Friday, 23 February 2018

Today : world première of Marco Tutino's 'Miseria e nobilta' in Genova

Today, the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genova presents the world première of Marco Tutino's new opera, Miseria e nobilta, with a libretto in 2 acts by Luca Rossi and Fabio Cesera, loosely based on Eduardo Scarpetta's homonymous play.

Tutino has already composer a dozen of stage works, including Pinocchio (1983), La Lupa (1990), Le Braci (2011) and La Ciociara (2015) and Le Braci (2015).
The version of Miseria e nobiltà created by Rossi, Ceresa and Tutino makes no claim to be entirely faithful to the original. The events are imagined at a much later date, in the days of the 1946 referendum in Italy, which ousted the monarchy and ushered in the republic. We’ve limited the characters, Scarpetta’s lowly crew is made up of the Sciosciammocca family, and that’s it. As for the plot, we weren’t exactly into settling for 19th-century gags that seem to follow one another in a kind of domino effect, where situations give rise to other situations, oftentimes with no end in sight. Things begin to unfold following a series of more complex events. The characters’ motivation is more connected to a story that delves even further into the psychological context, as well as social and cultural influences. (reproduced from the Ricordi website)
The cast includes soprano Valentina Mastrangelo (Bettina), mezzo Francesca Sartorato (Peppiniello), mezzo Martina Belli (Gemma), tenor Fabrizio Paesano (Eugenio), baritone Alessandro Luongo (Felice Sciosciammocca) and bass baritone Alfonso Antoniozzi (Don Gaetano). Francesco Cilluffo conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro Carlo Felice. Rosetta Cucchi directs.

According to the publisher Ricordi's website, the required orchestra is the following :

- 2 flutes (II. doubling piccolo), 2 oboes (II. doubling English horn), 2 clarinets, 1 bass clarinet, 2 bassoons ;
- 2 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones ;
- timpani, percussion, harp ;
- strings.

The full score is available online on the publisher's website.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Today : world première of Saed Haddad's 'A Wintery Spring' in Frankfurt

Today, the Oper Frankfurt presents the world première of Saed Haddad's A Wintery Spring, a dramatic lament in 3 scenes, with a libretto (in English and Arabic) based on 3 texts by Gibran Khalil Gibran.

It is the Jordanian-born German composer's first opera
While not trying to tell a story about the Arab Spring, the composer's choice of texts and sound world circle around analysis of geography, history, languages, religions and finding new ways of bringing people together. In his dramatic lamento Haddad takes up motives from the last decade of Middle Eastern history, focusing on generally applicable opinions not linked to any specific recent events. (reproduced from the Oper Frankfurt website)
The cast includes soprano Alison King, contralto Deanna Pauletto and bass baritone Brandon Cedel. Franck Ollu conducts the Ensemble Modern. Corinna Tetzel directs.

The required orchestra is the following (reproduced from the composer's website) :

- 1 flute (doubling piccolo, alto flute and bass flute), 1 oboe (doubling English horn), 1 bass horn (doubling clarinets in A and Bb), 1 contrabass clarinet (doubling bass clarinet), 1 bassoon, 1 horn ;
- 1 trumpet in Eb (doubling flugelhorn and piccolo trumpet in Bb), 1 bass trombone (doubling trombone, alto trombone, euphonium and tuba) ;
- 2 percussionists ;
- harp, celesta (doubling piano and harpsichord) ;
- 2 violins, viola, cello and double bass.

The performance should last bout 50 minutes. The venue is the Bockenheimer Depot. Haddad's opera will be followed by Jan Dismas Zelenka's cantata Il Serpente di bronzo (The bronze snake).

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Today : world première of Douglas J. Cuomo's 'Ashes and Snow' in Pittsburgh

Today, the Pittsburgh Opera presents the world première of Douglas J. Cuomo's new opera, Ashes and Snow, based on Wilhelm Müller's 24 poem cycle used by Franz Schubert for his Winterreise.

It is the composer's third opera, after Arjuna's Dilemma (Purchase, NY, August 2008) and Doubt (St. Paul, MN, January 2013).
The opera is set in the present day, and unfolds in a run-down motel room in the desert of the American West. The protagonist must confront his demons and face up to everything he has done, and all he has lost, in his life. He is searching for forgiveness, enlightenment and atonement. (reproduced from the Pittsburgh Opera website)
The singer is tenor Eric Ferring. He will be accompanied by three on-stage musicians, led from the piano by Pittsburgh Opera Director of Musical Studies Mark Trawka. Also included is a trumpet, an electric guitar played by the composer himself and electronic sound effets. Jonathan Moore directs.

The opera will be performed at Pittsburgh Opera headquarters. The performance should last about 75 minutes.