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Festival in Torre del Lago, Viareggio
70th Puccini Festival 2024 in Torre del Lago
“Puccini in the context aware of his creative singularity”. This is the theme this year.
From 12 July
to September 7, 2024
Puccini Festival Foundation

"The 70th edition of the Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago takes on a particular meaning because it coincides with the 100th anniversary of the death of Giacomo Puccini, an artist who belongs to all of humanity and who left us a legacy of works that are a concentration of genius and beauty” Artistic director Pier Luigi Pizzi

18 evenings of opera in the unique setting of the large open-air theater on the shores of Lake Massaciuccoli for the only festival in the world dedicated to the Tuscan composer which marks the milestone of 70 editions.

The program of this extraordinary edition is signed by Pier Luigi Pizzi with the proposal of 6 new stagings of Puccini masterpieces represented in chronological order according to their first performance: LE WILLIS-EDGAR, MANON LESCAUT, LA BOHÈME, TOSCA, TURANDOT.

The program

The 70th Puccini Festival of Torre del Lago will open on 12 July 2024 with a special diptych composed of the works “Le Willis” and “Edgar”. Massimo Zanetti will be the concertmaster and conductor, while the direction, sets and costumes will be handled by Pier Luigi Pizzi. The Puccini Festival Orchestra and Choir, together with the Children's Choir, will accompany the performances.

The Willis is a legend in one act in two parts, with libretto by Ferdinando Fontana and music by Giacomo Puccini. The first performance took place in Milan, at the Teatro Dal Verme, on 31 May 1884. The main characters include Guglielmo Gulf played by Pietro Spagnoli, Anna played by Lidia Fridman, and Roberto played by Vincenzo Costanzo. The work is inspired by Nordic legends where otherworldly creatures avenge the souls of girls who died for love. The production includes choreography by Gheorghe Iancu.

Edgar it is a lyric drama in four acts, again with a libretto by Ferdinando Fontana and music by Giacomo Puccini. The first performance was held in Milan, at the Teatro alla Scala, on 21 April 1889. The main characters are Edgar played by Vassilii Solodkyy, Gualtiero played by Luca Dall'Amico, Fidelia played by Lidia Fridman and Tigrana played by Ketevan Kemoklidze. The work explores the protagonist's internal conflict between Fidelia's pure love and Tigrana's seduction.

The “Manon Lescaut” in two evenings, 13 July and 2 August 2024. This lyrical drama in four acts, with a libretto by Ruggero Leoncavallo, Marco Praga, Domenico Oliva, Luigi Illica, Giuseppe Giacosa, Giulio Ricordi and Giacomo Puccini, was staged for the first time in Turin, at the Teatro Regio, on 1 February 1893.

The orchestra direction will be entrusted to Beatrice Venezi, while Massimo Gasparon will take care of the direction, sets, costumes and lighting design. The main characters include Manon Lescaut, played by Alessandra Di Giorgio, her brother Lescaut played by Nicola Farnesi, and the Knight Renato Des Grieux played by Francesco Pio Galasso. Other performers include Matteo Roma as Edmondo, Francesco Lombardi as the Innkeeper, Elena Belfiore as the Musician, and Saverio Pugliese as the Dance Master and the Lamplighter.

The libretto, based on the novel by Abbot Prévost, saw the collaboration of numerous librettists, also marking the beginning of Puccini's fruitful collaboration with Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, authors of masterpieces such as "La bohème", "Tosca" and Madame Butterfly”. This staging will see the choreography of Gheorghe Iancu and the participation of the Puccini Festival Orchestra and Choir, directed by the Choir Master Roberto Ardigò, with the Children's Choir directed by Viviana Apicella.

The Festival will present the work “La Bohème” in four evenings, 20 and 27 July, and 8 and 22 August. The opera scenes in four scenes, with libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica and music by Giacomo Puccini, were performed for the first time in Turin, at the Teatro Regio, on 1 February 1896.

The orchestra direction will be entrusted to Michelangelo Mazza, while Massimo Gasparon will take care of the direction, sets, costumes and lighting design. The main characters include Mimì, played by Carolina Lopez Moreno, Musetta played by Sara Cortolezzis, Rodolfo played by Ayon Rivas and Marcello played by Alessandro Luongo. Other performers include Gianluca Failla as Schaunard, Adolfo Corrado as Colline, and Italo Proferisce in the roles of Benoit and Alcindoro.

The playful and artistic context surrounding the creation of "La Bohème" reflects the same atmosphere of friendship and creativity that Puccini lived daily on the shores of Lake Massaciuccoli. The success of the opera was immediate and absolute, consolidating Puccini's collaboration with the librettists Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa and marking the beginning of important professional relationships, such as that with Arturo Toscanini and Enrico Caruso.

The work “Tosca” will be presented on four evenings, July 26th and August 9th, 18th and 24th. This melodrama in three acts, with libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica and music by Giacomo Puccini, was performed for the first time in Rome, at the Costanzi Theatre, on 14 January 1900.

The orchestra direction will be entrusted to Daniele Callegari, while Pier Luigi Pizzi will take care of the direction, sets and costumes. Main characters include Floria Tosca, played by Erika Grimaldi (July 26 and August 9) and Valentina Boi (August 18 and 24), Mario Cavaradossi played by Alejandro Roy and Baron Scarpia played by Erwin Schrott (July 26 and August 9). Other performers include Alessandro Abis in the role of Cesare Angelotti, Andrea Concetti as the Sacristan, Luigi Morassi in the role of Spoletta, Gianluca Failla as Sciarrone, Alessandro Ceccarini in the role of a jailer, and various other roles yet to be defined.

Puccini fell in love with the story of Tosca after seeing Victorien Sardou's prose drama, starring Sarah Bernhardt. The realization of the opera was not simple, with many difficulties in adapting the libretto and the need for accurate historical and liturgical research to make the opera credible.

The “Turandot” in four evenings, 3, 10, 17, and 23 August. This lyrical drama in three acts, with libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica and music by Giacomo Puccini, was performed for the first time in Milan, at the Teatro alla Scala, on 25 April 1926.

The orchestra direction will be entrusted to Renato Palumbo, while Pier Luigi Pizzi will take care of the direction, sets and costumes. The main characters include Princess Turandot, played by Anna Pirozzi, Emperor Altoum played by Danilo Pastore, Timur played by Andrea Concetti, the Unknown Prince (Calaf) played by Amadi Lagha and Liù played by Chunxi Hu. Other performers include Pietro Spagnoli as Ping, Saverio Pugliese as Pang and Luigi Morassi as Pong, with Pietro Spagnoli also playing a Mandarin.

Puccini began working on this opera in 1920. The composition of the opera was interrupted by the composer's death in 1924, and the opera was completed by Franco Alfano. The first performance was directed by Arturo Toscanini who interrupted the performance upon Liù's death, marking the point at which Puccini had stopped writing.

The new production of the 70th Puccini Festival is directed by Pier Luigi Pizzi and sees the participation of the Puccini Festival Orchestra and Choir, conducted by Choir Master Roberto Ardigò, with the Children's Choir directed by Chiara Mariani.

The 70th Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago will present a special event to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the opera “Madama Butterfly” with two performances on 31 August and 7 September. This drama in two acts, with libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica and music by Giacomo Puccini, will be directed by Jacopo Sipari di Pescasseroli.

The direction will be handled by Vivien Hewitt, with costumes by Regina Schrecker. The main characters include Cio-Cio-San, played by Valeria Sepe (31 August) and Marina Medici (7 September), Suzuki played by Anna Maria Chiuri, Pinkerton played by Vincenzo Costanzo and Sharpless played by Sergio Bologna.

Madama Butterfly was born from the meeting between Giacomo Puccini and the American playwright David Belasco in 1900. Despite the unfortunate debut at the Teatro alla Scala on 17 February 1904, the opera found success in Brescia on 28 May 1904.

For the 70th Puccini Festival, one of the most acclaimed stagings will be revived, with scenes by the Japanese sculptor Kan Yasuda. The production will see the participation of the Puccini Festival Orchestra and Choir, directed by Choir Master Roberto Ardigò.

There is more
The open-air Gran Teatro Giacomo Puccini is located in the Giacomo Puccini Music and Sculpture Park, whose creation (2008) represents one of the most significant interventions in the field of cultural policy in Tuscany in recent decades.

The new theatre, made of concrete, wood and glass, stands on a surface area of 7,500 m2: the Arena accommodates 3,370 spectators while the auditorium below has a capacity of approximately 400 seats.

Past editions

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70th Puccini Festival 2024 in Torre del Lago
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