It will be the eagerly awaited new production of La donna del lago, entrusted to the unforeseeable inspiration of Damiano Michieletto, that will inaugurate the XXXVII edition of the Rossini Opera Festival. Michele Mariotti will conduct “his own” orchestra and chorus, from the Teatro Comunale, Bologna, with a cast including, according to the well established Festival tradition, both bel canto stars such as Juan Diego Flórez and Michael Spyres as well as recently recognized young singers like Marko Mimica and Varduhi Abrahamyan, but above all the recent discovery of the Accademia Rossiniana, Salome Jicia, who will interpret the title role in the opera. It is not the first time that this has happened in Pesaro: the privilege of passing directly from the Accademia to a leading role has, in fact, already been accorded in the past to Marianna Pizzolato, Olga Peretyatko, Marina Rebeka and Yijie Shi, with the success that everybody knows.
The second new production on the programme will be Il Turco in Italia, an opera which, like La donna del lago, will be featured for the third time in the history of the Festival. The production will be by Davide Livermore, a significantly constant name to appear on the Festival posters, while the conductor will be Speranza Scappucci, a lady conductor who has recently been gathering international laurels, leading the Filarmonica Gioachino Rossini. A first-class cast of singers includes Erwin Schrott, in his first appearance at the Festival, Olga Peretyatko, Nicola Alaimo and Pietro Spagnoli.
The third opera, the revival of Ciro in Babilonia, after its great success in 2012, will be the occasion for the return to Pesaro of Ewa Podleš, the charismatic contralto around whom Davide Livermore had, in fact, constructed the production. The irreplaceable protagonist will be supported by artists worthy of her such as Pretty Yende and Antonino Siragusa. The chorus and orchestra of the Teatro Comunale, Bologna, will be conducted by Jader Bignamini, one of the most successful and interesting from the ranks of younger conductors.
After the traditional Viaggio a Reims, a showcase for the latest products of the Accademia Rossiniana, beloved by audiences (and by fellow artists) the programme will be completed by a rich list of other events, such as bel canto recitals and orchestral concerts on special themes, which will feature the Orchestra Sinfonica G. Rossini which, together with the FGR-Orchestra, worthily represents the musical potentialities of the Region.
The Festival will end with an important concert celebrating the honorary citizenship conferred upon Juan Diego Flórez, 20 years after his first appearance in Pesaro launched his international career. The great Peruvian tenor will vocally revisit the main events of his 16 participations in the Festival (with a total of 22 performances), supported by a group of distinguished colleagues. Christopher Franklin will conduct the Comunale, Bologna forces. As usual, the final concert will be transmitted in live video in Piazza del Popolo.