Today the 40th edition of the Rossini Opera Festival, scheduled to take place in Pesaro from the 11th to the 23rd August, was presented to the press at the Alexander Museum Palace Hotel. The Festival programme features two new productions: Semiramide, a co-production with the Opéra Royal de Wallonie, Liège, conducted by Michele Mariotti and staged by Graham Vick, and L’equivoco stravagante, conducted by Carlo Rizzi and produced by Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier. The programme also includes a revival of the rarely produced Demetrio e Polibio, staged by Davide Livermore, conducted by Paolo Arrivabeni.
The programme will be completed by Il viaggio a Reims given by pupils of the Accademia Rossiniana “Alberto Zedda”, the Gala ROF XL starring some of the leading Rossini singers of today; the cantata La riconoscenza; the Soirées musicales in the version orchestrated by Fabio Maestri; two Operatic Symphony Concertsfeaturing the voices of VarduhiAbrahmyan and Jessica Pratt and those of Anna Goryachova and Simone Alberghini; two Belcanto Concerts by Angela Meade and AntoninoSiragusa; a new episode of Rossinimaniawith the Italian Harmonists.
The General Administrator Ernesto Palacio opened the meeting: “Rehearsals are going very well, the three productions are very different from each other: Demetrio e Polibio is a revival of the production already staged in 2010 by Davide Livermore, while Semiramide and L’equivoco stravagante are both new productions by Graham Vick and Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier. These two operas have rarely been seen, even in Pesaro: in the case of Semiramide, this is only the third production in a 40 year period, while this is the second of L’equivoco stravagante; Demetrio e Polibio is the first revival of the only production of the opera ever mounted by the ROF. It would be a good thing if titles such as these could be more frequently programmed in theatres all over the world”.
Ilaria Narici, Direttore scientifico of the Fondazione Rossini, stressed the solid links of the Foundation with the ROF: “We have always worked together, the Fondazione edits and publishes the scores in a critical edition and the Festival stages them. Where this year’s operas are concerned, Semiramide will be given in the historic critical edition by Philip Gossett and Alberto Zedda. The Fondazione has recently purchased the only surviving autograph part of Demetrio e Polibio, the Quartetto, which will be a priceless addition to complete the critical edition of the score, edited by Daniele Carnini, that we shall publish next year. Where L’equivoco stravagante is concerned, we have no autograph; the reconstruction of the full score is the result of a meticulous study of the various manuscripts undertaken by Marco Beghelli”.
The Deputy Mayor of Pesaro and President of the ROF Daniele Vimini added: “The programme of the ROF 2019 is rich indeed, continuing to expand. Its period of activity has widened, now reaching from February (the week including Rossini’s birthday) until November (when the anniversary of his death is celebrated). This extension of activities has allowed the organizers to try to involve a different kind of audience, younger and not so used to going to the opera. The Festival is working hard at activities that might appeal to new groups of spectators, beginning with the educational project called Crescendo per Rossini, and the creation of new and important international partnerships, starting with our five-year collaboration with the Royal Opera House, Muscat”.
The Honorary President of the ROF Gianfranco Mariotti closed the meeting by saying: “My presence here is a symbol of continuity. The Festival comes from long ago and has a long history, but it must go even further and create new horizons for itself. The ROF has always been a militant Festival, with a perfectly clear mission to pursue. With the completion of the long phase of the rediscovery of so many forgotten operas, we have come to the end of a cycle, and another is opening out of it. We have given back to the world of opera-lovers scores that at Pesaro have been received with enthusiasm by audiences and critics alike. It would be important that this repertoire could spread wider over foreign stages”.