Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Teatro del Maggio, women's debut for "Le nozze di Figaro"

From 15 to 21 June Kristina Poska on the podium and Sonia Bergamasco as director

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For the first time the Teatro del Maggio on the podium and director de The Marriage of Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart there will be two women together.

The scene is on 15 June at 20 the first performance of Le nozze di Figaro in new outfitting of Musical May (other performances 17, 19 and 21 June at 20) that he sees Kristiina Poska on the podium e Sonia Bergamasco in his directorial debut of an opera.

The work is the first of the Mozart-Da Ponte trilogy to be included in the Mozart female project, which will be seen in the coming seasons of May, Elena Bucci take care of the direction of Così fan tutte e Nicola Raab the one of Don Giovanni.

Le Nozze after the first performance in Vienna in 1786, was performed for the first time in Italy in Florence, at the Pergola, in June of the 1788. The last time in May is dated November 2010. In the cast Mattia Olivieri (the count), Serena Gamberoni (the countess), Valentina Mastrangelo (Susanna), Simone Del Savio (Figaro), Miriam Albano (Cherubino), Patrizia Cigna (Marcellina), Adriano Gramigni * (Don Bartolo), Dave Monaco * (Basil), Claudio Zazzaro (Don Curzio), Costanza Fontana * (Barbarina), Patrizio La Placa * (Antonio), Elena Bazzo, Nadia Pirazzini ** (two peasant women). The scenes are signed by Marco Rossi, the costumes by Gianluca Sbicca and the lights by Cesare Accetta. (* artists of the Accademia del Maggio, ** artist of the Coro del Maggio).

It was the 1786 year when the 1 ° May debuted at the Burgtheater in Vienna the first of the three masterpieces made by Mozart in collaboration with Lorenzo Da Ponte: Le nozze di Figaro. The subject was taken from the well-known Le mariage de Figaro, a comedy by Beaumarchais of 1778 that was as much discussed as feared for satirical-political content. Mozart, however, does not let himself be discouraged by a subject who is apparently 'forbidden' as well as difficult to set to music due to the large number of characters and situations involved. In fact, he can count on the collaboration of the best playwright he has ever worked with, the imperial poet Lorenzo Da Ponte known in Vienna a few years earlier. It is precisely Da Ponte that reassures the emperor Giuseppe II on the absence of subversive elements or political references in his libretto reduction of the Marriage of Figaro, and so, at the end of the 1785, after having overcome numerous obstacles, the booklet is ready to be covered with notes. The whirlwind of amorous misunderstandings, pitfalls, suspicions, clandestine encounters and the notions of the Marriage is more than ever congenial to Mozart, who from the very first bars impresses his music with a very tight, exuberant and irresistible rhythm. The swirling swarm of quatrains of the arches in the overture draws us into the mad journée of Figaro and his companions: it is the apotheosis of the movement in its pure state that underlines the excitement of a day full of events and expectations like that of marriage. What follows is a psychological investigation into music unmatched before then.

Le Wedding of Figaro it is not only a comic opera but a comedy of feelings where the multiplicity of characters and moods corresponds to a musical writing that is always attentive to underline today a nuance with different colors from time to time. Each character has a well-defined profile that Mozart carves with skill in the arias and ensemble pieces. So the crafty Figaro, here impeded in his amorous projects by his master, he does not sing in a caricature but assumes a whole new musical dignity that elevates him above so many servants of comic opera, while the Count of Almaviva, its antagonist, is ironically divided between the ancient feudal claim of the ius primae noctis and enlightenment ambitions. On the female side they stand out Susanna and Contessa, two different women, one brilliant and full of hopes on her wedding day, the other melancholy and resigned to a now verve-free marriage, that to stand up to their men they resort to all the feminine wiles proving that the union between women is strength. There is a page to sprinkle pepper between the two pairs Cherubino, no longer a child but not even a man, who, burning with passion for both women, wants to experience love but is too young to have a mature experience. The couple formed by the obtuse and grouchy act as a corollary Bartolo e Marcellina, still eager for love despite her old age, the insinuating Basil, an accomplice of the count's affairs, and the little girl Barbarina, daughter of the gardener Antonio.

Worthy of note in the score is the prevalence of the ensemble numbers on the solo arias, an expedient that keeps away from the risk of staticity instead giving a continuous propulsive thrust to the action. And Mozart, not surprisingly, gives his best in the overall numbers and in the two great endings (at the end of the second and fourth act). The final concertato even before being a dramaturgical form is the privileged moment to put the characters in communication, and above all in the first concert Mozart manages to create a masterpiece in the masterpiece: almost a thousand beats of music that follow the gradual passage from two to eight voices where every single individual is sculpted in the round and the action never suffers setbacks. Instead, the task of restoring harmony and order of things rests with the final concerted order of the fourth and final act: the count will regret in the arms of the sympathetic wife and Figaro and Susanna will finally crown their dream of love. All is well that ends well and after such a crazy journée, what a wedding they are!

Sonia Bergamasco - Director's notes

On November 12 1778, in a letter from Mannheim, Mozart writes to his father: "I don't know if I told you about this type of theater work when I was here for the first time. In fact, nothing has ever surprised me so much! In fact, I had always imagined that such a thing would have had no effect! You know that you can't sing, but declare yourself, and that music is like an obligatory recitative, sometimes we talk about music too, so it produces a wonderful effect ... Do you know what my opinion would be? In this way most of the recitatives of the work should be treated, and only from time to time, when the words can be expressed well in music, sing the recitatives ”. In this letter, therefore, Mozart - a keen goer also of drama theater - expresses his enthusiasm for the new genre of entertainment with music called "melologue", and realizes in this type of writing new expressive potential. The seeds of theatrical invention that the melologist proposes will flourish in the brilliant writing of Mozart's Italian triptych.

In this new production of the Wedding, the work with the singers (singers of high rank, generous and passionate, with whom it was a joy and a 'deep emotion to share the path) was for me - actress and director - a happy occasion to confirm of how dense and precious the dramaturgical network stretched by Mozart / Da Ponte is, of how rich is the possibility of investigating the characters and how necessary it is to follow their paths with modesty, letting them express the complexity of feelings without ever being weighed down by judgment , without making them masks or catalog human types. In short, let them express their inner world through song and action to reach the precious evidence of human frailty.

The Marriage of Figaro it is also the story of an incessant search for love, a powerful desire to reaffirm his rights, and a balance of feelings - precarious and subtle - always to be reconquered. The burning arrow of Eros runs through the whole story and forces each of the characters to confront the wounds of the heart and the unexpected of desire. Mozart sets up a political theater of feelings that, without ever renouncing comedy, has a profound effect on the network of social relations (the Revolution is at the door) but also allows us to grasp the possibility of a harmony that has nothing to do with the religious faith, but above all with faith in a better humanity.

Personally, I loved (and hated) all the characters in the story, and my first wish was to tell each of them in its human complexity, without shortcuts. Hence the need to give space also to people who are usually under-investigated such as Basilio, and above all Marcellina, restoring their dedicated (and almost always cut) arias in the last act.

Kriistina Poska, which directs the orchestra in this new edition of the Marriage, followed the directing tests from the beginning and shared each phase with an extremely empathic attitude, allowing in this way to multiply the opportunities for dialogue.

Marco Rossi, author of the scenes, he was with me from the earliest stages of the project to give shape to the garden-labyrinth that reveals itself by degrees, oxygenated from the beginning by the green of the billiard table and the inclined plane of the scene to "unravel" - in the night image of the last act - in all its magical depth, like a huge gaming table. Complexity and tenderness, play and melancholy. A fresco of society - wearing the vivid costumes of an eighteenth century updated with grit and wisdom by Gianluca Sbicca - in which "the people" is the arm of Figaro and protagonist of the "theatrical" incursions he orchestrated in order to re-establish the rights trampled . Theater in the theater, game of mirrors and exchange of roles. A "dream of a spring night" in which the two "betrothed" of the opera, threatened by the powerful on duty, rejoin in the end in a garden lit by the rays of the moon (the lights are by Cesare Accetta, artist and friend of always).

The nocturnal labyrinth that revealed to Susanna and Figaro, the Count and the Countess and all the other protagonists of the story the contradictions of feelings, the pitfalls of reason, the fragility of human relations ends with the image of a balance reconquered through a gesture of forgiveness: a secular forgiveness, poignant, perhaps fleeting, but very human.


Comedy for music in four acts K. 492
Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Owner publisher: Bärenreiter-Verlag, Kassel
New production of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Theater

Concert conductor and director Kristiina Poska
Directed by Sonia Bergamasco
Scenes by Marco Rossi
Costumes Gianluca Sbicca
Luci Cesare Accetta
Choreographic movements Paolo Arcangeli

The Count of Almaviva Mattia Olivieri
The Countess of Almaviva Serena Gamberoni
Susanna Valentina Mastrangelo
Figaro Simone Del Savio
Cherubino Miriam Albano
Marcellina Patrizia Cigna
Don Bartolo Adriano Gramigni
Basilio Dave Monaco
Don Curzio Claudio Zazzaro
Barbarina Costanza Fontana
Antonio Patrizio La Placa
Two peasant women Elena Bazzo, Nadia Pirazzini

Orchestra and Chorus of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
Chorus Master Lorenzo Fratini
Assistant Director João Aboim Carvalho
Costume designer Rossana Gea Cavallo
Specialists include Elena Barsotti, Gaia Mazzeranghi, Cristiano Colangelo, Giacomo Dominici, Pierangelo Preziosa

Staging, scenes, equipment and costumes Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
Costumes for women artists created by the Sartoria del Piccolo Teatro of Milan - Theater of Europe
Costumes CIMEC men, Milan - Choirs BASTE srl, Trieste - Footwear CTC, Milan -
Audello Teatro wigs, Turin

With Italian and English surtitles by Prescott Studio, Florence
with Inserra Chair (Montclair State University) and ICAMus, USA

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