The thirty-seventh edition of the Rossini Opera Festival will be launched on Monday 8th August. The bill includes two new productions, La donna del lago and Il Turco in Italia, beside revivals of the extremely rare Ciro in Babilonia and the now traditional Il viaggio a Reims performed by young singers from the Accademia Rossiniana, who will also this year take part in a vocal concert incorporated into the Festival activities, the usualBel Canto Concerts (given by Pietro Spagnoli and Monica Bacelli); a new episode in the series Rossinimania (Il cerchio magico – The magic circle – dedicated to numbers composed by Rossini and his singers); L’hommage à Nourrit with Michael Spyres; Duetti amorosi - love duets – by Pretty Yende and Aya Wakizono; the concluding concert, Flórez 20, celebrating the twenty years of affectionate collaboration between Juan Diego Flórez and the Rossini Opera Festival, and the interesting appendix of the live video-projection in Piazza del Popolo, and the children’s opera course Il viaggetto a Reims; the traditional talks by musicologists from the Fondazione Rossini.
La donna del lago (to be performed on the 8th, 11th, 14th and 17th August at 8.00 p.m. at the Adriatic Arena) has been entrusted to Damiano Michieletto, assisted by Paolo Fantin and Klaus Bruns: his well-known talent will enable him to put on one of the operas most difficult to stage. This is a co-production with the Opéra Royal de Wallonie of Liège. The Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro Comunale, Bologna, will be led by Michele Mariotti, returning here fresh from his triumphs in conducting this opera at Covent Garden, London, and the Metropolitan, New York. The cast features international stars who have already enjoyed spectacular successes at the Rof, like Juan Diego Flórez and Michael Spyres, and others coming from the Accademia Rossiniana, like the discovery of the 2015 edition, Salome Jicia, who will undertake the title rôle, and then Marko Mimica (the Podestà in La gazza ladra), Ruth Iniesta and Francisco Brito. The actors Giusi Merli and Alessandro Baldinotti will also take part. The promising and rapidly progressing young mezzo-soprano Varduhi Abrahamyan will sing Malcom for the first time. This is how Michieletto introduces his production: “This is an all-female story, in which the themes of nostalgia and memory play their part in creating an ambiguous atmosphere. The title itself does not tell us the name of the leading lady, but indicates a place, a liquid element from which all the story seems to originate. My dramaturgy brings back the day when Elena met the King: the elderly lady of the title is celebrating the anniversary of her wedding to Malcom and opens the gateway to the past through the filter of her memory. Thus nostalgia becomes the theme of a tale, dominated, as in Walter Scott’s poem, by rugged nature and ruins.”
Il Turco in Italia, the second opera on the bill (to be staged on the 9th, 12th, 15th and 18th August at 8.00 p.m. at the Teatro Rossini), will be given in a new production by Davide Livermore. Speranza Scappucci will conduct the Filarmonica Gioachino Rossini, the Chorus of the Teatro della Fortuna, Fano, and a brilliant young cast: Erwin Schrott, Olga Peretyatko, Nicola Alaimo, Rene Barbera, Pietro Spagnoli, Cecilia Molinari and Pietro Adaini.
The third opera on the bill is Ciro in Babilonia, at the Teatro Rossini on the 10th, 13th, 16th and 20th August at 8.00 p.m. This very rarely performed opera returns to Pesaro after the world première of the critical edition at the ROF 2012 in Davide Livermore’s production, inspired by the silent films of the early twentieth century. Jader Bignamini will conduct the Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro Comunale, Bologna, and a cast including Ewa Podles, returning again to the title role, together with Pretty Yende, Antonio Siragusa, Isabella Gaudì, Oleg Tsibulko, Alessandro Luciano and Dimitri Pkhaladze.