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47th Festival of the Itria Valley
"Fiat lux" in Martina Franca from 17 July to 4 August 2021 artistic director Alberto Triola - musical director Fabio Luisi
'Fiat lux' is the title of the 47th edition of the Valle d'Itria Festival, staged from 17 July to 5 August in Martina Franca, a jewel of the Apulian Baroque. 20 evenings of shows will turn on the lights of the stages of Palazzo Ducale, the Cloister of San Domenico and the ancient farms of the Valley, where the great names of opera will be heard in rare opera titles, oratories, recitals and symphonic concerts.

“The billboard outlines a very legible historical and cultural path that starts from the Neapolitan Baroque of Alessandro Scarlatti and Nicola Porpora, to arrive at the Viennese Classicism of Haydn and then to Schubert. But the proposed musical works open to a reading in which references to the current condition can be found starting from the most obvious evidence: the need for a new beginning, for a re-creation of the world in a new Fiat lux, "as underlined by the artistic director Alberto Triola, creator of the program together with Fabio Luisi.

And the choice of the title for the opening night of July 17th, (replicas on July 23rd and 31st) in the Atrium of the Doge's Palace as per tradition could not be more appropriate: The creation of Franz Joseph Haydn, oratorio inspired by the pages of the Book of Genesis and Milton's Paradise Lost (1667), with a libretto by Baron Gottfried van Swieten, whose Italian version will be listened to edited by Dario Del Corno.

Entrusted to the baton of Fabio Luisi, in Martina Franca the oratory of Haydn, will be presented in scenic form with the direction of Fabio Ceresa, the sets by Tiziano Santi and the costumes by Gianluca Falaschi. For this production, the collaboration with the Petruzzelli Theater Orchestra of Bari is renewed, while the Ghislieri Choir, a group in permanent residence at the Ancient Music Center of the Ghislieri Foundation in Pavia, is making its debut in Martina Franca. field of historically informed music, directed by Giulio Prandi. In the cast in the role of Rafael Alessio Arduini, for the couple Adamo and Eva, two young artists from the Accademia del Belcanto “Rodolfo Celletti”: the Catalan baritone Jan Antem and the soprano Sabrina Sanza. The choreographies will be performed by the dancers of the Fattoria Vittadini.

Second title on the bill, La Griselda of Alessandro Scarlatti, with the very affirmed soprano Carmela Remigio in the title role. Composed on a libretto dated 1701 by Apostolo Zeno and based on the last novel of Boccaccio's Decameron, the opera will be staged at Palazzo Ducale (24, 29 July and 1 August) 300 years after its debut at the Capranica Theater in Rome, which took place in 1721. At the helm of the La Lira di Orfeo orchestra - an ensemble specializing in the profane baroque repertoire - and of the Ghisleri Choir, the Greek conductor Georg Petrou, who returns to Martina Franca after the success of 2019 with L'Orfeo di Porpora. The direction is by Rosetta Cucchi, the sets by Tiziano Santi and the costumes by Claudia Pernigotti. In the role of Griselda the soprano Carmela Remigio, who celebrates her fourth consecutive debut in Martina Franca, a festival in which she faced extremely different roles, enjoying great success with audiences and critics. Another expected return is that of the countertenor Raffaele Pe who will be Gualtiero. Repertoire specialists such as Francesca Ascioti (Ottone), Giuseppina Bridelli (Roberto) and Krystian Adam (Corrado) complete the vocal cast.

Third title to the Doge's Palace, Angelica (July 30 and August 3), serenade by Nicola Porpora from 1720, composed on the first libretto signed by Pietro Metastasio, taken from the heroic deeds narrated in Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando furioso. The project, co-produced with the Mainz Staatstheater, sees the directorial debut of Gianluca Falaschi, costume designer who has created stage clothes for the most important theaters in the world. Sara Federico Maria Sardelli, one of the most popular sticks for the interpretation of the Baroque repertoire, conducting the Lira di Orfeo and a cast that sees the mezzo-soprano Teresa Iervolino in the role of Orlando and Francesca Aspromonte in that of Angelica. In the pastoral trio of Licori, Titiro and Tirsi there will be Gaia Petrone, Sergio Foresti and Barbara Massaro respectively.

Also at the Doge's Palace on August 4 the cycle of Lieder Winterreise ("Winter Journey") by Franz Schubert will be performed: 24 pieces for voice and piano on poetic texts by Wilhelm Müller which in Martina Franca will be entrusted to the Austrian baritone Markus Werba and the pianist and conductor Michele Gamba, with staging by Libero Stelluti.

The great voices will complete the program of the 47th edition of the Valle d'Itria Festival: scheduled in concerts by the stars of international opera Angela Meade, Lisette Oropesa, Joseph Calleja, and for the cycle "Il canto degli ulivi" in the historic farms, Julie Fuchs, Vivica Genaux, Marianna Pizzolato is Veronica Simeoni.

The American soprano Angela Meade, making her debut at the Festival, she will be the protagonist of the recital scheduled for 25 July at the Aragonese Castle in Taranto, the “Concerto del Mare” with music by Wagner, Verdi, Korngold, Meyerbeer, Bellini; Carmen Santoro at the piano.

On 2 August at the Palazzo Ducale in Martina Franca in the "Concerto di Belcanto" will perform one of today's most popular interpreters, the soprano Lisette Oropesa, with the Petruzzelli Theater Orchestra conducted by Corrado Rovaris, music by Rossini, Thomas, Massenet, Donizetti, Gounod, Gimenez, Barbieri, Chapí, Bellini, Verdi will be on the program. The occasion of the concert is the awarding of the traditional Belcanto Prize "Rodolfo Celletti" to the famous conductor Richard Bonynge, protagonist of historical and now legendary performances and recordings of the bel canto repertoire together with Joan Sutherland, his life partner and to whom the recognition will be extended in memory.

An important event of the Festival is the cycle of recitals in the historic farms of the Itria Valley “Il canto degli ulivi”, which brings music to the heart of the territory, with the direct experience of the stratifications of history, the richness of traditions, and the excellence of local products. It is no coincidence that it is one of the most immersive experiences offered by the Valle d'Itria Festival, and one of the most loved events by the public. Accompanying the Festival in this review will be for the third consecutive year, the Consortium for the Protection of Primitivo di Manduria which will offer the public, at the end of each show, the tasting of the most popular docs.

There are four concerts in the festival, starring as many female voices among the most sought after and refined on the European scene: the soprano Julie Fuchs on 20 July at the Masseria Capece in Cisternino (music by Händel, Giacomelli / Vivaldi, Mozart, Rossini, Barbieri, Donizetti, at the piano Helio Vida), the mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux on 22 July at the Masseria del Duca in Crispiano, with the Enea Barock Orchestra conducted by Valeria Montanari (music by Vivaldi, Hasse, Händel), Marianna Pizzolato, mezzo-soprano, on 27 July at the Masseria Belvedere in Mottola (music by Giordani, Caldara, Rossini, Gariboldi, Bellini, at the piano Daniela Pellegrino), and the mezzo-soprano Veronica Simeoni at Masseria Palesi in Martina Franca on July 28 with music by Gluck, Berlioz, Sgambati, Gounod, Strauss, Mahler, accompanied on the piano by Vincenzo Rana.

Another unmissable appointment is the Concert for the spirit (July 26) in the baroque frame of the Basilica of San Martino. This year the protagonist will be the sacred music of Scarlatti and Porpora entrusted to Raffaele Pe and the Coro Ghislieri, accompanied by the musicians of La Lira di Orfeo directed by Giulio Prandi.

For the 50 ° of the death of Igor Stravinsky, the Piano Duo Gromoglasova will perform pages by the Russian composer, Darius Milhaud and Béla Bartók (Cloister of San Domenico, 21 July).

The Valle d'Itria Festival will greet the public on August 5 at the Palazzo Ducale with the closing concert, dedicated to Astor Piazzolla in the centenary of birth: the tenor is the protagonist Joseph Calleja, making his debut in Martina Franca, accompanied by the virtuosity of the bandoneon Mario Stefano Pietrodarchi and the ICO Orchestra of Magna Grecia directed by Gianluca Marcianò.    

Other information of interest

Ticket office: Piazza Roma, 14 -Martina Franca
Tel. +39 080 4834714 //
open every day from 10am to 1pm and from 5pm to 9pm Tickets also available on Vivaticket

There is more

The history of the Valle d'Itria Festival The Festival della Valle d'Itria in Martina Franca was born in 1975 on the initiative of a group of passionate music lovers led by Alessandro Caroli, first president of the Festival, with the decisive support of Franco Punzi, then Mayor of Martina Franca, and Paolo Grassi , at the time superintendent of the Teatro alla Scala.

Since its inception, the Festival has been characterized by the courageous revival of an underestimated repertoire and performance practice.

The staging of works such as Rossini's Tancredi (in 1976, even before the Rossini renaissance that characterized the following decades) and the Norma in the original version with the protagonist with a darker tone than the young Adalgisa contributed to its success.

Since 1980, with the presidency of Franco Punzi and the artistic direction of Rodolfo Celletti, a great vocal expert, the Festival has accentuated its original identity as a revaluation of the bel canto repertoire (from Monteverdi to proto-romanticism) and of the Neapolitan music school of which great protagonists they were the Apulian composers, without neglecting the great European repertoire and, in particular, the enhancement of elements of the Italian bel canto present in works by foreign authors. The proposals for works such as Adelaide di Borgogna and Semiramide by Rossini, The Coronation of Poppea by Monteverdi, Julius Caesar by Handel, Fra Diavolo by Auber are emblematic.

Under the artistic direction of Sergio Segalini, from 1994 to 2009, the Festival has further developed the international dimension of repertoire choices starting from Cherubini's Medée in the original French version with spoken dialogues, to then tackle masterpieces such as Robert le diable by Meyerbeer , La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein by Offenbach, up to the French version of Salomé by Richard Strauss.

Alberto Triola, who took over the artistic direction of the Festival in 2010, bringing attention, on the one hand, to the bel canto repertoire and to the Baroque musical theater, intends to broaden the horizon of the Festival to twentieth-century and contemporary opera. The choice of titles for the two-year period 2010-2011 is significant: Gianni di Parigi by Donizetti and Aureliano in Palmira by Rossini, Rodelinda, Regina de 'Longobardi by Händel and Il Novello Giasone by Cavalli - Stradella, Napoli Milionaria! by Rota and the diptych Der Ring des Polykrates (Korngold) - Das Geheime Königreich (Krenek), L'Orfeo by Luigi Rossi-Daniela Terranova, Nur by Marco Taralli, Zaira by Bellini, Artaxerxes by Hasse, Crispino and the Comare of the Ricci brothers , Maria di Venosa by Francesco d'Avalos, Joan of Arc by Verdi.

The productions of the Festival stand out for the authenticity of the texts (often represented in full version) and the respect for the vocal types, faithful to the original scores and interpretations. The Festival has contributed to the affirmation of artists who would have written the history of interpretation such as Mariella Devia, Martine Dupuy, Paolo Coni, Daniela Dessì, Patrizia Ciofi, Fabio Luisi, Renato Palumbo, to name but a few. Since 1975, over one hundred works have been presented at the Valle d'Itria Festival. Among other things, it should be remembered that, in the course of its activity, the Festival has obtained nine times the coveted recognition of the Abbiati Prize by the National Association of Italian Music Critics; he is also a member of important associations, including EFA [European Festivals Association], EFFE [Europe for Festivals - Festivals for Europe], CIDIM [Italian National Music Committee] and Italiafestival, of which he is a founding member.

(text taken from the official website of the Festival)

47th Festival of the Itria Valley

Author: Sabine Frantellizzi

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