On July 24 the composition Vega for solo harp by Ludovico Einaudi will have its Australian premiere. The Italian harpist Raoul Moretti will perform the composition in Sydney, Italian Cultural Institute.
|When|| Jul 18, 2014 09:00 PM
Jul 26, 2014 10:30 PM
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After many years Alfredo Casella’s La donna serpente (1928-31) returns to the stage. Maestro Fabio Luisi will conduct the opera in Martina Franca on July 18, 20, and 26. The production is made by Festival della Valle d'Itria and the Fondazione Teatro Regio of Turin. La donna serpente is an opera-fairy tale in a prologue and three acts. Its libretto is by Cesare Vico Ludovici and is based on a play of the same name by Carlo Gozzi. The opera was first performed in 1932 at the Teatro dell'Opera in Rome. Casella stated that he had been fascinated by the “extraordinary musical possibilities” of Gozzi’s fairy tale as well as by its “grandiose, larger-than-life style, made up of Baroque heroism, dramatic passions, tragedy, and clownish, down-to-earth comedy.” He added that models like Verdi’s Otello and Falstaff and the operas of Mozart—the former through their melodramtic force; the latter through their “marvellous music, which always leaves the singing unobstructed, though supporting it with a timbric and polyphonic contour that can without hesitation be defined as magical”—guided the Neoclassical development of his poetics in La donna serpente. The stage direction for the production is by Antonio Cirillo, the scenery by Dario Gessati, and the costumes by Gianluca Falaschi.
World premiere for Luca Francesconi’s Linee di forza for ensemble, on July 11 in Venice. The Ex Novo Ensemble will perform the composition at Teatro La Fenice, Apollinee Hall, as part of the event “Contemporary Marathon, 40 first performances of Italian and French composers”.
The world premiere of Azio Corghi’s Blanquette takes place on July 10 at the Settimane Musicale in Siena. The work for reciting voice and chamber orchestra will be interpreted by Chiara Muti and the Orchestra della Toscana under the direction of Marco Angius.
Corghi uses the text of Alphonse Daudet’s famous short story La chèvre de M. Seguin, which is part of the children’s collection Lettres de mon moulin. The story, written with a didactic intent, tells of Blanquette, a little white goat that escapes from her stall where she is kept by Monsieur Seguin for her protection and heads towards a mountain that she sees in the distance. She passes a happy day amidst nature, but when evening falls she encounters the wolf, who, after a strenuous and cruel struggle, devours her. Corghi explains that the feel of the French text led him to re-propose in an updated form the musical language he had learned in the course of his formal training. Blanquette is a commission of the Accademia Musicale Chigiana.
Salvatore Sciarrino’s L’alibi della parola for four voices will have its Finnish premiere on July 5. The composition will be performed by Neue Vokalsolisten Stuttgart in Vitasaari, Parish Hall, as part of the Time of Music Festival.
Preludio diatonico N. 1 by Francesco Antonioni, Cruel Beauty by Carlo Boccadoro and Tre post x Scarlatti by Fabio Vacchi for piano, will have their Brasilian premiere on July 1. The pianist Orazio Sciortino will play the compositions in Rio de Janeiro, Museu Nacional de Belas Artes.
On 20 June the Opéra national de Lorraine in Nancy presents the world premiere of Giorgio Battistelli’s Il medico dei pazzi, a comic opera loosely based on Edoardo Scarpetta’s Neapolitan comedy of the same name. The libretto was written by the composer. On stage there will be 11 singers and a chorus, conducted by Francesco Lanzillotta. The stage direction is by Carlos Wagner.
Interview with Giorgio Battistelli
What led you to write a comic opera and to choose a text from the early 20th century?
Two things that often have been missing from contemporary music are the ironic dimension and the comic one, both of which are very difficult to express through a non-tonal musical language. Often it’s been possible to express the grotesque, the paradoxical, but in the last thirty years comedy and even more so irony have been almost completely extraneous to the musical language of our time.
How does the comic translate into composition? Does it have any special characteristics?
The comic, just like the dramatic, expresses itself through the dramaturgic rhythm of a narration or an anti-narration. It’s always a formal problem, of the relationship between something preceding and something following. Musical form addresses certain listening expectations and the non-realisation of these expectations creates solutions that can surprise and amuse us.
Can you tell us about how you worked with the director Carlo Wagner?
I believe that the score is the cornerstone of an opera and that the job of directing is always the expression of one of many possible interpretations. But everything must by generated by the music. The productions that work the best are those that respect the score, that don’t prop it up but rather complete its musical expression.
Il medico dei pazzi is the second opera that the Opera National de Lorraine has commissioned from you. The first was Divorzio all’Italiana - who can forget Pietro Germi’s famous film? - which went on stage in 2008. What kind of tie is there (if there is one) between the two operas?
One of the connections that can be seen between Il medico dei pazzi and Divorzio all’italiana is the reference to a characteristic of Italy that only gets remembered in a stereotyped way. On the one hand, there’s the Italy of Sicily, of jealousy and of the passionate and possessive relationships and, on the other, there’s a wily, cunning, intelligent Neapolitan world that moves freely within misunderstanding. While Divorzio all’italiana has a tie with the crime pages of a newspaper, Il medico dei pazzi is connected directly to Italy’s Commedia dell’Arte.
Your extensive catalogue counts about 75 compositions, of which almost half are music theatre works, inspired by novels, dramas by great writers: Antonin Artaud, Gabriel García Márquez, Pier Paolo Pasolini, William Shakespeare, to cite just a few. Can you tell us what it means for you to write an opera?
Musical composition, writing an opera, is the only way I have of relating with the present and of expressing the bewildering character of our times.
Il medico dei pazzi is a co-production by the Opéra national de Lorraine and Theater Münster. What projects are you working on at the moment?
Right at the moment I’m completing the score of the opera CO2 that will be presented at the Scala in Milan in 2015 with stage direction by Robert Carsen, and in 2016, in Hannover, Germany, there will be the world premiere of Lot.
|When|| Jun 19, 2014 08:00 PM
Jul 02, 2014 10:00 PM
|Where||Amsterdam and Zurich|
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On 29 January Luigi Nono would have turned 90 and on the occasion of this anniversary year the Holland and the Zurich Festivals are commemorating the Venetian composer with a series of concerts in June and July. Nono’s Prometeo. Tragedia dell’ascolto will be performed both in Amsterdam (June 19) and Zurich (July 2). Furthermore, the two festivals feature the following works:
on June 21 (in Amsterdam) are foreseen the performances of Como una ola de fuerza y luz, La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura (with Irvine Arditti) and Musica - Manifesto N°2: Non Consumiamo Marx. The following day, it’s the turn of 1° Caminantes… Ayacucho and 2° No hay caminos hay que caminar...Andrej Tarkowskij. All the concerts will take place in the Westergasfabriek-Gashouder and the interpreters include Ingo Metzmacher together with the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, André Richard (sound direction), Susanne Otto (alto), Roberto Fabbriciani (flute), Schola Heidelberg, Cappella Amsterdam. The Holland Festival also present a two-day conference, in collaboration with the University of Amsterdam, and an exhibition in collaboration with Archivio Nono.
In Zurich, at the Tonhalle, where the focus on Nono begins on June 27, the Collegium Novum Zürich, conducted by Jonathan Stockhammer will perform Post-prae-ludium n. 1 per Donau and Guai ai gelidi mostri with Simon Lamothe-Falardeau (tube) and Susanne Otto and Noa Frenkel (altos). On July 1, the Quartetto Diotima will present Fragmente – Stille, An Diotima.
On June 14, in Baeza (Spain), the Duo Maclé (Sabrina Dente e Annamaria Garibaldi) will premiere "…Un noveau petit train de plaisir" (from Rossini’s ‘Péchés de vieillesse’) by Azio Corghi in the version for piano 4-Hands by Carla Magnan and Carla Rebora. The duo, on tour in Spain, will perform the piece on June 15 (Linares) and June 16 (Malaga), as well.
Two important premieres are coming up for Luca Francesconi in June: First, the world premiere of the orchestra piece Dentro non ha tempo at Teatro alla Scala in Milan. Second, a new production of his opera Quartett at the Royal Opera House in London .
On June 14 Esa-Pekka Salonen will lead the Orchestra Sinfonica del Teatro alla Scala in the world premiere of Francesconi’s new work Dentro non ha tempo at Teatro alla Scala in Milan. The composition was commissioned by La Scala for a cycle of works in memory of Richard Strauss, whose 150th anniversary of birth takes place on June 11. Luca Francesconi comments on his work:
"Dentro non ha tempo is a curious title that can be read in three ways. In the first place, it refers to the feelings I have in remembering Luciana*, to the intensity of the affection and admiration that tied me to her. For me Luciana remains a powerful, living presence, in fact, a presence without time.
Secondly, there’s a reference to the tie that Luciana had with a great musical tradition, made up naturally by family connections, but also by all her own activity; this great tradition is for me the past that has no time.
Finally, the title alludes to the form of the composition. Conceived as a kind of portrait, the piece has at its center, like a beating heart, a slow movement based on the dilation and treatment in a spectral sense of a number of bars drawn from the beginning of Mozart’s Don Giovanni (of the overture and from the extraordinary chromatic coda that follows the death of the Commendatore) where time is blocked and suspended; hence, a movement without time."
*Luciana Pestalozza worked as head of the publishing department at Casa Ricordi for many years. She also founded the international contemporary music festival Milano Musica.
On June 18 in London (additional performances up until 28) the Royal Opera House will present a new production of Quartett. Luca Francesconi’s opera is based on Heiner Müller’s play after Pierre-Ambroise-François Choderlos de Laclos’s novel Les Liaisons dangereuses. The world premiere of the opera took place in 2011 at the Teatro alla Scala in a production directed by Fura dels Baus. Since then, Quartett has been performed in Vienna, Paris, Amsterdam, Oporto, Strasburg, Lille, and Lisbon, and further performances are scheduled for 2015.
The London production (UK Premiere) is directed by John Fulljames, Associate Director of Opera at the Royal Opera House. The roles of the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont have been entrusted to Kirstin Chavez and Leigh Melrose. The London Sinfonietta will be conducted by Andrew Gourlay.
Fabio Vacchi’s Quintetto notturno concertante for guitar and string quintet, will have its Swedish premiere on June 14. The concert will take place in Stockholm by the Ensemble Notturno Concertante, guitar Adriano Walter Rullo.
On June 12, the Grande Suite for 5 players and a narrator by Marcello Panni will be performed (for the first time in UK) by the Ensemble Sentieri Selvaggi, conductor Carlo Boccadoro. The narrator is Marco Gambino. The concert is taking place at the Italian Cultural Institute.
|When|| Jun 10, 2014 08:30 PM
Jun 12, 2014 09:30 PM
|Where||Buenos Aires, Rosario and Cordoba|
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Vaalbara for three pianos by Carlo Boccadoro will have its Argentinian premiere in Buenos Aires, on June 10. The Piano Trio Tomassi, Griguoli and Stella will perform the composition at the Coliseo Theatre. Additional performances on June 11 and 12 in Rosario, El Circulo Theatre and in Cordoba, Libertador Theatre.
Come di tempeste for string quartet by Daniele Ghisi, will have its world premiere next June 7 in Poirino (near Turin) by Quartetto di Cremona. The performance will take place at Fondazione Spinola Banna per l’Arte, commissioner of the work.
On June 6, the Staatsorchester Reheinische Philharmonie will perform the German premiere of Leo Brouwer’s Concerto di Liegi quasi una fantasia for guitar and orchestra, in Koblenz during Mittelrhein Musik Festival. The concert will take place at the Rhein-Mosel-Halle, conductor David Danzmayr, guitar Aniello Desiderio.
Diego Matheuz will conduct the world premiere of a new piece by the Venetian composer Mauro Lanza on June 6 (with an additional performance the following day) at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice. The work, commissioned by the theatre as part of the New Music at the Fenice project, has a curious title: Anatra digeritrice (Piccola Wunderkammer di automi oziosi) for orchestra. The composer drew inspiration for the work from Le Canard Digérateur, an automaton with the appearance of a duck designed by Jacques de Vaucanson in 1739, which reproduced the movements and physiological functions of the animal in a hyper-realistic manner. The piece, in which the composer makes use of automatic compositional processes, aspires to be – as Lanza explains – “a little collection of musical automatons, of precision-made mechanisms that move about pointlessly”. Mauro Lanza’s composition is dedicated to the musicologist Giovanni Morelli, who died two years ago.
The Portuguese premiere of Luca Francesconi’s Fresco, for five marching bands on the move, will be performed on May 31 in Viseu, as part of the De Artes Festival.
The jury of the 33rd edition of the Franco Abbiati Music Critics Prize has awarded its prize for a work of absolute originality to Mauro Lanza’s Ludus de Morte Regis for choir and electronics. The jury praised the work, explaining the motivation behind the award, saying that: In this trilogy, dedicated to the funerals of the three anarchists who made attempts against the life of Umberto I, the composer deals with the theme of political protest in a sonorous and theatrical dimension that has a powerful impact on listeners. In it there coexist violence and carnival-like festivity, grotesque and dramatic atmospheres, and a solemn and entrancing choral writing together with gestural and noisy components of an iconoclastic turn.
Commissioned by Les Cris de Paris, Ludus de Morte Regis was premiered in Paris in June 2013 at IRCAM’s Festival Mani-Feste and performed again four months later at the Venice Biennale. On both occasions the work was conducted by Geoffroy Jourdan.
Mauro Lanza will receive the prize on May 25 at the Teatro Donizetti in Bergamo.
French premiere for Tail Up by Giorgio Battistelli on May 15 (further performance on 16) in Nancy (Salle Poirel). The Orchestre symphonique et lyrique de Nancy will be conducted by Marco Angius.
The title Tail Up refers to the exhortation with which the mother of the great British writer Virginia Woolf used to encourage her daughter to overcome the little trials of everyday life. Battistelli tells us that “It’s an expression that immediately struck me when it was suggested to me by my writer friend Nadia Fusini, a excellent English-speaker and an authority on the writing of Virginia Woolf”.
The score is made up of four parts that – in keeping with the title - reciprocally spur each other on in a context of great dynamism; the various sections of the orchestra, reacting to the impulses of the harmony and the rhythm, confront each other with out-and-out whips of the tail - “a metaphor of how vital it is to know how to keep your tail up high and straight, to look at reality with the necessary degree of detachment”.
UK premiere for Summer Dreams. String quartet No. 2 by Philippe Boesmans on May 14 in Cardiff. The Quatuor Tana will perform the composition at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, Dora Stoutzker Hall, as part of the Vale of Glamorgan Festival.