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Ferrara, Cato in Utica, a rare work by Vivaldi, debuts at the Teatro Comunale conducted by Federico M. Sardelli
After the success achieved by Il Farnace, the Communale's commitment continues in the rediscovery of the less performed operatic works of the 'red priest'
Organized by: Ferrara Municipal Theater Foundation
Reductions under 20/30 and over 65 years

Ferrara Municipal Theater Foundation Presents

“ Opera and Ballet Season 2022-23 ”
To the Municipal Theater of Ferrara the 17 and 19 March 2023 goes on stage Cato in Utica, masterpiece of the maturity of Antonio Vivaldi: the opera, on libretto by Peter Metastasioarrives on the Este scene exactly 286 years after the first performance, which took place in March 1737 at the Philharmonic Theater of Verona.

This is how the feat that the composer himself failed to achieve, which he tried in vain to achieve, is accomplished Cato in Utica in Ferrara, as evidenced by a letter addressed to his patron, the Marquis Bentivoglio. “Here – Vivaldi wrote to him referring to the Veronese success – my work is skyrocketing”. But the 'red priest' died just four years later, in 1741 in Vienna, in absolute poverty.

Now, after the success of The Farnace, sister work of Cato represented in December 2021, the Municipality of Ferrara continues its commendable itinerary aimed at the rediscovery and staging of the lesser-known works of the Italian Baroque and in particular of Vivaldi.

To get on the podium of the new production, as already for Farnace, Sara Federico Maria Sardelli – among the leading experts of Vivaldi's repertoire – at the helm of theHoly Spirit Baroque Academy Orchestra; also comes back Marco Bellussi directed, while the scenes are by Matteo Paoletti Franzato, the costumes of Elisa Cobello, the lights of Marco Fuck it, the video interventions of Creativite. The vocal cast sees the tenor Valentino Buzza in the title role, Arianna Vendittilli in that of Caesar, Miriam Albano it will be Emilia, Valeria Girardello, Marcia, Clear Brunello plays Fulvio e Valeria The Grotto, Arbace.

The story proposed by the libretto by Pietro Metastasio takes place in the wake of the Pompeian turning point which pitted Caesar against Cato. However, the narrative is kept far from the bloody battles of Farsalo and Tapso. Instead, the drama takes place in a refined seaside villa, perhaps the retreat of Emilia, the widow of Pompeo, and a central figure in the progress of events. The contradictory, the clash and the competition between Cato and Caesar takes place in a much more civil context, where the fragility of the Uticense emerges, unable to accept its own decline. Sets and costumes synthesize classic and contemporary elements, fusing elegance of the line and crudeness of the cut, frame and viaticum of the universal drama of private feelings that is intertwined with the political context.

Although only the second and third acts are known, the incompleteness of Vivaldi's score does not harm the understanding of the plot, which indeed immediately enters the heart of the battle. Federico Maria Sardelli, among the greatest connoisseurs of Vivaldi, and Marco Bellussi as director, have chosen to avoid a reconstruction, always questionable, preferring to present the work to the public as it has come down to us, certain of its suggestiveness and expressive power.

(Federico Maria Sardelli, photo credit © Michele Monasta)
Ferrara, Cato in Utica, a rare work by Vivaldi, debuts at the Teatro Comunale conducted by Federico M. Sardelli


Characters and performers

Cato Valentino Buzza 
Caesar Arianna Vendittelli
Emilia Miriam Albano
Marcia Valeria Girardello
Fulvius Chiara Brunello
Arbace Valeria La Grotta

Baroque Orchestra Academy of the Holy Spirit
director Federico Maria Sardelli

direction Marco Bellussi
scenes Matteo Paoletti Franzato
costumes Elisa Cobello
lights Marco Cazzola
video Creativite

Production of the Teatro Comunale Foundation of Ferrara


Antonio Vivaldi
Cato in Utica

on booklet by Peter Metastasio

Critical edition by BTE – Bernardo Ticci Edizioni


17 March 2023 at 8pm
19 March 2023 at 4 pm

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