An agreement in the name of Rossini

24 July 2021

The Rossini Opera Festival and the Toronto City Opera have reached an agreement of collaboration, supported and underwritten by Aspes Spa, whose aim is artistic objectives and the promoting of culture. The document was signed by  the President of the ROF Daniele Vimini, the President of the Toronto City Opera Mark Wilson and the President of Aspes Spa Luca Pieri.

Among the artistic projects may be named: the organization of Rossini recitals and opera concerts with singers from the Accademia Rossiniana “Alberto Zedda” of the Rossini Opera Festival; the creation of an audition circuit for selecting singers for the Accademia Rossiniana “Alberto Zedda” in Canada with the intention of amplifying the international network already under way in New York, Moscow, Seoul (as from 2022) and Pesaro; the organization of Masterclasses in Rossini singing in Canada; the organization of a Rossini Mini-Festival at Toronto featuring digital reproductions of operas chosen from the catalogue of the Rossini Opera Festival; co-productions between the two musical institutions and the hiring of Rossini Opera Festival productions; the establishment of training courses for the various artisan specializations in the theatre.

With regard to the promotion of culture, the agreement will have as a main objective the spreading of the project “La Cucina di Gioachino Rossini – Rossini Gourmet” which will be realized with the co-operation of Aspes Spa in order to publicize Italian cooking and the various restaurant and agricultural businessess that will be involved.

The Toronto City Opera is the oldest opera company in this Canadian city, which houses a numerous and active Italian community.  It was founded in 1946 by James Rosselino as a didactic laboratory within the Central Technical School; in 1950 Rosselino was followed by Enrico Vinci, a singing teacher at the Toronto Conservatory.  In 1967 Giuseppe Macina re-launched the work bringing into being  the Toronto Opera Repertoire in 1971, which in 1980 was absorbed into the Toronto City Opera.

The current General Director of the Toronto City Opera, Richard Paradiso, who claims Lucania as his place of origin,  was awarded the Mondi Lucani prize in 2020 by the Basilicata Cultural Society of Toronto.  Through this contact it has proved possible to seal the cultural link between Italy and Canada, on the basis of which the agreement with the Rossini Opera Festival was born.  The current President of the Mondi Lucani association, Maria Andriulli, is hopeful that before long Matera and Basilicata may also join in the activities and projects foreseen by the protocol.