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Special Event – Inaugurations
Rome, at the Teatro Argentina 'Façade' by William Walton opens the Season of the Roman Philharmonic
100 years after the first performance, the show is entrusted to the irreverence and irony of Claudio “Greg” Gregori and Carlotta Proietti; with them, the Syntax Ensemble directed by Pasquale Corrado
Organized by: Roman Philharmonic Academy

Roman Philharmonic Academy Presents

“ Season 2023-2024 ”
Opens Thursday November 9 to the Argentina Theater with Façade of William Walton, the Season 2023/24 of the Academy Roman Philharmonic: the most emblematic work of the English composer returns to the stage on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of its first performance, and remembers the author on the fortieth anniversary of his death.

Making its debut in London a century ago, in June 1923, the provocative and unconventional style of Façade shook the souls of a conformist public who cried scandal, consecrating William Walton as the enfant terrible of the English musical scene of the twentieth century. The irony and subtly irreverent character of this melodrama rich in heterogeneous sounds are now entrusted to the voices of Claudio "Greg" Gregory is Carlotta Proietti, while Paschal Corrado directs the Syntax Ensemble, one of the most interesting contemporary music groups in Italy.

Façade, an entertainment passes with great originality from jazz to popular songs, crossing the twentieth century with references from Stravinsky to Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire. Music with an ironic tone that joins the recitation of the 21 poems written by the poet Edith Sitwell, an eccentric English aristocrat looking for new avant-garde artists to promote, whose family took the young Walton under their wing. The author herself recited her poems on the evening of the premiere, beyond a screen, through a megaphone. Was a scandal successes: part of the public thought it was a joke, most of the newspapers panned the opera, but the work gained a prominent place in the musical panorama of the last century: in 1930 the BBC made a new production of it, in '31 Frederick Ashton created the ballet Façade, the first edition of the work was published in 1951.

“Sitwell's poems are set to music beyond a single narrative thread, each episode is like a self-sufficient microcosm: surreal, imaginative, cheerful, dark – explains the conductor Paschal Corrado -. With Carlotta Proietti and Greg we had fun creating changing transitions from a more lively and rhythmic vocal style to a more sinuous, tied, almost hissed type of recitation''.

An original scenography also embellishes the performance, with the screening of the 21 unpublished drawings (one for each poem) made for the occasion from Greg, who in his multifaceted artistic activity is also a well-known designer and cartoonist.

At the opening of the evening it will be performed for the first time, commissioned by the Accademia Filarmonica Romana, Shine new work by the Neapolitan composer Pasquale Punzo, which uses the same staff and takes inspiration from some elements of Façade.

The event is presented in collaboration with the Walton Foundation of Ischia (Giardini La Mortella) where the composer lived with his wife from the late 1940s until his death.

(Top image, John Piper, Façade – credit William Walton Museum, Giardini La Mortella, Ischia; bottom photo,
Rome, at the Teatro Argentina 'Façade' by William Walton opens the Season of the Roman Philharmonic


Pasquale Corrado director
Syntax Ensemble
Claudio “Greg” Gregori narrator
Carlotta Proietti narrator

Project management and stage set-up
Claudio “Greg” Gregori

In collaboration with the Walton Foundation of Ischia


Pasquale Punzo
Shine for six instruments
Commission of the Roman Philharmonic Academy

William Walton
Façade (An entertainment) for narrator and ensemble *
on a poem by Edith Sitwell

* on the occasion of the centenary of the first performance

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