2014-2015 Opera and Ballet Season

2014-2015 Opera and Ballet Season
The 2013-2014 Season is now well underway and will end with the new productions of
Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca (conductor Daniele Callegari, direction by Serena Sinigaglia) and The
Rake’s Progress by Igor Stravinskij (conductor Diego Matheuz, direction by Damiano Michieletto),
Elegy for Young Lovers by Hans Werner Henze (conductor Jonathan Webb, direction by Pier Luigi
Pizzi, production by Teatro delle Muse, Ancona) and La porta della legge by Salvatore Sciarrino
(Italian première, conductor Tito Ceccherini, direction by Johannes Weigand, production by the
Wuppertaler Bühnen), and revivals of Bohème and Madama Butterfly by Puccini, La Traviata and
Il Trovatore by Verdi, L’inganno felice by Rossini and Don Giovanni di Mozart.
Fondazione Teatro La Fenice has now presented the 2014-2015 Ballet and Opera
Season, which includes eighteen different works from November to October: Simon Boccanegra
and La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi, I Capuleti e i Montecchi by Vincenzo Bellini, Il signor
Bruschino by Gioachino Rossini, L’elisir d’amore and Don Pasquale by Gaetano Donizetti, Alceste
by Christoph Willibald Gluck, Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini, Norma by Vincenzo Bellini,
Juditha triumphans by Antonio Vivaldi, La scala di seta by Gioachino Rossini, Otello by Giuseppe
Verdi, The Bridge on the Drina by Dejan Sparavalo, Terza sinfonia di Gustav Mahler by John
Neumeier, Tosca by Giacomo Puccini, La cambiale di matrimonio by Gioachino Rossini, Il medico
dei pazzi by Giorgio Battistelli and Die Zauberflöte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The season will
include nine new productions, eight repertoire pieces and a guest ballet, with a grand total of 128
performances - all either in the evenings or afternoons, excluding mattinée performances for
schools -, once again confirming the increase in productivity that went from 68 performances in the
2010, to 103 in the 2011 season, and 118 in the 2012-2013 season. The season was presented today
at Milan by the president of Fondazione Teatro La Fenice, Giorgio Orsoni, the superintendent
Cristiano Chiarot, and the artistic director, Fortunato Ortombina.
The main features of the season’s programme are as follows:
The consolidation and expansion of the repertoire, with important new productions of Norma (in
collaboration with Biennale Arte) and of Zauberflöte (continuing the Mozart cycle by Antonello
Manacorda and Damiano Michieletto), in addition to the revivals of Elisir d’amore, Don Pasquale,
Otello, Tosca and Madama Butterfly and the intensive revival of Traviata with direction by Robert
Carsen, adapted for the Expo; the development of masterpieces that had their world première in
Venice, such as Juditha triumphans by Vivaldi, Il signor Bruschino and the other early farces by
Rossini, I Capuleti e i Montecchi by Bellini, Simon Boccanegra and La Traviata by Verdi;
foscussing on the Baroque with Juditha triumphans (entrusted to the hands of the specialist
Stefano Montanari) and Alceste by Gluck (with direction by Pier Luigi Pizzi, marking the three
hundredth anniversary of the composer’s birth); faith in the contemporary with the Italian
premières of Medico dei pazzi by Giorgio Battistelli (a new production that will be staged one year
after the world première in Nancy in June 2014) and Ponte sulla Drina by Dejan Sparavalo, based
on an idea by Emir Kusturica who is also in charge of the direction. The 2014-2015 programme will
continue its production challenge of putting both the Fenice and Malibran stages to intensive use,
using the magnificent natural setting of the Doge's Palace Courtyard, with the revival of Otello
and the marvellous return to Venice of John Neumeier's ballet Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler,
forty years after its Italian première in Saint Mark's Square, just ten days after its world première in
The traditional dates are all confirmed with the Christmas Concert in the Basilica of Saint
Mark, the New Year’s Concert broadcast live by RaiUno, the Carnival programme and the
Premio Venezia award; the 2014-2015 season also includes the continuation of three important
initiatives that were started in the past few years: The summer Festival “The Spirit of Music in
Venice”, that will fill the historical places in the city with music, collaboration with the Art
Biennale on the production of great classics from the melodramatic repertoire with outstanding
figures from the contemporary art world, and Atelier della Fenice al Teatro Malibran, which will
continue its study of Rossini’s early farces, involving students from the Fine Arts Academy and the
Conservatory, who will play an active part in the production of the performances together with
Teatro La Fenice.
The 128 performances of the 2014-2015 Opera Season (on average one opera every three
days) will be distributed throughout the year, starting with the opening on 22 November 2014 and
ending on 31 October 2015, with peaks of 16 performances (every second day) in May, 21 in
September (two days out of three) and 18 in October. Of the nine new productions, four (I
Capuleti e i Montecchi, Alceste, Il medico dei pazzi, Die Zauberflöte) will be co-produced with
important Italian or European opera institutions (Fondazione Teatro del Maggio Musicale
Fiorentino, Fondazione Arena di Verona, Teatro di San Carlo di Napoli, Centre de Musique
Baroque de Versailles, Greek National Opera of Athens), three (Il signor Bruschino, Norma, Il
ponte sulla Drina) will be in collaboration with non-musical institutions (the Venice Academy of
Fine Arts, the Art Biennale, Andrićgrad) and two (the prestigious Simon Boccanegra conducted by
Myung-Whun Chung to open the season and Vivaldi’s Juditha triumphans) are independent
productions by Teatro La Fenice. Of the eight revival reproductions (La cambiale di matrimonio
and La scala di seta by Rossini, L’elisir d’amore and Don Pasquale by Donizetti, La Traviata and
Otello by Verdi, Tosca and Madama Butterfly by Puccini), Robert Carsen’s Traviata, the opera that
has become the symbol of Teatro La Fenice after having opened the first opera season in 2004 after
its reconstruction and which, from 2009 on, has become a fixed date in the Venetian calendar; it
will go on stage with the director's new, revised version, with a total of 35 performances throughout
the year, at the same time as the 2015 Milan Expo.
As in the past Seasons, such a large number of performances will be made possible by
putting both stages in La Fenice and Teatro Malibran to intensive use: From 22 November to 7
December on alternate days on the stage at La Fenice will be Simon Boccanegra and La Traviata,
with a prestigious double opening for the season; from 7 to 22 February the Carnival season will
see Elisir d’amore, Don Pasquale and La Traviata; from 20 to 29 March, once again at La Fenice
there will be alternate performances of Alceste and La Traviata; from 7 May to 7 June Madama
Butterly, La Traviata and Norma; from 7 to 12 July Otello in the Doge's Palace and Il ponte sulla
Drina at La Fenice; and from 28 August and 4 October La Traviata, Tosca and La cambiale di
matrimonio at La Fenice.
As for more details about the productions, the season will open on Saturday 22 November
2014 with a new prestigious production of Giuseppe Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra, written for Teatro
La Fenice in 1857; it will be staged in the definitive version of 1881 with Francesco Meli as
Gabriele Adorno, Simone Piazzola as Simon Boccanegra, Giacomo Prestia as Jacopo Fiesco, Julian
Kim as Paolo Albiani and Luca Dall’Amico as Pietro; it will be conducted by Myung-Whun Chung
who will return to Verdi’s later works with the extraordinary Otello of 2012. The production is by
the Neapolitan director Andrea De Rosa, who won the 2005 UBU prize for Hoffmannsthal’s
Elettra, which has alternated on the stages of opera houses and theatres since 2004. The première
on 22 November will be followed by five performances, on 25 and 30 November, and 2, 4, and 6
However, the 2014-2015 seasoning opening is also celebrating another important
anniversary for Teatro La Fenice: it will be the tenth anniversary of the reconstruction of the opera
house, which was opened on 12 November with the insightful production by Robert Carsen
(direction) and Patrick Kinmonth (sets and costumes) of Verdi’s Traviata, the symbol of the
Venetian opera house which had its debut on 6 March 1853. Conducted by Diego Matheuz, the
opera will return to the stage at La Fenice on Sunday 23 November 2014, opening the season with a
double performance similar to the 2012-2013 season, alternating with Simon Boccanegra on the
stage with four repeat performances on 27 and 29 November, and 5 and 7 December. In February
the Canadian director will return with his production, created exclusively for La Fenice in 2004 and
which has been revived no less than eight times in ten seasons, with a version that has been revised
especially for the upcoming 2015 Milan Expo. The "Expo Traviata Project" will therefore be the
common theme for the entire 2015 programmes, with performances in February ((13, 15, 17 and
21), March (21, 25, 27, 29), April (24, 26), May (3, 7, 9, 21, 23, 29), June (4, 7), August (28, 30),
September (1, 3, 8, 13, 15, 18, 23, 27, 29) and October (4), conducted by Omer Meir Wellber
(February and March), Gaetano d’Espinosa (April-June) and Riccardo Frizza (August-October).
The cast includes as Violetta, Francesca Dotto (November-December), Irina Lungu (February and
March), Ekaterina Bakanova and Jessica Nuccio (April-June) and Maria Agresta (August-October);
as Alfredo, Leonardo Cortellazzi (November and December), Francesco Demuro (February-March
and August-Octobere) and Piero Pretti (April-June); and as Germont Marco Caria (NovemberDecember), Luca Salsi (February and March) and Vladimir Stoyanov (April-June).
Vincenzo Bellini wrote two tragic operas for Teatro La Fenice: I Capuleti e i Montecchi
and Beatrice di Tenda. The first, composed in 1830 and to the story of Romeo and Juliet but not
based on Shakespeare but rather on an early nineteenth-century tragedy by Luigi Scevola, will
return to La Fenice on 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 20 January 2015, in a new production by Arnaud
Bernard (direction), Alessandro Camera (sets) and Maria Carla Ricotti (costumes), co-produced
with Fondazione Arena di Verona (where it was presented at the Teatro Filarmonico in November
2013) and with the Greek National Opera of Athens. The cast includes Jessica Pratt and Mihaela
Marcu as Giulietta; Sonia Ganassi and Paola Gardina as Romeo; Shalva Mukeria and Francesco
Marsiglia as Tebaldo; Rubén Amoretti as Capellio; and Luca Dall’Amico as Lorenzo, conducted by
Omer Meir Wellber.
Produced as part of the Atelier della Fenice al Teatro Malibran, a new production of the fifth
and last early farce by Rossini will have its première on Friday 23 January 2015: Il signor
Bruschino, direction by Bepi Morassi, sets, costumes and lights designed and created by the
students of the Set design School of the Venice Academy of Fine Arts. The première on 23 January
will be followed by four repeat performances on 25, 27, 29, and 31 January.
In February, three different productions will alternate on the stage of Teatro La Fenice for
the 2015 Carnival season, all of which will be conducted by Omer Meir Wellber; in addition to La
Traviata (from 13 February), there will be two revivals of La Fenice’s well-established Donizetti
productions: L’Elisir d’amore with direction by Bepi Morassi and sets and costumes by
Gianmaurizio Fercioni (30 January, 1, 7, 12 and 19 February) and Don Pasquale with direction by
Italo Nunziata and sets and costumes by Pasquale Grossi (8, 14, 18, 20 and 22 February). The cast
of Elisir d’amore includes Mihaela Marcu as Adina; Giorgio Berrugi as Nemorino; Julian Kim as
Belcore; and Carlo Lepore as Dulcamara.
The cast of Don Pasquale Roberto Scandiuzzi as Don Pasquale; Davide Luciano as
Malatesta; Alessandro Scotto Di Luzio as Ernesto; and Barbara Bargnesi as Norina.
Alternating with the repeat performances of La Traviata in March, is Pier Luigi Pizzi's new
prestigious production of Alceste by Christoph Willibald Gluck to mark the three hundredth
anniversary of the composer’s birth (Erasbach, Baveria 1714 – Vienna 1787). Musical direction
will be by Guillaume Tourniaire; cast: Carmela Remigio as Alceste, Stanislas de Barbeyrac Admeto
and Goran Jurić the High priest of Apollo. The première on Friday 20 March 2015 will be followed
by four performances on 22, 24, 26, and 28 March.
In the month of May, not only will La Traviata be on stage (from 24 April to 7 June, but
also the two productions made in collaboration with the Art Biennale as part of the ambitious
project that was started in 2013 involving contemporary artists in the design of the sets of great
classics from the melodrama repertoire. Friday 8 May 2015 (with repeat performances on 10, 22,
26, 28 and 31 May) Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly with direction by Alex Rigola and sets
and costumes by the Japanese artist Mariko Mori; in 2013 this production was the special project of
the 55th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale; Svetlana Kasyan in the role of CioCio-San, and Luca Grassi as Sharpless. In addition to these, on Wednesday 20 May 2015 (with
repeat performances on 24, 27, 30 May and 3 and 6 June), a new production of Vincenzo Bellini's
Norma will go on stage; set design will be by a visual artist commissioned by the Biennale
management. The event will therefore be a special project in the 56th International Art Exhibition
of the Venice Biennale that opens in Venice on 9 May 2015. Three names stand out in the cast:
Gregory Kunde as Pollione; Veronica Simeoni as Adalgisa; and Dmitry Beloselskiy as Oroveso.
At the end of June, for the opening of the summer festival “The Spirit of Music in Venice”
2015, Teatro La Fenice and Teatro Malibran will take it in turns to stage two productions that are
linked to the history of Venetian music. Friday 19 June 2015 (with repeat performances on 21, 23,
25 and 27 June) will see the debut at Teatro La Fenice of a new production of the religious oratorio
Juditha triumphans devicta Holofernis barbarie (Judith triumphant after having defeated the
barbarians of Holofernes) by Antonio Vivaldi, first performed in 1716 in the Chiesa della Pietà by
the “choir daughters” of the Ospedale della Pietà. Performed in its stage version with direction by
Elena Barbalich, the oratorio will be conducted by Stefano Montanari with Manuela Custer in the
role of Juditha and Paola Gardina as Vagaus. On Saturday 20 June 2015 (with repeat performances
on 24, 26 and 28 June), the successful, recent production of Scala di seta, the third of the five
young farces by Gioachino Rossini that were performed at Teatro Giustiniani in San Moisè from
1810 to 1813, will go on stage at Teatro Malibran; direction by Bepi Morassi, and sets and
costumes by the students of the School of Set Design of the Venice Academy of Fine Arts.
July will be characterised by two prestigious performances in the Doge’s Palace courtyard
and an important Italian première at Teatro La Fenice, constituting the heart of the third edition of
the Festival “The Spirit of Music in Venice” in 2015. On 7, 9, and 12 July 2015 Verdi’s Otello will
return to the Doge’s Palace with direction by Francesco Micheli, sets by Edoardo Sanchi and
costumes by Silvia Aymonino, after having started a new season of operas in the sixteenth-century
courtyard in 2013, after the historic performance in the nineteen sixties.
The tempestuous mixture of the Shakespearian Otello finds a counterpart in an equally
complex cultural, ethnical and religious tangled web of Bosnia under first the Ottomans and then
the Austro-Hungarians in Bridge on the Drina; this is a two-act opera by the Sarajevo composer
Dejan Sparavalo to a libretto by the film director Emir Kusturica, based on the splendid historical
novel Na Drini ćuprija (1945) by the Yugoslav writer Ivo Andrić who won the Nobel prize for
literature in 1961. An Italian première, it was Emir Kusturica’s own idea, and he will also be in
charge of the direction; it is a co-production between Teatro La Fenice and Andrićgrad, the tourist
site founded by Kusturica next to the historic bridge along the Drina river in the Bosnian city of
Višegrad (in the territory of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia), where the opera will have its première
in June 2014. The première on 8 July will be followed by four repeat performances on 10, 11, 14
and 15 July.
On 16 and 17 July the Doge’s Palace Courtyard will be the setting for yet another
outstanding event: John Neumeier’s Third symphony of Gustav Mahler, a ballet in six movements
is returning to Venice with the production by the Hamburg Ballet; it had its world première on 14
June 1975 at the Hamburg Staatsoper and came to Venice immediately afterwards, with two
performances in Saint Mark’s Square on 24 and 25 June 1975 as part of the International Dance
Meetings organized by the Ente Autonomo Teatro La Fenice and the International Centre of Arts
and Costumes of Palazzo Grassi, under the high patronage of UNESCO. Now a classic of nineteenth
century choreography, the prima ballerinas, soloists and ballet corps in Neumeier's masterpiece are
from the Hamburg Ballet.
After more performances of La Traviata at La Fenice from 29 August to 4 October, there
will be a revival of Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca on Saturday 29 August (with repeat performances on
2, 6, 11, 16, 20, 22, 25 September and 2 October, followed by a revival of Gioachino Rossini’s
Cambiale di matrimonio on 12 September (with repeat performances on 17, 19, 24 and 26
September). Both Tosca and La Traviata will be conducted by Riccardo Frizza, and the former will
go on stage with the production from May 2014 by the director Serena Sinigaglia, sets by Maria
Spazzi, costumes by Federica Ponissi, with Fiorenza Cedolins and Svetlana Kasyan as Tosca,
Stefano Secco as Cavaradossi, and Marco Vratogna as Scarpia. La cambiale di matrimonio will
adapt the Atelier Malibran production from March 2013 to the stage at La Fenice, with direction by
Enzo Dara, and sets and costumes by the students of the School of Set Design of the Venice
Academy of Fine Arts.
Tuesday 6 October 2015 Teatro Malibran will host the Italian première of the “Neapolitan
musical action” Il medico dei pazzi by Giorgio Battistelli (libretto and music), an acclaimed author
throughout Europe and for the first time at La Fenice with a work that is loosely based on the samenamed Neapolitan comedy by Eduardo Scarpetta, which was also the inspiration for a film by
Mario Mattoli with Totò. The world première of the opera will be on 20 June 2014 at the Opéra
national de Lorraine of Nancy, and it will go on stage in Venice in a new production by the director
Andrea De Rosa, co-produced with Fondazione Teatro di San Carlo, Naples and Fondazione Teatro
del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. His first official engagement with contemporary music, Diego
Matheuz will conduct the Orchestra and Choir of La Fenice; Bruno Taddia in the role of Felice
Sciosciammocca, Loriana Castellano as Concetta, Alessandro Luongo as Ciiccillo, and Bruno
Praticò as Don Carluccio.
The première on 6 October will be followed by four repeat performances on 8, 10, 11, and
13 October.
The season will end in October with a new production of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's
Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), entrusted to the well-tested creative team who produced the highly
successful Da Ponte trilogy Don Giovanni, Le Nozze di Figaro and Così fan tutte from 2010 to
Conductor Antonello Manacorda, director Damiano Michieletto and set design Paolo
Fantin. In the cast Goran Jurić will be Sarastro, Antonio Poli Tamino, Rosa Feola Pamina and Alex
Esposito Papageno. The première is on Tuesday 20 October 2015 will be followed by ten repeat
performances on 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31 October.