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Jesi, world premiere of 'De bello gallico', new work by Nicola Campogrande inspired by the figure and deeds of Julius Caesar
The libretto, from the 'Commentarii' of the same name on the Gallic War, is by Piero Bodrato; Giulio Prandi takes the podium, directed by Tommaso Franchin
Organizzato da: Fondazione Pergolesi Spontini

Pergolesi Spontini Foundation Presents

“ 56th Opera Season of Tradition ”
A new work by Nicola Campogrande will be staged for the first time at Pergolesi Theater of Jesi from 24 to 26 November 2023: And De bello gallico, inspired by the namesakes Commentaries in which Julius Caesar himself narrates the Gaul campaign he victoriously conducted between 58 and 49 BC. The booklet taken from the famous writing is by Piero Bodrato.

New production by the Pergolesi Spontini Foundation, De bello gallico debuts Friday. November 24 (8.30 pm) and will be repeated on Sunday November 26 (4pm) with a performance also accessible to blind and deaf audiences; Thursday 23rd, the youth preview for high school students and participants in the music education project Musicadentro 2023.

The musical direction is entrusted to the maestro Giulio Prandi, guest of numerous international festivals and theaters, leading the Time Machine Ensemble he was born in University Choir of the Ghislieri College, educated by Luca Colombo. The direction is by Tommaso Franchin, which has already signed the installation of Italian Opera of Campogrande / Bodrato at the Martina Franca Festival.

The scenes are from Daniel Mall, the costumes of Gabriele Adamo, the two winning students of the III Competition dedicated to Josef Svoboda "Design of musical theater scenes and costumes”, rewarded with artistic writing in this production; and lights are taken care of by Marco Scattolini.

Protagonist in the role of Cesare, the baritone Giacomo Medici, who recently undertook a successful tour in South Korea as Rigoletto and in Japan, where he was Alfio in Cavalleria Rusticana. The tenor sings in the double role of Aulus Hirtius/Vercingetorix Oronzo D'Urso, while the Ukrainian soprano Nikoletta Hertsak plays the role of the Allegorical Figure.

After the success of the inaugural exhibition, So do all of them with the sets and costumes by Milo Manara, and Barber of Seville Rossini, De bello gallico it is the third title on the bill for the 56th Traditional Opera Season of the Pergolesi Theatre, which will end on 15 and 17 December with the performance of The swallow by Puccini.

 

Highlighted

De bello gallico it is a work which, through the figure and deeds of Julius Caesar, deals with the mechanisms of power, self-celebration, the seduction of the masses and war in a light tone. All dramatically very current themes. The libretto is freely derived from Commentarii de bello gallico, one of the most famous books of all antiquity, dedicated to the chronicle of the long series of military campaigns which, between 58 and 49 BC, led the consul Gaius Julius Caesar to conquer Transalpine Gaul. “It is the work that celebrates the feat of the leader, in the sparse language of the military report, but it is also the text that establishes the greatness of the future dictator perpetuus of Rome, one of the most famous historical figures of all time and unfortunately a model of many future dictators who would appear on the stage of history,” explains the librettist Piero Bodrato.

Sign the music Nicola Campogrande, author of a rich orchestral and chamber catalogue, and of numerous musical theater works including #Folon, Italian Opera, The Night of Saint Nicholas, The Two Nightingales, Machinery, Lego, Gliders. “With the means, the rhythms, the sound of contemporaneity, in each of my scores I try to never lose sight of the sensorial and intellectual pleasure”, explains the composer. “In this sense, De bello gallico continues the tradition of Italian comic opera – albeit with some moving or dramatic moments – with arias, choruses, duets, concertati which, with a new language, connect to codified structures recognizable by the public . The melodies are clear, memorable. And the instrumental writing was born to support the voices, to highlight the joy of telling a story through singing."

“Will you see robes? No. Will you see the Gauls a la Asterix and Obelix? No. You will see fighters, boxers, we will see the strategy and victory of their leader and we will see Caesar who, from ancient Rome, arrives to the present day", says the director Thomas Franchin. “This – he adds – is a story that obviously talks about Julius Caesar and his undertaking, but it also talks about the birth of a dictator; it talks about conquests, domination, colonialism, the feeling of superiority that animates those who subjugate and conquer another people. It speaks, in a certain sense, about us Europeans. I try to build, on stage, a world that tells all of this. “… I won't lose the match on points!” Cesare exclaims when Gergovia attacks. Sieges and wars as decisive matches, as final matches. And then the scene will be a staircase from which to witness the challenge, the birth of a leader, a staircase from which to invoke one's boss, and from which to overthrow him. And who falls more thunderously than a champion, a boxing champion? And where if not in sport does the cult of the body reach the highest levels and so does the narrative and the cult of the champion?”
Jesi, world premiere of 'De bello gallico', new work by Nicola Campogrande inspired by the figure and deeds of Julius Caesar

Other information of interest

The characters of the work

In the work, Caesar embodies, alternating them, two figures. The first is the Caesar of tradition, the historical figure, the unscrupulous politician, who is building his own image through the story of his exploits. The second is instead that ofhuman being. Vain, intelligent, skilled manipulator, ruthless with his enemies as well as with the Romans themselves when they are not allies and faithful to him, very busy in alliances and intrigues, impassive but neurotic and the victim of ferocious headaches.

Around the protagonist of De Bello it moves male choir, which represents two human groups from time to time: the multitudes of its legionaries (represented by the beloved Tenth Legion), tireless fighters, surprising engineers, highly disciplined and deadly soldiers; and the multitudes of the peoples of Gaul, defeated, humiliated and obliterated by Caesar.

With them there is also a soprano on stage, a Allegorical Figure which represents from time to time - and surprising everyone - different characters: in fact, depending on the occasion, it presents itself as Fortune, Glory, Rome...

And then there is a tenor: in the first act he plays Cesare's scribe, Aulus Hirtius, who is responsible for drafting the Commentarii “De bello gallico”; in the second act he takes on the role of Vercingetorix, who first is the icon of Gallic resistance and then becomes the slave in chains at Caesar's tent.

Interpreters

Characters and performers
Caesar Giacomo Medici
Aulus Hirtius/Vercingetorix Oronzo D'Urso
Allegorical Figure Nikoletta Hertsak

director Giulio Prandi
direction Tommaso Franchin

scenes Daniel Mall*
costumes Gabriele Adamo*
lights Marco Scattolini

*winners of the III Competition "Scenery and costume design for musical theater" dedicated to Josef Svoboda

Time Machine Ensemble
University Choir of the Ghislieri College
choir master Luca Colombo

New production
Absolute first performance

Program

De bello gallico
Opera

Booklet of Piero Bodrato
taken from Commentarii De bello gallico  of Gaius Julius Caesar

music by Nicola Campogrande

Replicas

24 November 2023 at 8.30pm 'absolute premiere'
repeat 26 November at 4pm

Who organizes

Pergolesi Theater • JesiThe Pergolesi Theater of… more

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