Ernesto Palacio has been Intendant of the ROF since October 2017, after having been its Artistic Director and Director of the Accademia Rossiniana.
"My first time in Pesaro? I came here in the mid-1970s, when I first performed Petite messe solennelle and then La scala di seta directed by Bruno Cagli: the ROF had not yet been born. Then I went back in 1991, this time as a spectator at the ROF. I was a friend, as well as a colleague, of Luca Canonici, Lucia Valentini and William Matteuzzi, who were singing in Pesaro that year. On the programme were Tancredi, Otello and Cambiale di matrimonio. My constant presence at the Festival began in 1996, when I came with Juan Diego Flórez who was to sing the role of Ernesto in Ricciardo e Zoraide. Then we all remember what happened, with Juan Diego's debut in Matilde di Shabran and the success that launched him as an international star on stages all over the world. I was still a singer, and in 1998 I sang with Juan Diego at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia the Cantata per Pio IX, the one we will perform for the first time at the ROF this summer. I moved to Pesaro permanently in 2015 and got to know it better. It is a quiet city, where you can live and eat well, but it is also lively, full of stimuli'.
How was the transition from singer and then agent to management roles in music institutions? "Coming to Pesaro closed the circle, going from one side of the fence to the other: from singer and agent to artistic director, and then superintendent. Having held different roles helps me a lot to have a broad knowledge of artistic issues from various points of view, which allows me to make decisions and solve problems very quickly. All this gives us the possibility to plan our activities in advance, which is crucial for creating casts of a level worthy of the history of our event".
What are the goals for the ROF in the future? "Always strive for excellence, from singers to directors and conductors. The Festival has its own artistic line, which we intend to maintain, but we are open to new ideas. We want to avoid creating a restricted club of performers: we are always looking for new artists capable of opening up new horizons for Rossinian interpretation".