Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Operadar: Sigismondo Pesarese

One festival we didn't see [and maybe should have] is the Rossini Opera Festival (ROF), which every year takes place in Rossini's native town of Pesaro.

The main event of this year's festival was the rarely staged/performed opera Sigismondo. It was broadcast on the Rai Radio Tre, I listened to it and it's like your usual Rossini...

World premiere of this opera took place at la Fenice in Venice in 1814 and was a fiasco.  It tells a story about Sigismondo, king of Poland, who falls into madness after having killed his young wife because of the unjust accusations of adultery... He ends up, however, finding her in a wood where she was hidden under another identity (cf. libretto here).  So once again it's a clumsily stitched story that is very hard to stage in this day and age...

At the same time the tough cookie such as this libretto is a good challenge for young and inventive directors, and it seems that Damiano Michieletto did a good job: the reports saying that he was booed and cheered at the same time can only be a positive sign...

Micheletto apparently placed the action in a psychiatric ward where Daniela Barcellona (Sigismondo) did her Lucia-nesque performance, that even her costar Olga Peretyatko (Aldamira) admired on her blog last month. Our high-C recordman Antonino Siragusa (Ladislao),  the bad guy in this opera, also received rave reviews for his performance. Andrea Concetti (Ulderico) completed the starry cast.
Here are some pics:

Daniela Barcellona

Antonino Siragusa et al

Antonino Siragusa and Olga Peretyatko

Olga Peretyatko is one of the hottest operatic names right now. After her superb singing in The Nightingale at Aix-en-Provence, she was joggling and trilling with stratospheric Rossini music in Pesaro and received magnificent reviews for her Aldamira in Sigismondo. But it doesn't end there: together with other singers, including Lawrence Brownlee, she gave a concert performance of "Le Nozze di Teti e di Peleo" [another Rossini work/cantata that I didn't know anything about] and received so enthusiastic ovations that she was 'obliged' to encore the Cerere cabaletta [sounds exactly like your good ole Non piu mesta if you ask me ;) ], something that is extremely rare in Pesaro. Way to go Olga!

OK, two extra videos to listen to Olga:
  •  one clip of her Desdemona from Rossini's Otello filmed this year in Lausanne

  • another one (and with a much better quality of sound) is of her Susanna, recorded at TCE in Paris last year

1 comment:

  1. WOW Michieletto!!! One of the most inventive directors...