the hinterland, inspired by the musical evenings that Rossini loved to organise at his villa in Passy: July 19 in the courtyard of the Rocca di Gradara; July 22 in the church of S. Francesco in Cagli; July 27 in the Franciscan cloister of Mondavio; July 30 in the throne room of the Palazzo dei Principi in Carpegna; August 1 in the courtyard of the Palazzo Ducale in Urbino. The second are the Concerti at the Museum, which will take place in the Hall of Mirrors of the Rossini National Museum on 5, 12, 14, 15 and 17 August.

The 44th edition of the Rossini Opera Festival was held from 11 to 23 August. The Festival opened on 11 August in the Vitrifrigo Arena with the new production of Eduardo e Cristina, the last opera in the official Rossini catalogue not yet performed at the Festival, presented in the world premiere of the Rossini Foundation's critical edition edited by Alice Tavilla and Andrea Malnati. Jader Bignamini conducted the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai and the choir of the Teatro Ventidio Basso, while the production was entirely entrusted to Stefano Poda, who was responsible for the direction, sets, costumes, lighting and choreography. The cast included Enea Scala (Carlo), Anastasia Bartoli (Cristina), Daniela Barcellona (Eduardo), Grigory Shkarupa (Giacomo) and Matteo Roma (Atlei).

The second opera on the programme was Aureliano in Palmira, performed on 12 August in the Vitrifrigo Arena with George Petrou conducting the Orchestra Sinfonica G. Rossini and the Chorus of the Teatro della Fortuna in the revival of the production conceived by Mario Martone for the 2014 ROF. The production, with sets by Sergio Tramonti, costumes by Ursula Patzak and lighting by Pasquale Mari, won Best Rediscovered Work at the 2015 International Opera Awards. The cast included Alexey Tatarintsev (Aureliano), Sara Blanch (Zenobia), Raffaella Lupinacci (Arsace), Marta Pluda (Publia), Sunnyboy Dladla (Oraspe), Davide Giangregorio (Licinio), Alessandro Abis (Gran Sacerdote), Elcin Adil (Un Pastore).

Adelaide di Borgogna, the second new production, had its premiere in the Vitrifrigo Arena on 13 August, conducted by Francesco Lanzillotta (later replaced by Enrico Lombardi due to injury) at the head of the RAI National Symphony Orchestra and the Ventidio Basso Theatre Choir. The production was directed by Arnaud Bernard, with sets by Alessandro Camera, costumes by Maria Carla Ricotti and lighting by Fiammetta Baldiserri. The cast included Varduhi Abrahamyan (Ottone), Olga Peretyatko (Adelaide), Riccardo Fassi (Berengario), René Barbera (Adelberto), Paola Leoci (Eurice), Valery Makarov (Iroldo) and Antonio Mandrillo (Ernesto).

In addition to the three operas, the ROF 2023 programme, as part of the Festival Giovane, presented Il viaggio a Reims on 16 and 18 August at the Teatro Sperimentale in the historic 2001 production by Emilio Sagi, revived by Matteo Anselmi, with Andrea Foti conducting the Filarmonica Gioachino Rossini and the students of the Accademia Rossiniana 'Alberto Zedda' in the cast.

The concert programme at the Teatro Sperimentale opened with two real rarities: on 14 August, the Cantata in morte di M.F. Malibran, a composition by Rossini's contemporaries, presented in the Rossinimania section with Diego Ceretta conducting the Filarmonica Gioachino Rossini, the choir of the Teatro della Fortuna and a cast consisting of Lyaila Alamanova, Giuliana Gianfaldoni, Shachar Lavi, Dave Moncaco, Giorgi Manoshvili and Michael Mofidian; on 15 August it was Rossini's Cantata in onore del Sommo Pontefice Pio IX, with Christopher Franklin conducting the Filarmonica Gioachino Rossini and the Ventidio Basso Choir. The singers included Pietro Adaíni, Marina Monzó, Michael Mofidian and Antonio Garés. This was followed by the Lyrical Symphony Concerts with Rosa Feola and the G. Sinfonica Orchestra. Rossini conducted by Sesto Quatrini (17 August) and Maria Kataeva and the Filarmonica Gioachino Rossini conducted by Marco Mencoboni (20 August). There were also belcanto concerts with Teresa Iervolino (19 August), Enea Scala (21 August) and Anastasia Bartoli (22 August).

The 44th edition of the festival closed on 23 August in the Vitrifrigo Arena with the Petite Messe Solennelle, with Michele Mariotti conducting the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai and the Ventidio Basso choir. The cast included Rosa Feola, Vasilisa Berzhanskaya, Dmitry Korchak and Giorgi Manoshvili.

The Rossini Opera Festival has included in its calendar for 2023 a new series of meetings called ROF Talks. Hosted by Radio Rai journalist Susanna Franchi, the free events took place from 11 to 13 August in the Sala della Repubblica of the Teatro Rossini.

The 11th of August was dedicated to Rossini and his Festival between modernity and the future: the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Culture, Vittorio Sgarbi, and the President of the National Association of Lyric and Symphonic Foundations, Fulvio Macciardi, were present. The meeting was also an opportunity to talk to Jader Bignamini and Stefano Poda, director and conductor of Eduardo and Cristina, which was performed that evening at the Vitrifrigo Arena.

The Rossini Opera Festival for Pesaro 2024 Italian Capital of Culture was discussed on 12th August when President Daniele Vimini and Intendant Ernesto Palacio announced the 2024 Festival programme. At their side was the artistic director of the National Symphony Orchestra Rai, Ernesto Schiavi. Aureliano in Palmira, scheduled for the evening at the Vitrifrigo Arena, was then discussed with conductor George Petrou and director Mario Martone.

Finally, on 13 August, the theme was ROF 2023: Festivals and the Agenda for Sustainable Development, a topic that is becoming increasingly topical and that the Festival, certified by Ecoevents-Legambiente as an eco-sustainable event, has always valued since it drew up its first Social Report in 2011. During the meeting, general manager Cristian Della Chiara presented the 2022 Social Report, together with Patrizio Bianchi, economist and professor emeritus at the University of Ferrara, and Lorenzo Succi, director of UniRimini spa. Francesco Lanzillotta and Arnaud Bernard, director and conductor of Adelaide di Borgogna, also spoke about the opera performed that evening in the Vitrifrigo Arena.

On 19 October, the alumni of the Accademia Rossiniana Marta Pluda and Francesco Auriemma gave a concert at the Avignon Opera House with the Avignon-Provence National Orchestra conducted by Beatrice Venezi. The programme included excerpts from: La Cenerentola, L'Italiana in Algeri, Il barbiere di Siviglia. The concert was organised as part of the Italian Week in Avignon - Bella Italia 2023, in co-production with the Orchestre national Avignon-Provence, the Institut Culturel Italien de Marseille and Petit Palais Diffusion.

The Rossini Opera Festival organised the Cenerentola #25 project, winner of one of the calls for proposals launched within the framework of the Musica 2023 special projects funded by the Ministry of Culture. The aim of the initiative was to create a path for the dissemination of historical and artistic content related to the knowledge of opera as a symbol of Italian cultural heritage throughout the world, also through digital technologies. Cenerentola #25 celebrates the 25th anniversary of Luca Ronconi's production at the ROF in 1998.

On 7 November, the Giometti multiplex hosted the revival of La Cenerentola at the ROF in 2000, directed by Luca Ronconi, with sets by Margherita Palli and costumes by Carlo Diappi. Maestro Carlo Rizzi conducted the orchestra of the Teatro Comunale di Bologna and the Prague Chamber Choir.

On 8 November, in the Sala della Repubblica of the Teatro Rossini, the ROF Talk La Cenerentola 25 years later took place, with the participation of Luigi Ferrari (President of the Istituto Nazionale Studi Verdiani, then Artistic Director of the ROF), Angelo Foletto (former President of the National Association of Music Critics), Ilaria Narici (Scientific Director of the Fondazione Rossini), Ernesto Palacio (Intendant of the ROF), and members of the cast who sang La Cenerentola the following day. During the talk, the interactive project created for the ROF by the digital agency Indici Opponibili was presented: a didactic platform to be used as a tool for the Crescendo per Rossini training programme.

On 9 November, a selection of excerpts from La Cenerentola was performed at the Teatro Rossini. The cast included established young performers trained at the Accademia Rossiniana 'Alberto Zedda': Chiara Tirotta (Cinderella), Pietro Adaini (Don Ramiro), Giuseppe Toia (Don Magnifico), Matteo Mancini (Dandini), Giacomo Nanni (Alidoro). Alessandro Uva at the piano.

On 12th November at the Teatro Rossini, the pianist Francesco Libetta gave a recital entitled Rossini e dintorni, with music by Rossini, Sogner, Valeri, Vernet, Kalkbrenner and Liszt.

This was followed by two international promotional events at the Italian Consulate in New York (Monday 27th November) and the Italian Embassy in Berlin (Thursday 30th November), hosted by the Italian Consul General in New York, Fabrizio Di Michele, and the Italian Ambassador in Berlin, Armando Varricchio, during which the detailed programme of the ROF 2024 was presented and a selection from La Cenerentola was performed.

On 15 December, President Daniele Vimini and Director General Cristian Della Chiara were guests at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, with which the Festival signed a framework cooperation agreement. Daniele Vimini and Liao Changyong, President of the Conservatory, signed the document at the Music Castle of the Institute in the presence of Tiziana D'Angelo, Consul General of Italy in Shanghai, Rocco Carlo Genchi, Vice-Consul, and Francesco D'Arelli, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute.