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The Donizetti Opera 2021 Festival kicks off in Bergamo
VII edition for the Bergamo Festival with three new productions by Donizetti and Mayr and many collateral events
Get back to Bergamo from 18 November to 5 December 2021 with three new productions Donizetti Opera, the international festival that the Donizetti Theater Foundation and the municipality of Bergamo dedicate every year to the illustrious composer.

The Festival aims to safeguard and make known the musical heritage bequeathed to the city of Bergamo by Gaetano Donizetti, and every year proposes little-known titles alongside his most famous works, whose edition is edited by the scientific section of the Foundation directed by musicologist Paolo Fabbri.

The VII Donizetti Opera Festival, with the artistic direction of Francesco Micheli and the musical one of Riccardo Frizza, in addition to the three new lyrical productions includes an inaugural show, a double event for the traditional celebrations of the 'Dies natalis'November 29, Donizetti's birthday, activities Educational, the novelty of the Pre Opera - open-air theatrical introductory actions to the works, Donizetti OperaTube, the evolution video channel of Donizetti web TV born last year during the pandemic. Coinciding with the opening weekend of the Festival, Bergamo will also host the autumn meeting of the association OperaEuropa with more than 200 delegates from major international theaters and opera festivals.

The events will take place in Bergamo's two historic theaters, the Teatro Sociale and the Donizetti Theater, reopened last May, resplendent after three years of restoration.

The seventh edition of the review puts on the bill two of the most famous and loved works of Gaetano Donizetti: The elixir of love is The fille du régiment. "This year the Festival presents two Donizetti titles that are not the usual rarities - declared the artistic director Francesco Micheli -, but acclaimed masterpieces: L'elisir d'amore and La fille du régiment. We think that sometimes it is not only useful but necessary to go back to works so apparently known to propose them in an unusual version, through directorial readings that recover the relationship with contemporaneity and give the public some visual and cultural references close to him, through executions "historically informed "but not in plaster, and who indeed want to recover the never coarse but good-natured smile of the comic opera."

A rarity is instead the third title in the program, Medea in Corinth of Giovanni Simone Mayr, Donizetti's teacher and one of the greatest opera composers of his time. "For the #Donizetti200 project (the staging in each edition of a Donizetti opera that celebrates the 200th anniversary of its debut) this year we didn't have the title"Explains the artistic director Micheli"because 1821 was an empty year of debuts for Donizetti. The Festival therefore proposes Medea in Corinto by its teacher Giovanni Simone Mayr, a great Neapolitan success of 1813. The version that will be seen at the Festival is the one profoundly rethought by Mayr in '21 precisely for the Teatro Sociale of Bergamo where it will be performed. There is no documentary evidence that 24-year-old Donizetti participated in the rewriting of the work or its production. But at that time he was in Bergamo, and unemployed: it is difficult to think that Mayr did not involve his favorite pupil in his work.. "

The Festival opens on November 18 (8 pm) al Social Theater with the unpublished operashow "Once upon a time there were two people from Bergamo… ”, Starring the internationally renowned bass from Bergamo Alex Esposito and 'his' young singers of the "Donizetti workshop". Physical and spiritual place where to transmit the operatic "knowledge" to the new generations as in the ancient artisan workshops, this training initiative entrusted to Esposito for a three-year period embodies a message, the work is more alive than ever and the Festival does not just want to celebrate it the past, but also preparing for the future. The opening show of the Festival, with the dramaturgy of Alberto Mattioli is Francesco Micheli comprehends music by Donizetti, Offenbach, Rossini, Mozart, Boito and Berlioz, on stage with the singers the pianist Michele D'Elia and theDonizetti Opera Ensemble.

The lyric billboard opens on November 19 (replies on November 25 is December 5th) to the Donizetti Theater with The elixir of love in a new staging signed by Frederic Wake-Walker - director, producer and curator of multidisciplinary projects with important collaborations including the Teatro alla Scala, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Glyndebourne festival, in addition to his Mahogany Opera - the scenes of Federica Parolini, the costumes of Daniela Cernigliaro and the lights of Fiammetta Baldiserri. On the podium the musical director Riccardo Frizza driving theOrchestra The Originals, established three years ago by the festival with staff and instruments of the time in order to rediscover sound, timbre and balance between voices and orchestra as faithful as possible to the original. Staged at the Milan in 1832, The elixir of love, among Donizetti's most significant works, it will be interpreted by a cast alongside celebrities such as the tenor Javier Camarena (Nemorino) and the baritone Roberto Frontali (Dulcamara) to young and very young like the baritone Florian Sempey (Belcore), and the sopranos Caterina Sala (Adina) e Anaïs Mejías (Giannetta). The Donizetti Opera Choir is directed as always by Fabio Tartars.

The second Donizetti work of the bill, The fille du régiment the November 21 (replies on November 26 is December 3) always at Donizetti Theater in the new layout co-produced with the Teatro Lírico Nacional de Cuba, signed by the Cuban director Luis Ernesto Doñas, with scenes from Angelo Sala, the costumes of Maykel Martinez, the choreography by Laura Domingo and the lights of Fiammetta Baldiserri. Recovered from the program scheduled for 2020, it will be presented in the new critical edition edited by Claudio Toscani for Casa Ricordi as part of the National Edition created with the collaboration and contribution of the Municipality of Bergamo and the Donizetti Theater Foundation. L'Donizetti Opera Orchestra and the Choir of the Teatro alla Scala Academy will be directed by Michele Spotti, male protagonists will be two acclaimed singers, the tenor John Osborn making his debut at the Festival, and the funny baritone Paolo Bordogna. The protagonist Marie will be played by the Spanish soprano Sara Blanch, in the role of the Duchesse de Krakenthorp there will be Cristina Bugatty, former protagonist of the Donizetti webTV format "Intercom Gaetano ".

Between Donizetti's two works, the November 20 (replies on November 27 is December 4th) finds a place Medea in Corinth, the rarity of his teacher Giovanni Simone Mayr, which will be staged right there Social Theater in Bergamo for which the Bavarian composer wrote a new version of the opera that had debuted on the stage of the San Carlo in Naples a few years earlier, in 1813. The new staging signed by the artistic director Francesco Micheli, with scenes from Edoardo Sanchi, the costumes of Giada Masi and the lights of Alessandro Andreoli, avails itself of the musical direction of Jonathan Brandani, expert of the operatic repertoire between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The protagonist in the role of Medea will be Carmela Remigio, a prestigious interpreter flanked by voices that are establishing themselves internationally such as Juan Francisco Gatell (Jason), Marta Torbidoni (Creusa), Michele Angelini (Aegean) e Roberto Lorenzi (Creronte), Caterina Di Tonno (Ismene), Marcello Nardis (Tideo). L'Orchestra and Chorus (directed by Fabio Tartari) of the Donizetti Opera Festival.

To celebrate Donizetti's birthday, the "Dies natalis" the November 29 there is a double date: in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore at 18.30 is scheduled for Mass for single voices with organ accompaniment of Matteo Salvi, a pupil of Donizetti, directed by Cristian Gentilini with the musical chapel of Santa Maria Maggiore and the Donizetti Opera Choir, while al Social Theater at 20 hours the soprano Sara Blanch and the baritone Paolo Bordogna will run pages of Donizetti and Rossini accompanied on the piano by Hana Lee.

A novelty of the 2021 Festival are the events Pre-opera: the shows staged at the Donizetti Theater will have a sort of "anticipation" in the open with real theatrical actions planned in the spaces in front, conceived with the directors Frederic Wake-Walker and Luis Ernesto Doñas to welcome and introduce the public to the shows.

There is no shortage of events Donizetti Educational, with the puppet show by Daniele Cortesi, Gaetano Gioppino and the Elixir of Love, reserved for children (Gavazzeni Ridotto of the Donizetti Theater, 23 and 24 November), And the adaptation of the Elixir of Love intended for schools, directed by Antonio Vergamini and the direction of Alessandro Bares (Teatro Sociale, 1, 2 and 3 December).

The video channel completes the programming of Donizetti Opera 2021 Donizetti OpenTube developed by Donizetti web TV born during the emergency situation last year. Next to the direct of the works on the bill (26, 27, 28 November with subscription), various contents will be offered, including the format much appreciated last year, "Intercom Gaetano " with Diego Passoni, Cristina Bugatty, Francesco Micheli, Alberto Mattioli and other guests who talk about the festival performances (live also on Facebook).

An occasion of the 25th anniversary of his death in 1996, the festival Donizetti Opera remembers Gianandrea Gavazzeni, orchestra director and intellectual from Bergamo who was responsible for the creation of a Donizetti study center and the rediscovery of some of the composer's masterpieces in the twentieth century. Alberto Mattioli will talk about it in a series of interviews with Riccardo Frizza, Paolo Fabbri, Francesco Micheli and with Alex Esposito.

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In the image, portrait of Gaetano Donizetti by Francesco Coghetti (Bergamo 1802 - Rome 1875); below, a moment from the rehearsals of 'La fille du régiment'
The Donizetti Opera 2021 Festival kicks off in Bergamo

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