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Betta: Il quadro nero

World premiere on February 7 at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo.
When Feb 07, 2015
from 08:30 PM to 10:00 PM
Where Palermo
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Il quadro nero, an opera for music and film with two actors, orchestra, choir and voices recorded by Roberto Andò and Marco Betta will have its world premiere on February 7 at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo. The work is inspired by Renato Guttuso’s painting "La Vucciria" (a famous market in Palermo) and makes use of Andrea Camilleri’s text ‘La ripetizione’ .
The composer says that he ‘conceived of the score as a sort of giant mirror, a lake, a huge madrigal, in which all the images and Camilleri’s text are reflected and reverberate, because – he points out – the composition is designed on Roberto Andò’s film.’ The actors Francesco Scianna and Giulia Andò and the Orchestra del Teatro Massimo are conducted by Tonino Battista. Il quadro nero inaugurates the theatre’s concert season.

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World premiere of Mauro Lanza’s Disiecta Membra

New piece for vocal sextet in Stuttgart.
When Feb 07, 2015
from 04:30 PM to 05:00 PM
Where Stuttgart
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Disiecta Membra is a Latin term which refers to ancient fragments of poetry, manuscripts or other cultural objects that have come down to us. Mauro Lanza has adopted this title for his new piece for vocal sextet. The text for the piece is drawn from Testamentum Porcelli, a short Medieval prose work in which Marcus Grunnius Corocotta, a pig, expresses his last wishes before being slaughtered and bequeaths the 12 parts of his body to 12 beneficiaries. The list of the cuts of pork – explains Lanza – is related to the form of the piece (composed of brief sections corresponding to the numbers in the list). The composer makes use here of a range of musical citations drawn from the seven cantatas that make up Dietrich Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri, each one referring to a part of the body of Christ. The world premiere of Disiecta Membra will be performed by the Neue Vocalsolisten on February 7 at the Festival Eclat in Stuttgart.

 

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Riccardo Nova in Munich

Word premiere of Ma’s DGD sequences 11X8@destruction generating deity by Riccardo Nova on February 5.
When Feb 05, 2015
from 08:00 PM to 09:00 PM
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Ma’s DGD sequences 11X8@destruction generating deity by Riccardo Nova, new version for strings and electronics, will have its world premiere on February 5. The Piano Possible Ensemble will perform the composition in Munich, at the i-camp, Neues Theater Muenchen.

 

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Alberto Colla in Cork

Alberto Colla’s Quartetto N. 2. Diario di giorni ordinari, will have its first performance in Ireland.
When Jan 30, 2015
from 08:00 PM to 09:00 PM
Where Cork
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On January 30 Alberto Colla’s Quartetto N. 2. Diario di giorni ordinari, will have its first performance in Ireland. The Xenia Ensemble String Quartet will perform the work at the University of Cork.

 

 

Riccardo Chailly conducts Vacchi WP

The Gewandhausorchester will present the world premiere of Fabio Vacchi’s Der Walddämon.
When Jan 29, 2015
from 08:00 PM to 09:00 PM
Where Leipzig
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The Gewandhausorchester will present the world premiere of Fabio Vacchi’s Der Walddämon under the baton of Riccardo Chailly on January 29, 2015 (additional performances on 30 and 31). This work for orchestra, commissioned by the Gewandhaus, was inspired by Amos Oz’s novel ‘Suddenly in the Depths of the Forest’. This performance continues the relationship between Fabio Vacchi and the Gewandhausorchester, which began with the commission of Tagebuch der Empörung, which premiered in May 2011.

Der Walddämon features a rhythmic progression and use of percussion and melodies that recall Stravinsky’s The Firebird. The colours in the orchestra create a dense, archaic, onomatopoeic atmosphere that drags the listener, into a fairy tale, which, like all fairy tales, tells of good and evil, of love, hate and tolerance and of the courage to oppose conventions.

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She Huo in Amsterdam

Country premiere of She Huo by Guo Wenjing in Amsterdam.
When Jan 28, 2015
from 08:15 PM to 09:15 PM
Where Amsterdam
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On January 28  the Nieuw Ensemble will perform the Country premiere of She Huo for ensemble by Guo Wenjing in Amsterdam. The concert will take place at the Musiekgebouw aan ’t IJ.

 

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Nino Rota’s La strada

Nino Rota's La strada will be performed in Strasburg, Mulhouse and Colmar.
When Jan 14, 2015
from 08:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Where Strasburg, Mulhouse and Colmar
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In 1966 Nino Rota wrote the ballet La strada drawing on the subject of Federico Fellini’s homonymous film, for which he had written one of his famous soundtracks. The ballet, in one act and twelve scenes, was commissioned by the Teatro alla Scala and the choreography was entrusted to Mario Pistoni. The success it enjoyed in its first production was enormous, as was that enjoyed by its numerous revivals over the following decades. The desperate and heartrending story of the protagonists Gelsomina and Zampanò is told in the ballet by taking up again the unmistakable themes of the soundtrack, here reworked and supplemented by music that Rota wrote for other masterpieces by Fellini. On January 14 (additional performances on January 15, 16, 17 and 18) the ballet La strada will be performed in Strasburg by the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg under the direction of Myron Romanul and by the Ballet de l’Opéra national du Rhin. Further performances will follow in Mulhouse (La Filature, January 24, 25 and 27) and in Colmar (Théâtre municipal, 1 and 3 February).

 

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Varèse Amériques, Filarmonica della Scala, January 12, 2015

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the death of Edgard Varèse the Filarmonica della Scala will perform Amériques in its first concert for 2015.
When Jan 12, 2015
from 08:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Where Milan
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To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the death of Edgard Varèse (he died in New York at the age of 81 in 1965), the Filarmonica della Scala under the direction of Fabio Luisi will perform the work on January 12 in its first concert for 2015.
Amériques, the first in a series of compositions that would bring Varèse to the attention of the musical and cultural world, was composed in 1920/21. Performed for the first time in 1926 by the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Leopold Stokowski, this work aroused considerable interest on account of the concreteness of its sonoric solutions. It seems that the composer immerses himself directly in the sonoric material effecting a series of daring musical contrapositions between its various harmonic agglomerations and sonoric volumes.
Varèse rarely thinks in terms of melody but always in terms of dense groups of sounds: a materialism that privileges percussion instruments over the strings. A composition for a huge orchestra, Ameriques has by now secured a stable position in the repertory of the world’s most important orchestras.

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Milo, Maya e il giro del mondo by Matteo Franceschini

Milo, Maya e il giro del mondo, 2014 Fedora – Rolf Liebermann Opera Prize
When Jan 06, 2015
from 09:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Where Paris
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The Associazione Lirica e Concertistica Italiana AsLiCo in Como has won the 2014 Fedora – Rolf Liebermann Opera Prize with Matteo Franceschini’s Milo, Maya e il giro del mondo (Milo, Maya around the world), a contemporary opera for children and young people on a libretto by Lisa Capaccioli. Milo, Maya e il giro del mondo, an opera inspired by the themes of EXPO and directed by Caroline Leboutte, has been produced by AsLICo  in collaboration with the Opéra Royal de Wallonie, Liége (BE); Theater Magdeburg (GER); and the Opéra de Rouen – Haute Normandie (FRA). The prize-giving ceremony took place on 6 January at the Palais Garnier in Paris. The opera will have its premiere on February 23 at the Teatro Sociale in Como.

Respighi's La bella dormente nel Bosco (The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood)

On December 19, the French premiere of La bella dormente nel bosco in Colmar.
When Dec 19, 2014
from 08:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Where Colmar
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On December 19, the French premiere of La bella dormente nel bosco, an
Written for Vittorio Podrecca's puppet theatre company, Teatro dei Piccoli, La bella dormente nel bosco was first staged at the Teatro Odescalchi in Rome in 1922. Respighi revised the score in 1933 for a larger orchestra and adapted the work for mime performed by children. Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg will perform this final version in Colmar in December and then in Strasbourg, Paris and Mulhouse in January. The libretto has been translated into French for this production.opera by Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936), will be performed at the Théatre Municipal in Colmar. The libretto, by Gian Bistolfi, is based on Charles Perrault's fairy tale, The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood. The work reveals Respighi's compositional versatility and sharp sense of humour, shifting between extreme sincerity and subtle parody. In three short acts, he intertwines elements of the comic, the fantastic and the sentimental, and presents natural sounds of birdsong, several dance forms and dramatic moments for spoken voice.

 

 

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Guo in Taipei

She Huo by Guo Wenjing for the first time in Taiwan.
When Dec 12, 2014
from 07:30 PM to 08:30 PM
Where Taipei
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On December 12  the Nieuw Ensemble will perform, for the first time in Taiwan, She Huo for ensemble by Guo Wenjing. The concert will take place in Taipei at the Taipei National Concert Hall.

 

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Marco Stroppa's premieres

Canadian premieres for Marco Stroppa in Toronto.
When Dec 09, 2014 08:00 PM to
Dec 11, 2014 09:00 PM
Where Toronto
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On December 11, New Music Concerts will present the Canadian premieres
of two pieces by guest composer Marco Stroppa at the Music Gallery in Toronto. Conductor Robert Aitken will lead the ensemble in From Needle’s Eye, for trombone, double wind quintet and percussion, with trombonist Benny Slutchin, and …of Silence for saxophone and chamber electronics, with saxophonist Wallace Halladay.
A few days prior, on December 9 the New Music Ensemble, a student group at the Royal Conservatory, will perform the Canadian premiere of Stroppa’s élet…fogytiglan under the baton of Brian Current. The concert will take place at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts as part of the Free Concert Series.

 

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Orfeo. Flebile queritur lyra by Silvia Colasanti

On December 8 French premiere of Silvia Colasanti’s Orfeo. Flebile queritur lyra in Arpajon (France).
When Dec 08, 2014 08:00 PM to
Dec 12, 2014 09:00 PM
Where Arpajaon and Macerata
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On December 8, the Paris Mozart Orchestra, under the direction of Claire Gibault, will perform the French premiere of Silvia Colasanti’s Orfeo. Flebile queritur lyra at the Lycée René Cassin in Arpajon as part of the orchestra’s social and education programme. The project consists of a tour of 16 concerts in the high schools of Paris’s banlieue through April 2015. Colasanti’s Orfeo is a melologue for speaker and ensemble on a text drawn from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Recited by Suliane Brahim, the text has been translated into French for this project by Myriam Tanant. Following the tour of schools, the orchestra will present a number of performances in Paris, open to the general public.
Colasanti offers the following description of her work: “Orfeo. Flebile queritur lyra is a ‘concert’ for voice and ensemble, with a calibrated alternation between music and words. The music has a very intense dramaturgic function,  expressing a primordial state of thought, when thought is not yet thinking, but still feeling. At certain points the sounds amplify the meaning of the text or underline certain features. At others they come to express something that is not spoken. For this reason, at times the music lives together with the word, and at others it is alone.”
The Paris Mozart Orchestra will take Orfeo in Italy as well, at Macerata (Teatro Lauro Rossi) on December 12. For the occasion the text will be recited into Italian by the actress Maddalena Crippa.

 

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A memoria d'eco by Matteo Franceschini

World premiere for A memoria d'eco on 5 December in Brussels.
When Dec 05, 2014
from 08:00 PM to 09:00 PM
Where Brussels
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As part of the commemorations for the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I, the Orchestre National de Belgique and the music department of the Palais des Beaux-Arts have commissioned Matteo Franceschini to write A memoria d’eco. The world premiere will be performed on 5 December in Brussels under the direction of Dima Slobodeniouk.
In his presentation of the work, the composer (after offering some thoughts on the role of music in the period of the war) explains the compositional idea underlying ‘his homage’ to the Great War:
”There are many written testimonies that allow us to recount the First World War, but, by contrast, very few – indeed, hardly any – ‘sound documents’ have come down to us… Music was often used to escape from the violence of the front or, for those who were not at the war, from everyday life. And so there was military, funeral, and patriotic music certainly, but also popular songs, café music and satirical songs about life. All of these served the purpose of enabling people to momentarily forget about the difficulties they were enduring - it was a matter of necessity. In A memoria d’eco, I wanted to evoke the sudden passage from everyday life - from the universe of the common man - to a ‘dark’ world dramatically permeated by sounds. Among the countless costs of war is silence. Nonetheless, even at a distance from the front, a ‘new music’ - an obsessive and suffocated chorale - lives in people’s hearts. Silence takes on a utopian role - it becomes a sort of vision - an image and a voice of hope for the future.”

 

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Italian premiere for Battistelli’s Eudousi

The Italian premiere of Giorgio Battistelli’s Eudousi, for baritono and ensemble will be performed on November 30 in Rome.
When Nov 30, 2014
from 09:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Where Rome
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The Italian premiere of Giorgio Battistelli’s Eudousi, for baritono and ensemble will be performed on November 30 in Rome at the Filarmonica Romana (Sala Casella) by the baritone Carlo Miccioli and the Roman Vlad Ensemble under the direction of Gabriele Bonolis.
Eudousi (They sleep/Dormono), commissioned and performed for the first time by the Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain in 2012, is based on a fragment of the Greek lyric poet Alcman, who lived in Sparta in the second half of the 7th Century B.C.
Battistelli uses the Italian translation by Giovanni Pascoli while leaving some words in the original Greek as a reminder of the ancient past. The famous fragment describes in a highly suggestive manner a nocturnal scene and the sleep in which all the elements of nature are immersed. The instruments express musically the infinitely subtle shades of Alcman’s words, and the instrumental part, participating in the rite of evocation and contemplation of the night, has the formal structure of a nocturne.

 

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La vita immobile by Marco Stroppa

World premiere for Marco Stroppa’s La vita immobile for string quartet (complete version)
When Nov 29, 2014
from 07:00 PM to 08:00 PM
Where Huddersfield
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World premiere for Marco Stroppa’s La vita immobile for string quartet (complete version) next November 29. The Arditti Quartet will perform the composition in Huddersfield, St. Paul’s Hall, as part of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.

 

 

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Portuguese premiere for Azio Corghi’s De paz e de guerra

The Portuguese premiere of the Azio Corghi’s De paz e de guerra will be performed in Lisbona.
When Nov 15, 2014
from 09:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Where Lisbona
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The Portuguese premiere of the Azio Corghi’s cantata for choir and orchestra De paz e de guerra will be performed in Lisbona, on 15 November,  by the Orquesta Sinfonia Portuguesa and the Coro do Teatro Nacional de São Carlos under the direction of João Paulo Santos. The performance is part of the concert season organised by the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Lisbon in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I. The cantata, commissioned by the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, was first performed in Rome in 2003: it is based on a poem of the same name by the Portuguese Nobel prize winner José Saramago, one of the most intense poems in the poet’s 1966 collection Poesie possibili. Corghi and Saramago had already confronted the theme of peace and war – regrettably forever current and impelling – in other works (the opera Blimunda and the music drama Divara), but in De paz e de guerra Corghi, fascinated “by the sound of the words and the harmony of the phonetic juxtapositions”, has used the text of the original Portuguese for the first time. In the piece, which is rich in musical symbolism, there is a culmination on the word war, when the notes are positioned on the staff to form an atomic mushroom cloud while the hope for peace delicately carries the notes towards a higher plane.

 

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Riccardo Nova, homage to Fausto Romitelli

When Nov 15, 2014
from 08:30 PM to 10:00 PM
Where Milan
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The 2014 Milano Musica Festival, this year dedicated to Fausto Romitelli, has commissioned a new work from Riccardo Nova. The piece, Yagé Howl for ensemble and electronics, will be performed by Repertorio Zero at the Piccolo Teatro Studio Melato on November 15.
Nova was a close friend of Romitelli and recalls that one of the projects they would have liked to undertake was to compose a piece together. Their idea was to combine what was at the time Nova’s fondness of polyrhythm and Romitelli’s harmonic ”deformation”. Romitelli’s Professor Bad Trip, which arose out of his reading of the works written by Henri Michaux under the effect of drugs, has inspired the writing of Yagé Howl (Yagé is a brew with hallucinogenic properties), which aspires to be that desired joint work. In the piece Nova gives great importance to the realisation of the ‘harmonic deformation’, produced above all by two keyboards for which the composer has elaborated and programmed a complex network of 26 different tunings.

 

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World premiere of Fabio Nieder in Cologne.

The world premiere of Fabio Nieder’s Thümmel oder die Verlöschung des Wortes. Der Anfang. Die Mitte. Das Ende.
When Nov 15, 2014
from 08:00 PM to 09:00 PM
Where Cologne
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On 15 November in Cologne as part of the WDR concert program Musik der Zeit, the Rundfunkchor Köln under the direction of Rupert Huber will perform the world premiere of Fabio Nieder’s Thümmel oder die Verlöschung des Wortes. Der Anfang. Die Mitte. Das Ende for mixed choir, three accordionists and three percussionists. The work was commissioned by the WDR. For the occasion we interviewed the composer.

The title of this piece refers to Thümmel, the main character in your opera, a project you have been working on for many years now. Who is Thümmel?

Viktor von Thümmel, also known in Trieste as Vito Timmel, was a painter born in Vienna in 1886. His father was a German aristocrat and his mother a Friuli aristocrat. He studied in Vienna, at the time the capital of the Empire, and in Trieste, then Vienna’s port and one of the richest cities in Austria. His tragic life led him to drink excessively, and in the end alcoholism drove him to self-destruction. In fact, he spent the last years of his life in the Trieste mental asylum and died there in 1949. His extraordinary painting technique was for a certain period reminiscent of the style of Gustav Klimt, but von Thümmel himself was a visionary, and his paintings are extremely original!In the years of his enforced confinement in the mental asylum he continued to draw with whatever he could find: tiny sheets of graph paper, a pen. He drew his dreams. Every drawing contains a text in ungrammatical Italian (Thümmel didn’t know Italian well, which was normal in Trieste at the time) in which he includes the contents of the dream, the date, and a dedication to the Trieste painter of Greek nationality Cesare Sofianopulo. There are several hundreds of these drawings. So, to reply to your question, Thümmel/Timmel is an ordinary human being, just like many others, and as such he is … simply “marvellous,” as he used to define the walks in his dreams!

Can you tell how this project came into being and how it is progressing?

By looking at those extraordinary drawings! Every drawing is an entire world, a complete and self-contained vision, even though in each one of these little pictures the same elements recur obsessively: a shoe, a dead friend, his deceased wife, the planet “Saturnio”, streets, bricks and, of course, the “marvellous walks”, as he called them. In 2000 Claudio Magris wrote a libretto for me which since then I have used only in part. I composed the first scene of Thümmel in 2001. What’s involved is the scenic/musical realization of the original drawing that pictures Thümmel’s flight to Saturnio in the company of an extra-terrestrial with claws in place of hands! The world premiere of the piece was performed by the Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart at the Milano Musica Festival in 2006.

To what extent is Thümmel tied to Central Europe?

Thümmel/Timmel lived mainly in Trieste. This city, which was Austrian for six centuries, was the quintessence of Habsburgian Central Europe. So Thümmel is an expression of this culture, which was a Slavic, German, Hungarian, Ladin, Istro-venetian, and Dalmatian mixture.

How much have Thümmel’s drawings, his paintings influenced your writing, if they have?

The drawings Thümmel did in the mental asylum don’t appear to show any trace of his original style. Here, instead, he seems to draw like a child. The poverty he endured in life (He lived as a vagrant in Trieste’s old city, doing oil paintings in exchange for a glass of wine.) and in his later years in the asylum (All he had were tiny sheets of graph paper and a pen.) have influenced the overall conception of my work. The majority of the scenes correspond to drawings he made in the mental asylum. Others are my own inventions inspired by Thümmel’s world. My music here is “rudimentary music”. For instruments I also use broken radios, frying pans, shoes, chairs, and, naturally, accordions, here a symbol of a simple humanity, that of the popular festival, poor, grim, and anguished. The child-like quality too of Thümmel’s late “style,” if we can use that term, is present in the texts, in the child-like way of singing, in the apparent simplicity of the content of some scenes. In actual fact Thümmel expresses himself in six voices of different ranges which sing both in unison and individually. This opera of mine is made up of visions like the images in a magic lantern: fleeting, almost framed, blocked in the vacuum of an immobile temporality, just like the checked drawings of the Trieste painter. You have talked about the various scenes of the opera – some already performed - that will make up the framework of the work.

What’s involved are pieces for various types of performance groups (chamber music, choral, orchestral). And you have written these pieces having in mind a precise collocation in the structure, even if for the moment they are autonomous. How do you think it will be possible to realize the opera as a whole?

My Thümmel is a modular opera, making provision for variation in accordance with the specific performing conditions of any given situation, be it a conventional opera house or spaces of any kind, museums, gasometers, etc. The scenes can be mounted and dismantled at will, just as the overall length of the work too can vary considerably. Certain scenes have been conceived almost as installations and others as caricaturized opera scenes. Others still are visions without a name! But an opera house would nonetheless be an ideal location, not least because I imagine the whole structure of the theatre serving as the performance space: the stage, the stalls, the lower galleries, the upper galleries, even the foyer, the bar and … the loos (Don’t laugh, or rather, do, for this is a “rudimentary” opera that strips human beings bare…!). But in the final result all sorts of spaces would be feasible: on the ideal plane (by way of the very conception of this work of mine) I invite directors, painters, playwrights, etc. to work with me! What’s involved is a huge challenge, in the sense that Thümmel is not fixed, finite; he has to live out his cycles of deaths and rebirths, on each occasion in a different place. What’s involved is a call for imagination and human creativity!

How close are you to Thümmel?

Thümmel has accompanied me for the last 14 years of my life. This symbiosis has even resulted in my rediscovering a lost painting of Thümmel in Trieste’s old city!

This piece was commissioned by the WDR. And it is not the first commission that you have received from the orchestra.

In fact, this is the third commission I’ve received from Harry Vogt at the WDR in Cologne. The first one in 2005 was conceived to commemorate the 70th birthday of Helmut Lachenmann, and it was a piece written for Ensemble Recherche in Freiburg; the second in 2011 was a vast piece for piano, accordion, concert percussion, orchestra, and choir; and finally this year’s work. All three pieces are scenes from my Thümmel.

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Franceschini recalls Riccardo Zandonai

World premiere of a new piece by Matteo Franceschini in Rovereto.
When Nov 14, 2014
from 08:45 PM to 10:00 PM
Where Rovereto
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On November 14, as part of the celebrations to inaugurate the reopening of Teatro Zandonai in Rovereto, the Haydn Orchestra of Bolzano and Trento, under the direction of Giacomo Sagripanti, will perform the world premiere of a new piece commissioned from Matteo Franceschini: Ritratto di scena, a homage to the composer’s fellow Trentino citizen Riccardo Zandonai, of whom Franceschini says: “In Zandonai, the melodic line of the singing must no longer be sought ‘amongst the voices’ but within the orchestra, in the ‘uninterrupted continuity’ of the musical discourse.  I also consider the voice as the theatrical instrument par excellence; the moment you put a voice on stage that speaks, sings or whispers, you produce theatre.” Franceschini thus identifies as a central element of Ritratto di scena “ a melodic flow, protagonist of a smooth passage of transformation. I was interested in working on the process of becoming, on the tension and the need to arrive at the decisive focal point: to make the orchestra sing. …Following Zandonai’s principle of ‘symphonic opera’, …the ‘voice’ of the orchestra travels through Zandonai’s compositional texture, touches the many facets of his poetics, and paints a ‘portrait of a scene’”

 

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