The new production of Korngold's opera staged by Pier Luigi Pizzi and conducted by Pinchas Steinberg is available for free on streaming and on demand on the European video platform
Violanta is the production by Teatro Regio that OperaVision, a European video platform entirely dedicated to opera, will stream free of charge and on demand on www.operavision.eu starting on Friday, February 28 until August 28, 2020. The one-act opera by Erich Wolfgang Korngold was presented this last January at Teatro Regio in a new Italian premiere production with the direction, scenery, and costumes by Pier Luigi Pizzi, conducted by Pinchas Steinberg.
The cast of this small masterpiece of Korngold's late romantic style, the setting of which, in the staging designed by Pier Luigi Pizzi with refined lighting by Andrea Anfossi, has shifted from the Renaissance to the 1920s, includes Annemarie Kremer (Violanta), Michael Kupfer-Radecky (Simone Trovai), Norman Reinhardt (Alfonso), Peter Sonn (Giovanni Bracca), Soula Parassidis (Bice), and Anna Maria Chiuri (Barbara), as well as the Chorus of Teatro Regio, conducted by Andrea Secchi.
The second opera by Korngold, composed in 1914 at just 17 years of age, Violanta was performed for the first time in Munich in 1916. The story, set in an imaginary and decadent 15th century Venice, is that of Violanta who, eager to avenge the suicide of her sister Nerina, invites her seducer Alfonso to her palace to have him killed by her husband, Simone Trovai, only to fall in love with him in turn and succumb to the fate of death that she herself had planned. Entrusted to the refined baton of the conductor Pinchas Steinberg, who is one of the greatest experts on Korngold, the score paints the contrast between the gloomy atmosphere of the oppressive world which Simone has forced upon his wife, and the sudden glimpses of life, sensuality, and passion brought by Alfonso.
«Pinchas Steinberg skillfully conducts the orchestra and voices in a score full of colors and shadings that includes reminiscences of Richard Strauss, Zemlinsky, Mahler, and Puccini (Tosca): alright, it's epigonic music, but very classy.» (Giorgio Pestelli, La Stampa)
«The opera is staged and performed well, and its ninety minutes fly by. Bravo Pier Luigi Pizzi for avoiding an all too easy aestheticism and, in spite of sumptuous costumes, preferring a sober stylized key. Pinchas Steinberg's conduction is exacting.» (Enrico Girardi, Corriere della Sera)
«An interpretation that is respectful and historicized rather than incendiary: in the temperate conducting by Pinchas Steinberg, and in the idiomatic staging by Pier Luigi Pizzi, in which the setting has shifted from the libretto's 15th century Venice, with its carnival festivities, blood-red clouds, and silty waters.» (Angelo Foletto, la Repubblica)
«Listening to new music is good for us: it enriches, teaches, and creates perspectives and orders. In Korngold's little gem, short and nonetheless prolific as can only be produced by the pen of a young man, flashes of film music were already emerging. Fresh and voluptuous.» (Carla Moreni, Il Sole 24Ore)
By offering an immense international audience the opportunity to attend this successful production, Teatro Regio contributes to the rediscovery of a hidden gem from the early twentieth century, and confirms its adhesion to OperaVision, of which it has been a partner since the beginning with Puccini's Turandot directed by Stefano Poda and conducted by Gianandrea Noseda in 2018.
Created with support from the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union, the OperaVision platform involves 29 opera houses from 17 different countries with the aim of promoting the international use of a great variety of acclaimed European productions through the internet and new technologies.