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Stars of bel canto on stage for Rossini
Teatro Regio, Wednesday 25 November 2009 at 8 pm
After the extraordinary success of Traviata, on Wednesday 25 November the Teatro Regio will present a new production of Tancredi by Gioachino Rossini. This masterpiece, with which the twenty-one-year-old composer from Pesaro made a name for himself as a master of opera seria, will be conducted by Kristjan Järvi, the thirty-seven-year-old American who belongs to an important family of musicians coming from Esthonia. Yannis Kokkos will be responsible for the stage direction, sets and costumes. The all-Italian cast will feature the most important specialists of bel canto: Daniela Barcellona, Patrizia Ciofi, Antonino Siragusa and Simone Del Savio. The Chorus Master is Claudio Fenoglio.
With Tancredi the Regio continues its policy of international co-productions, renewing its partnership with the Teatro Real of Madrid, together with the Gran Teatre del Liceu of Barcellona and the Teatro de la Maestranza of Seville.
After twenty-four years, Tancredi, the opera put to music by Rossini on the libretto by Gaetano Rossi, based on Voltaire’s tragedy of the same name, returns to the Regio. The opera is represented in its second version – the one that was staged at the Teatro Comunale of Ferrara on 21 March 1813 – that revives the original tragic finale of Voltaire. The story centres around the opposed love between Tancredi – unjustly exiled for having betrayed his country – and Amenaide, the daughter of the noble Argirio, set in Syracuse besieged by Sarasens in 1005. Hostile families that manage to join forces only when faced with invaders, a love letter that ends up in the wrong hands, bloody duels, honour, loyalty and strong emotions: elements of a fairy tale that the Greek stage director has chosen to narrate using Sicilian puppets. «The famous puppets – Kokkos explains– become a sort of double, or shadow of the characters. They allow me to bring that chivalrous world, bearer of such high values and nostalgic images, to the audience». On the same wave-length Maestro Kristjan Järvi, who confirms his total collaboration with the stage director: «an audience concentrated on the imagery will inevitably also concentrate on the music».
Carrying on with the eighteenth-century tradition of associating the hero with the shrill, high-pitched voice of a castrato, the composer entrusted the title role to a contralto, who will be in this production Daniela Barcellona, a celebrated interpreter of Rossini; Patrizia Ciofi will be Amenaide, a role with which she has already proven her bravura; Argirio will be Antonino Siragusa, who returns to the Regio after his great success in l’Italiana in Algeri; Simone Del Savio will be heard in the role of Orbazzano; Annunziata Vestri will be Isaura while in the role en travesti of Roggiero we will find Paola Gardina.
During the nine performances, from 25 November to 5 December, alternating in the title roles will be Manuela Custer (Tancredi), Anna Maria Dell’Oste (Amenaide) and José Manuel Zapata (Argirio). Assisting with the stage direction will be Emmanuelle Bastet.
The production of Tancredi is realised with the backing of Eni Italgas, one of the most important supporting partners of the Teatro Regio, and will be broadcast live by Rai-Radio3 on 25 November. Tancredi will be presented to the public by Alberto Mattioli in Incontro con l’Opera which will take place at the Piccolo Regio Puccini on Wednesday 18 November at 5.30 pm.
Torino, 22 October 2009
Head of the Press Office