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Macerata Opera Festival 2022 Opera, cinema, and symphonic repertoire

05 March 2022

Tosca, Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Pagliacci are the three opera titles chosen by the new Artistic Director, Paolo Pinamonti. A new addition to the festival is a series of symphonic concerts conducted by some of the foremost conductors of our time and celebrating in particular Beethoven’s music.

The Sferisterio wall will be a big screen for a selection of films featuring Charlie Chaplin, the Italian diva Lyda Borelli, and live soundtracks

The new Musical Director, Donato Renzetti, will also lead a course for young artists

Opera, cinema, and symphonic repertoire: this is the fulcrum around which the 2022 programme – which has been recently announced by the new Artistic Director Paolo Pinamonti and Superintendent Luciano Messi turns. Macerata Opera Festival 2022 will run from 19 July to 21 August: twenty-two live performances at the Sferisterio Arena and two performances at Teatro Lauro Rossi will bring audiences back under the stars, with Beethoven’s three symphonies and five piano concertos, Puccini’s Tosca, Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, and three milestones of 20th century theatre and cinema (Pagliacci by Leoncavallo, Rapsodia Satanica by Mascagni, and The Circus by Chaplin).

A special addition to the festival is a series of symphonic concerts conducted by internationally renowned conductors. The festival will open with the performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No 9, with the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Orchestra and Chorus and conductor Zubin Mehta (19 July); then, the Orchestra of the Academy of Santa Cecilia conducted by Myung-Whun Chung will perform Beethoven’s Symphony No 6 (“Pastoral”) and No 9 (21 July); Beethoven’s piano concertos will be performed by award winning pianist Jan Lisiecki, whose brilliant career has taken him to concert halls and festivals all over the world (4 and 6 August); finally, Antonio Florio will conduct the Cappella Neapolitana in a new realisation of Mozart and Giuseppe Giordani’s Litaniae Lauretanae, dedicated to the Marche region (18 August, Teatro Lauro Rossi).

The new Musical Director Donato Renzetti will be on the podium for the premiere of the opera Tosca by Giacomo Puccini (performances on Friday 22 and Sunday 24 July; Friday 29 and Sunday 31 July). Renzetti will also conduct the Filarmonica Gioachino Rossini in a concert celebrating John Williams, the film composer known especially for his Star Wars soundtrack, and will lead an international course for young conductors and young singers to be held in Macerata from 4 to 11 August.

The red thread of Macerata Opera Festival 2022 is the world of cinema. Valentina Carrasco, director of Tosca, plays on the idea of a 1950s film set, designed by Samal Blak; costume design by Silvia Aymonino and lighting by Peter van Praet. Cast includes Carmen Giannattasio (Floria Tosca), Antonio Poli (Mario Cavaradossi), and Claudio Sgura (Scarpia). On the podium: Donato Renzetti.

The second title (Friday 5, Sunday 7, and Thursday 11 August) is a new production of Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci by Alessandro Talevi, which was first staged at the Sferisterio arena in 2015; set design by Madeleine Boy, costume design by Manuel Pedretti, and lighting by Marco Giusti. The opera will be preceded by the screening of one of Chaplin’s finest works, The Circus, in its version restored by Cineteca di Bologna and with the first live performance of its soundtrack since 1928, thanks to the work of Timothy Brock, an international expert of score and film restorations. Brock will conduct the orchestra and cast of Pagliacci, featuring Rebeka Lokar (Nedda), Fabio Sartori (Caino), and George Petean (Tonio)

The third title is Il barbiere di Siviglia, a comic masterpiece by the most famous and celebrated composer from the Marche region, Gioachino Rossini. It will be staged at the Sferisterio arena, after many years of absence, on Friday 12 August (then on Sunday 14, Friday 19, and Sunday 21 August). This new production, entrusted to Daniele Menghini (set design by Davide Signorini, costume design by Nika Campisi, and lighting by Simone de Angelis), was chosen through an international competition for direction, scenes and costumes reserved for artists who are under 35, in collaboration with Opera Europa and Rossini Opera Festival (participants presented their project in 2020). On the podium: the young and talented Alessandro Bonato will conduct the FORM – Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana (the festival orchestra). The cast of this new production of Barbiere di Siviglia set in a fictional world – a television studio or a production house for TV formats for the general public, ‘a factory of fiction’ – includes Ruzil Gatin (Count of Almaviva), Roberto De Candia (Bartolo), Serena Malfi (Rosina), Alessandro Luongo (Figaro), and Andrea Concetti (Basilio).

As always, the Coro Lirico Marchigiano “Vincenzo Bellini”, directed by Martino Faggiani, will be the official chorus of the festival while the Pueri Cantores “D. Zamberletti” chorus, directed by Gianluca Paolucci, will perform in Tosca and Pagliacci.

These opera productions are complemented by a concert celebrating Mascagni (Saturday 23 July), who composed the soundtrack for the film Rapsodia satanica (1971), a masterpiece of silent Italian cinema based on Goethe’s Faust, directed by Nino Oxilia. The film is also a prime example of the diva genre, featuring Lyda Borelli as Alba d’Oltrevita. On the podium: director and composer Marcello Panni – who worked on Mascagni’s score – will conduct the FORM – Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana. This concert will also feature three interludes from Mascagni’s Guglielmo Ratcliff, Cavalleria rusticana, and Amica.

Arena Sferisterio will also host a concert celebrating Brazilian music with one of Brazil’s most iconic guitarists, Toquinho, who will perform with his band over 50 years of hits on Saturday, 13 August.

Ticket sales will open on 22 March.