Teatro Regio, Wednesday 11 January 2017 - Sunday 22 January 2017

Press release

Gabriele Lavia directs Leoncavallo’s masterpiece.
The manifesto of the Italian Verismo conducted by Nicola Luisotti

Teatro Regio, wednesday 11th January 2017 at 20:00

On Wednesday 11th January 2017, at 20:00, the Regio stages a new setting of Pagliacci, Ruggero Leoncavallo’s masterpiece, 125 years after its premiere. The direction is signed by Gabriele Lavia, actor and director among the most representative of the last decades of the Italian theatre. Nicola Luisotti is most welcome at the Regio conducting the Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro, on his first opera production after the success of I Concerti season. Two sopranos will alternate in the title role, giving voice to Nedda: Erika Grimaldi and Davinia Rodríguez. The tenor Fabio Sartori is Canio.

Gabriele Lavia chose an orientation that aims at the heart of poetic Realism, combining reality and naturalism. The setting is that of Italian suburbs after World War II, with strong aesthetic references to the Italian Neorealism. “Pagliacci is a very complex opera - says the director - in which Leoncavallo built something philosophical. The plot is summarised in the prologue, where the dazzling opera themes are expressed very clearly. The first interesting thing is that the character of the Prologue, Tonio, enters discreetly asking permission, and timidly asks twice: “May I?”, instead of powerfully shouting: “Here I am!” which is not at all an insignificant detail. The composer makes us notice that something is going to start transcending the mere facts underlying the story. It is a poetic transfiguration, with much care and attention to the words, to the meanings each word carries, and for the developments that will occur in the course of the drama”.
Nicola Luisotti, Music Director of the San Francisco Opera, and one of the most appreciated Italian conductors in the world, is back with the score of Leoncavallo. “All great works of art have something immortal and are therefore linked to the present - says the director - and Pagliacci is not different. The double murder of Canio creates a kind of catharsis in the audience, plus the extraordinary formula of ‘theatre in the theatre’ makes the action and the music, more than ‘Verista’, but extremely and terribly true.” The score, even in its brevity, puts a strain on the singers. For this production alternate in the title role sopranos Erika Grimaldi and Davinia Rodríguez, artiste ideal in making the voice of Nedda line, perfects artist to make the vocal line of the protagonist, played between lyrical moments and other strong dramatic intensity. Tenor Fabio Sartori plays Canio. Appreciated in most important opera stages, from the Teatro alla Scala to the Metropolitan, Sartori has a dowry vocal timbre of rare beauty and a stage presence that always puts the dramaturgy at the directors’ service. Roberto Frontali, famous Roman baritone with more than thirty years of career, plays Tonio. The artist is one of the few, nowadays capable, due to his vast experience, to interpret those moments of great dramatic tension that are the signature style of Leoncavallo. Rounding out the cast: the tenor Juan José de León (Peppe) and the baritone Andrzej Filończyk (Silvio). In the eight opera performances, from 11th to 22nd January, the main characters roles alternate on: the 12th, 14th, and 18th Francesco Anile as Canio and Gabriele Viviani as Tonio. The new settings and costumes are by Paolo Ventura, one of the most important photographers in the contemporary art scene. The lights are by Andrea Anfossi. The Chorus of the Teatro Regio and the Chorus of the Teatro Regio and the Conservatory ‘G. Verdi’ are led by Claudio Fenoglio. Pagliacci was premiered at the Teatro Dal Verme in Milan in 1892 and was an immediate success. The opera opens with a brief prologue, considered the manifesto of the Verismo opera. The three main characters are bound together by love affair, jealousy and violence. Canio discovers, through Tonio, that his beloved, Nedda, is having an affair with Silvio, a young man from the same village. Blinded by rage, Canio, actor-manager of the touring company in which Nedda and Tonio work, kills his wife and her lover in the middle of a play, before being fully aware of how life is , in itself, a farce as in the famous romance ‘Vesti la Giubba’. When Canio steps on stage in Act II, the dialectic life/theatre breaks impetuously on the ramshackle theatre of a small village, so much so that the staged comedy - masterful example of “theatre in the theatre” - comes out distorted in its placid and harmless course. Pagliacci brings to light deep conflicts of the twentieth century and, from a dramaturgical point of view, it anticipates solutions that Pirandello will only write about a few years later. The opera by Leoncavallo is fully embedded in the language of the twentieth century; the use, for example, of the Italian masks of comedy in the booklet - written by Leoncavallo - shows his attention to the performing novelty of the early twentieth century of composers such as Stravinsky, Malipiero, Richard Strauss, Busoni and Casella.
The opera will be presented to the public on Wednesday 11th January at 17.30, at the Piccolo Regio Puccini with a lecture entitled: Pagliacci. The reality in the mirror, by Michele Girardi. Admission is free. The opera will be broadcast live by Rai-Radio 3, on Wednesday 11th January at 20:00, transmission conducted by Susanna Franchi and also part of the European broadcastings. As usual, the opera will be documented by ‘Pearls of Passion’ by Paola Giunti, available on our website and on our YouTube channel: directly from the theatre backstage, exclusive reports and curiosity about the protagonists and the settings.

Monday, January 9 at 11:30 am, in the hall of the Regio, there will be a press conference presenting the work and exhibition project Pagliacci by Paolo Ventura, author of scenes and costumes of the new production. The dream world and delicate iconography of Ventura, his pictures, sculptures, set designs and sketches created will be exhibited at the Teatro Regio in the entrance foyer, on the occasion of the opera performances of Leoncavallo, in Camera - Italian center for photography (via delle Rosine n. 18) from January 12th to February 12th. Paolo Ventura, artist recognized for his photographic works that have a dream and yet familiar world, will be the protagonist of this personal exhibition that for the first time sees collaborate two important cultural institutes, and which will allow the public to deepen the work that this photographer dedicated to the world of opera.
Tickets for all performances of Pagliacci are on sale at the Box Office of the Teatro Regio (Piazza Castello 215 - Tel. 011.8815.241 / 242). On line on at Infopiemonte-TorinoCultura. At retailers Vivaticket and the Teatro Stabile ticket office and by phone with a credit card by calling 011.8815.270. For more information, please call us on: 011.8815.557.
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Turin, 3rd January 2017

Teatro Regio, Direction of Communication and Press: Paola Giunti (Director), Sara Zago and Paolo Cascio (Media Relations)
Phone: +39 011.8815233/239 - - - -