Text by – DANIELE CAPUZZI
Translation by – ELENA D’OTTAVIO
Autumn/Winter 2015-2016 is announced not only by new fashion collections that passionate the most addicted who will show off next fall, but also the great music presents the season.
This is Metropolitan Opera House, best known as MET of New York City, that recently released titles on the Billboard by the end of the last year.
There are plenty of Italian composers: Gaetano Donizetti will open the long season in September with “Anne Boleyn”, continuing with the two “twin” plays Mary Stuart and Roberto Devereux that follow in January and March. These shows form what is called “Cycle of the Tudor Queens”: Anne, Mary, and Elizabeth I of England precisely, fully interpreted by soprano Sandra Radvanovsky, and directed by Sir David McVicar.
Three Italians on the podium: Marco Armiliato directs the wife of Henry VIII for seven performances, Riccardo Frizza accompany the audience with the “Bloody one” for seven nights, then the “Virgin Queen” has Maurizio Benini in the prompt-box for eight months for a new production.
Afterwards, the return of Donizetti with Elisir of Love, the playful drama about Nemorino the peasant who tries to make the rich and voluptuous Adina fall in love with him. We have fun once again with the same composer for Don Pasquale, whose plot is weave together with the love of the Young Ernesto and Norina. He is the nephew of the rich old man who has headed the work; she marries the uncle of her sweetheart under false pretences, but she resorts to a trick in order to be given in marriage to Ernesto with the approval of the old man himself, no longer her husband.
One of the comic plays most performed and known in the world, The Barber of Seville by Gioacchino Rossini, was reduced, and the libretto translated into English by J.D. McCkatchy without changing the story foundamentals, to become the special at Christmas time.
Even if apparently could seem to be an opprobrium for the most music passionate person, I personally think it is a good way to bring the not even close and not interested audience to opera, without forgetting that in the last century there were a lot of foreign works translated into Italian.
Again the composer from Pesaro, with The Lady of the Lake, a serious opera setted in the Scotland of the sixteenth-century, which is the metaphor of the magnanimity of the kings, directed by Michele Mariotti (the work has been commissioned by the San Carlo theatre in Naples, the Borbones’ Royal Theatre).
New York audience’s adoration for great voices will be crowned by the very famous russian soprano Anna Netrebko in a recital area in which Rimsky-Korsakov and Ciajkovskij stand out.
On the Billboard La Bohème by Giacomo Puccini, the most represented (and loved) title by the American theatre.
Fourteen others encores of this opera will be added to the more than one thousand two hundred already been staged from November 1900, when it appeared for the first time in America.
Carignani and Ettinger will tread the podium. Ettinger will be the director of many singers and of the Italian soprano Maria Agresta. Franco Zeffirelli finally seal this Italian production with his direction.
A new production by Monon Lescaut from the same composer: the troubled love story between Europe and America, between wealth and poverty, based on the novel by Prévost.
Conduction by Fabio Luisi, directed by Sir Richard Eyre, with the opera star Jonas Kaufmann.
The musician from Lucca is still on the poster, with his heartbreaking “Tosca”, whose plot is weave together with the relationship between two artists: Flora Tosca the singer and Mario Cavaradossi the painter, with the eternal conflict between papacy and the empire, between Napoleon the Liberator and the corrupt oppressive Church. A tenor who is not a stranger in being the main character in this tragedy is Placido Domingo. He will get off the stage to be the orchestra leader.
Once again, Zeffirelli is the director: the Turandot that we have already admired at the Verona Arena. The opera starts in the darkness and opens to light with the magnificent Chinese Imperial Palace and, why not, with the feeling of a keen Queen “enclosed by ice” (verified translation)moved by the Passion of a female-slave who sacrifice her own life to let her beloved deposed King Calaf marry the beautiful empress.
The tenors Àlvarez and Berti accept the challenge, following another Italian conductor’s baton for their “No one’s sleeping – Nessun dorma”, Mr Paolo Carignani.
We remain on the Oriental side with Madama Butterfly, a Young and beautiful Japanese and her indissoluble love and faith in her husband Pinkerton, an American naval officer, played by Alagna and Giordano.
Then, tied with Puccini there is Mascagni, whose suggestive Rustic Chivalry is represented as usual in pairs with the Clowns of Leoncavallo, if possible most famous in the USA than in Italy.
Giuseppe Verdi’s operas can not miss in the full time-table, starting with the new production of the Shakespearean Othello curated by Barlett Sher. The director Michael Mayer sets the jester Rigoletto in a Las Vegas’ casinò of the 60s. Leonora from the Troubadour is played by Anna Netbreko, together with the tenor Yonghoon Lee, following Marco Armiliato’s baton and the director McVicar.
Domingo returns to play the role of Doge Simon Boccanegra in the maritime republic of Genoa, with the historical director of MET, James Levine.
He will also tread the podium of the exotic Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail (the Abduction from the Seraglio) by Mozart.
The master from Salzburg will be on the time-tables with the funny opera The marriage of Figaro, too. The musical exotism can be found also in Les pêcheurs de perles by Biset, a opera which is setted in a Ceylon distant in time.
Mark in your agenda, this cast seems to be very good: Gianandrea Noseda directs Diana Damrau and Matthew Polenzani.
German composers couldn’t miss the event: from the germanic mythology of the Tannhäuser by Wagner directed by Levine, which is about the redemption of the troubadour thanks to the beloved Elizabeth’s sacrifice, to the evergreen Greek tragedy of Elektra that Richard Strauss setted to music, with Esa-Pekka Salonen as the orchestra leader.
This masterpiece, which is a new co production between six theatres including La Scala in Milan and the festival of Salzburg, has been the last work by the director Patrice Chéreau before his death.
Another Strauss, this time Johann from Vienna (the son), is on stage with the operetta Die Fledermaus (the Bat).
A work of great impression is Lulu: an opera by the Austrian Alan Berg, which brings into play the eroticism to criticize the bourgeois, once again conduct by Levine.