The Petite messe solennelle conducted by Michele Mariotti closed the 44th edition of the Rossini Opera Festival at the Vitrifrigo Arena. The Festival, whose founding bodies are the Municipality of Pesaro, Intesa Sanpaolo and the Scavolini Foundation, was realised with the support of the Ministry of Culture, the Municipality of Pesaro, the Marche Region, EBWorld and the Meuccia Severi Foundation, in the context of Pesaro - Italian Capital of Culture 2024.
No less than 40 events were on the programme, including performances and meetings. The much sought-after programme included the premiere of the critical edition of Eduardo and Cristina and the extremely rare Aureliano in Palmira and Adelaide di Borgogna, as well as two cantatas never before performed at the ROF: the one in honour of Pius IX and the non-Rossinian one in memory of Maria Malibran. Among the main novelties of the event are the ROF Talks, a series of thematic meetings chaired by RAI journalist Susanna Franchi, and the extension of the Salons Rossini, popular musical evenings that this year will be held in five historical towns of the province: Gradara, Cagli, Mondavio, Carpegna and Urbino.
The box office recorded 13,576 admissions and a take of 750,075 euros. The percentage of foreigners was 50%, with France, Germany, Austria, USA, Switzerland, UK, Japan, Spain, Belgium and Russia among the most represented nations. Spectators also came from Holland, Ireland, Israel, Australia, Sweden, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Denmark, Finland, New Caledonia, Hungary, Thailand, Poland, Brazil, Ivory Coast, South Korea, Slovenia, Principality of Monaco, Romania, Serbia, Latvia, Estonia, India, Luxembourg and San Marino, making a total of 39 foreign nations.
Media coverage was particularly wide: 153 journalists were accredited (one of the highest numbers in the history of the event), representing publications from 23 countries: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Japan, Greece, Israel, Italy, Peru, United Kingdom, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, United States, Sweden, Switzerland. Reporters from the main national newspapers and national and international trade magazines were present. Among the many foreign newspapers, famous dailies such as the Financial Times (England), Sueddeutsche Zeitung (Germany) and Mainichi Shimbun (Japan) wrote about ROF 2023, as well as the Jewish Chronicle (the oldest Jewish newspaper) and Music Weekly (China's first music magazine).
The second performance of Il viaggio a Reims by the students of the Accademia Rossiniana "Alberto Zedda" was streamed live on OperaVision, the free platform managed by Opera Europa and co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme within the Next Generation project. The two Viaggio performances will be available on OperaVision for six months, along with a dedicated podcast and backstage video. They were also streamed live for free on the Festival's website and social channels.
The strengthening of the relationship with RAI continued, represented in Pesaro by the National Symphony Orchestra, which has been the main partner of the event for years. Rai Cultura broadcast live and rebroadcast the premiere of Eduardo e Cristina on Friday 11 August at 21.15. Rai Radio 3 broadcast live the first performances of Eduardo e Cristina, Aureliano in Palmira and Adelaide di Borgogna, the premiere also on Euroradio. The orchestra's Artistic Director, Ernesto Schiavi, spoke at the second of the ROF Talks, where the 2024 programme was presented.
The 45th ROF will be held in Pesaro from 7 to 23 August as part of the Pesaro Italian Capital of Culture. No less than five opera productions will be staged. A new production of Bianca e Falliero, conducted by Roberto Abbado and staged by Jean-Louis Grinda, will open the festival. The opera has been absent from the ROF since 2005. It will be followed by another new production, Ermione, conducted by Michele Mariotti and directed by Johannes Erath. The title has not been performed at the Festival since 2008.
There will be two revivals: L'equivoco stravagante, created for ROF 2019 by Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier, conducted by Michele Spotti, and Il barbiere di Siviglia, created for ROF 2018 by Pier Luigi Pizzi, this time conducted by Lorenzo Passerini. A double date with Il viaggio a Reims to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the opera's first modern performance in Pesaro in 1984: in addition to the usual version performed by the students of the Accademia Rossiniana "Alberto Zedda", the Festival's opera icon will be presented in concert form under the conduction of Diego Matheuz.
But the Festival's work does not stop there: the event has received funding from the Ministry of Culture for the Cenerentola #25 project, as part of the Musica 2023 special projects. The aim of the initiative is to create an itinerary 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 and is divided into three sections: Getting to know, meeting and playing with Cenerentola.