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Palermo inaugurates the Concert Season of the Teatro Massimo with Giufà
On the opening night, an intriguing musical journey between the shores of the Mediterranean, created by the musical director Omer Meir Wellber with the tenor Mert Süngü

Teatro Massimo Foundation of Palermo Presents

“ Season 2023 – 24 | Concerts ”
From Turkey to Sicily to Sephardic Spain, a musical journey between the shores of the Mediterranean will open on Wednesday November 15, the Concert Season 2023-24 of the Massimo Theater of Palermo.

Giufà, Stories that travel through time, this is the title of the event created by the musical director Omer Meir Wellber with the tenor Mert Süngü. The concert follows in the footsteps of Giufà - the cunning fool of Sicilian, Sephardic and Turkish popular tradition - starting from the historical figure, philosopher and sage who lived in Turkey in the 13th century, around whom narratives passed down from country to country flourished thanks to exchanges and to contacts between the peoples of the Mediterranean, stories that reached Sicily transfiguring the protagonist into the character of Giufà, the fool of fairy tales of which there is ample testimony in the collection of the ethnologist Giuseppe Pitrè (1841-1916), famous scholar of popular traditions and Sicilian folklore.

Protagonists of this fresh and innovative musical event, the same Omer Meir Wellber who will try his hand at the piano, harpsichord and accordion, the Turkish tenor Mert Süngü  – who we also find among the main performers of the inaugural work of the Season, The Capulets and the Montagues (22 – 28 November) – and who will perform here both as a singer and as a guitar soloist. With them, the established Turkish guitarist Cenk Erdoğan and the professors of the Teatro Massimo Orchestra, Daniele Pisanelli on double bass and Silvia De Checchi to percussion.

The program ranges from songs by Georg Friedrich Händel, Gioachino Rossini is Giuseppe Donizetti (the "Turkish brother" as the more famous Gaetano called him) at music of the Sephardic tradition, Turkish. Sicilian. In fact, we start from the eighteenth century, the era in which the West "rediscovered" the East and its values, with an "oriental" work like the Tamerlane of Handel, which sees among the main characters the Turkish sultan Bajazet (tenor), the unfortunate antagonist of the great conqueror. Weaving together ancient and modern music from the vast Mediterranean basin, we continue from West to East, from multicultural Spain, cradle of Sephardic music, to Turkey and neighboring countries, with Sicily exactly at the centre.

Emblematic of the multiple mixes evoked in this concert is the figure of "Donizetti Pasha”, Giuseppe Donizetti, Gaetano's older brother, who from 1828 until his death in 1856 played a leading role in the musical life of Istanbul, with important roles at court; it was thanks to him that Liszt's tour reached Turkey.
Palermo inaugurates the Concert Season of the Teatro Massimo with Giufà


Piano, harpsichord and accordion Omer Meir Wellber
Tenor and guitar Mert Süngü
Fretless guitar & e-bow Cenk Erdoğan
Contrabass Daniele Pisanelli
Percussion Silvia De Checchi


Giufà – Stories that travel through time

Music by Georg Friedrich Händel, Giuseppe Donizetti, Gioachino Rossini and of Turkish tradition, Sephardic, Sicilian

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Teatro Massimo Foundation - PalermoThe Teatro Massimo of… more

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