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Cherubini’s masterpiece opens the 2008-09 Opera Season
Evelino Pidò conducts the opera with staging by Hugo de Ana, protagonist
Anna Caterina Antonacci
Teatro Regio, Sunday 5 October 2008 at 7 pm
A rapidly-growing Teatro Regio, which with great satisfaction has achieved many of its pre-established objectives, inaugurates the new Season with Medea on Sunday 5 October at 7 pm. The Torinese Maestro Evelino Pidò conducts Luigi Cherubini’s masterpiece, to be presented for the first time at the Teatro Regio, in a new staging by Hugo de Ana. On stage, an extraordinary cast, with Anna Caterina Antonacci in the title role, which she confronts for the first time in Italy; with her, Giuseppe Filianoti, Cinzia Forte, Sara Mingardo and Giovanni Battista Parodi. There will also be the debut of Maestro Roberto Gabbiani as the new Chorus Master, beginning in this way his collaboration with the Theatre.
The Gruppo Fondiaria Sai will once again, for the fifth consecutive year, sponsor the inaugural evening, strengthening even further its ties with the Regio and its city.
The public, which has awarded the Theatre in recent years with growing attendance and has demonstrated great openness and curiosity towards more innovative works, will undoubtedly enjoy this Medea, a fascinating opera, loved by musicians like Brahms – who defined it « the height of dramatic music» – Schumann and Beethoven, who wrote to Cherubini: «Vous resterez toujours celui de mes contemporains, que je l’estime le plus». Evelino Pidò, who has already conducted the opera at the Capitole de Toulouse and the Châtelet de Paris, recognises in Cherubini a rare mastery of orchestration. The synthetic judgement of Guido Pannain expresses the essential: «In Medea, a musical tragedy from beginning to end, we see for the first time how music outlines the drama through to the conclusion without trying to finish in the academic apotheosis of the ballet finale. The tragedy of Medea is sculpted in hard stone, gaunt, concise, on a steel-coloured horizon, in an atmosphere of merciless fatality ». In Torino, the Italian version will be staged, edited from original sources by Flavio Testi for Casa Ricordi; it revives the libretto by Carlo Zangarini, realised in 1909 for the Teatro alla Scala.
The story takes place in Corinth, in Creon’s palace. Glauce (the king’s daughter) is making preparations for her wedding with Jason; the hero has repudiated Medea, his wife – with whom he had two children – who once helped him to recover the Golden Fleece. The Argonauts arrive to pay homage to the bride, who cannot hide her fear of Medea. Medea manages to enter the king’s palace and begs for Jason’s return; when he refuses, the sorceress curses him and swears vengeance; then, alone with him, she recalls the happy moments of their love. Creon orders Medea to leave Corinth and she pretends to agree, obtaining permission to spend one more day with her children; meanwhile, she orders Neris, her maidservant, to take to Glauce her wedding present: the diadem and mantle given to her by Apollo. The vendetta is carried out: Glauce dies because the gifts are poisoned, Jason is desperate and tries to arrest Medea, who instead flees to the temple where Neris has taken the children; there, the tragedy is consumed: Medea kills her children, the temple burns and she promises Jason that she will wait for him in the after-life.
It is impossible to narrate the story of Medea without having before one’s eyes the striking face of Maria Callas and in one’s ears her legendary interpretation. In Torino, we will see the fascinating and charismatic Anna Caterina Antonacci in this extremely difficult and absorbing role. Promising excellent performances are also Giuseppe Filianoti (Jason), who sang the role of Tito last season at the Regio, the soprano Cinzia Forte (Glauce), Sara Mingardo (Neris) and Giovanni Battista Parodi (Creon). During the ten performances from 5 to 22 October, alternating in the leading roles will be Chiara Taigi (as Medea), Stefano Secco, Daria Masiero, Annunziata Vestri and Rafal Siwek
Hugo de Ana, responsible for the stage direction, sets and costumes, says he is captivated by the structure of this decidedly modern opera, and has chosen costumes and scenes that respect the absolute timelessness of the context; it will be a Medea that respects the music, capable, for De Ana, of describing atmosphere and situations without spending a word.
For this season, there will be a change of venue for Incontri con l’Opera: thus, the appointment is at the Piccolo Regio Puccini, where Medea will be presented to the public by Vittorio Della Croce on Tuesday 30 September at 5 pm.
Torino, 28 July 2008
Head of the Press Office