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Great singers for Denis Krief’s production. Donato Renzetti conducts
Teatro Regio, Wednesday 14 April 2010 at 8 pm
On Wednesday 14 April Luisa Miller by Giuseppe Verdi, the tragic opera in three acts based on the play Kabale und Liebe by Friedrich Schiller on the libretto by Salvatore Cammarano, will open at the Teatro Regio. The staging, co-produced with the Teatro Regio of Parma, makes use of Denis Krief’s stage direction, sets, costumes and lighting, while on the podium of the Orchestra and Chorus of the Regio will be maestro Donato Renzetti, an established specialist of the romantic Italian repertoire. Singing under his direction will be Fiorenza Cedolins (Luisa), Sebastian Catana (Miller) – substituting for Roberto Frontali who due to illness will not be taking part in the opening night -, Massimiliano Pisapia (Rodolfo), Orlin Anastassov (Count Walter), Barbara Di Castri (Federica) and Enrico Iori (Wurm). The Chorus Master is Claudio Fenoglio.
The story takes place in the Tyrol, in the first half of the seventeenth century. In the modest dwelling of Miller, an elderly retired soldier, a celebration for young Luisa’s birthday is underway. She is in love with the mysterious Carlo, who is really Rodolfo, the son of Count Walter. Miller is worried about the fate of his daughter, and is convinced that a nobleman would never marry a villager. Rodolfo is engaged to the Duchess Federica to whom he, however, confesses his love for Luisa. Miller is pressured by Wurm, Walter’s steward, who is in love with Luisa and has asked for her hand, but the old soldier, aware of his daughter’s true feelings, doesn’t want to agree to the marriage. Count Walter accuses Luisa of having seduced his son, and condemns her and her father to prison; Rodolfo asks for their liberation. Wurm convinces Luisa that the only way to save her father is to write a letter to Rodolfo repudiating her love and confessing her desire to marry Wurm instead. Rodolfo is shocked, and challenges the steward to a duel, while Walter tries to convince him to marry Federica. Miller is freed, but Luisa, desperate, wants to put an end to her life. In the meantime, Rodolfo confronts her, accusing her of betrayal; he pours poison into a cup, drinks it and offers it to Luisa. Only when she realises she is dying does Luisa tell Rodolfo the truth. Miller arrives and receives his daughter’s parting words; Walter arrives with Wurm, whom Rodolfo runs through with his sword before expiring next to Luisa.
Luisa Miller, performed for the first time at the Teatro San Carlo of Naples on 8 December 1849, is the last opera of Verdi’s early period, before the explosion of his genius with the “popular trilogy” in which the composer from Busseto approaches a drama based, above all, on a psychological analysis of the characters. «It is a fundamental step in Verdi’s creative development, a turning point, or rather, a point of conjunction between his early works and the popular trilogy. Verdi abandons the collective drama for that of the middle classes, delving into their feelings» maestro Donato Renzetti explains, adding: «the main interpretative difficulties arise from the need to highlight the individual characters musically: the excitement of love between Rodolfo and Luisa, the old father Miller’s honesty, Wurm’s baseness, Luisa’s torment in the final misunderstanding which is transformed into tragedy». Musician and man of the theatre, Denis Krief, returns to the Regio after having directed the extraordinary Dama di Picche last season: «the director is a cultural manager… he must exercise strict control over the stage…» mobile sets that change in full view of the audience «the director cannot interrupt the course of the music, that fast and irreversible flow that marks the drama, and that, in its impetuousness, appears so modern. In an opera theatre, it is the conductor who determines the tempi, while the director should only concentrate on the structure with all the necessary rigour».
Luisa Miller has always fascinated great interpreters, and at the Regio we will find a splendid close-knit cast of singers. In the title role, Fiorenza Cedolins, a singer with great experience who distinguished herself immediately for the beautiful colour of her voice, the rich tone that allowed her to win the Luciano Pavarotti International Competition in 1996 and to sing Tosca with the tenor from Modena. In recent years she has built an immense repertoire – all Italian – and has appeared with such important conductors as Mehta, Maazel, Gatti e Chailly among others. Rodolfo, the pivotal character in this opera, will be Massimiliano Pisapia, tenor from Torino, one of the most interesting and promising Italian voices today. Miller will be baritone Sebastian Catana; in the role of Count Walter the young Bulgarian bass Orlin Anastassov; Enrico Iori will be the treacherous Wurm and mezzo soprano Barbara Di Castri will be the duchess Federica.
During the nine performances, from 14 to 27 April, alternating in the main roles will be Alexia Voulgaridou (Luisa), Alberto Gazale (Miller 15/04), Roberto Aronica (Rodolfo 15-23/04), Francesco Demuro (Rodolfo 17-20/04), Enrico Iori (Count Walter) and Andrea Papi (Wurm).
Luisa Miller will be recorded and broadcast by Rai-Radio3, and will be presented to the public by Paolo Gallarati in Incontro con l’Opera to take place at the Piccolo Regio Puccini on Wednesday 31 March at 5.30 pm.
Torino, 29 March 2010
Head of the Press Office