For the first time the Rossini Opera Festival will be descending upon the Royal Opera House of Muscat, in Oman, on 27 and 28 October with one of its most celebrated productions: L’occasione fa il ladro, staged for the first time at the ROF at the Auditorium Pedrotti on the 16th August 1987, in the critical edition edited by Giovanni Carli Ballola, Patricia B. Brauner and Philip Gossett, conducted by Salvatore Accardo.
This tour is part of the packed calendar of events celebrating the 150th anniversary of the death of Gioachino Rossini, brought about in collaboration with the Pesaro Town Council, the Fondazione Rossini, the Conservatorio G. Rossini, the Ministry for Cultural Affairs and Tourism, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry for University and Research, Italian Cultural Institutes and Enit – the national organization for Tourism.
The production of L’occasione fa il ladro is the oldest among all those that turn up again and again at the ROF. It owes its longevity to the inspired production by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, one of the twentieth century masters of Rossini opera, who endowed the Festival with one of the last fruits of his genius only a few months before his premature death at the age of 56 in 1988.
The show, which created a sensation at its first performance in Pesaro nearly thirty years ago, has been revived several times and, above all, imitated in all its highly original simplicity. Sonja Frisell will once more rehearse this revival.
The Filarmonica Gioachino Rossini will be conducted by Christopher Franklin, who last year conducted the Flórez 20 Concert in Pesaro. The cast includes high ranking Rossini singers and habitual guests at Pesaro, such as Olga Peretyatko (Berenice), Maxim Mironov (Conte Alberto), Alessandro Luciano (Don Eusebio), Alfonso Antoniozzi (Martino), Mattia Olivieri (Don Parmenione) and Cecilia Molinari (Ernestina).
Matteo Ricci, Mayor of Pesaro and President of the ROF, had this to say about the event: “We are on the verge of 2018: a strategic year for Pesaro, music city. Rossini will be an ambassador for the beauties of Italy all over the world and this visit of the ROF to Oman, with an important production, represents the first significant step in our international plans. A prelude to the 150th anniversary celebrations, in which, obviously, the Rossini Opera Festival, an organization of world-wide fame, will play a major part with its 2018 edition, which is promising to be extraordinary. This national anniversary is, for us, an opportunity that we must make the most of: for this reason, also, we have entered into synergy with Mibact, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Italian Cultural Institutes, the Ministry for Economic Development, Muir”.
Umberto Fanni, the General Administrator of the Royal Opera House, Muscat, adds: “L’occasione fa il ladro marks the first ?occasion? for a collaboration between the Royal Opera House of Muscat and the Rossini Opera Festival and we are proud that this has been realized for the 150th anniversary of the death of the great Pesarese composer and with one of the finest productions invented by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle. This will be an outstanding event for the 2017-2018 season of the Royal Opera House, Muscat, not only because Rossini’s one-act comic opera will be being presented in Muscat for the first time, but also for the choice of an outstanding cast of specialists in this repertory. It will surely be interesting to work together on other projects that allow us to get to know and to study the Rossini repertory.”
Ernesto Palacio, the General Administrator of the ROF, concluded: “The Rossini Opera Festival has gladly accepted the invitation offered us by the Royal Opera House of Muscat, to bring one of our productions to Oman. This is one of Jean-Pierre Ponnelle’s finest productions, which has always been enthusiastically received by audiences and critics. We can be sure of a first-rate cast and we hope that this collaboration will lead to more in the future. We consider it our duty to make Gioachino Rossini’s genius known everywhere, even more so in this period in which we are celebrating the 150th anniversary of his death.”