Angelica and Susanna: great little women protagonists of the 2022 inauguration at the Filarmonico
Fondazione Arena di Verona announces the program for the 2022 Artistic Season at the Teatro Filarmonico: from 30th January to 31st December 2022 there are 6 opera productions, including a double bill, with classics of the great repertoire and others being performed for the first time in Verona, whereas Symphonic events feature 10 concert programs, each on two evenings.
Sunday 30th January - 3:30 pm
Wednesday 2nd February - 7:00 pm
Friday 4th February - 8:00 pm
Sunday 6th February - 3:30 pm
The Opera Season opens with a unique show, which brings together two one-act operas that differ considerably but have a great protagonist in common: Il Segreto di Susanna and Suor Angelica.
At its first performance on Verona stages, Il Segreto di Susanna is an elegant amusing intermezzo by Venetian composer Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, an illustrious intellectual and artiste who lived between the 1800s and 1900s, surrounded by Italian and German culture and famous above all for setting Goldoni’s comedies to music.
Staged alongside this opera is Suor Angelica by Giacomo Puccini, an extremely refined elegy with an all-female cast. Suor Angelica goes on stage under the direction of young Giorgia Guerra and the first work on the “female” double bill is directed by a descendent of its composer, Federica Zagatti Wolf-Ferrari. The new production’s creative team include Serena Rocco (set design) Lorena Marin (costumes) and Paolo Mazzon (lighting); maestro Gianna Fratta will be on the podium.
Sunday 27th February - 3:30 pm
Wednesday 2nd March - 7:00 pm
Friday 4th March - 8:00 pm
Sunday 6th March - 3:30 pm
The great opera repertoire arrives from the so-called “popular trilogy” with Verdi’s Rigoletto, with a production by director Arnaud Bernard. Set design is by Alessandro Camera and the Verdi masterpiece will be conducted by maestro Francesco Ommassini.
Sunday 27th March - 3:30 pm
Wednesday 30th March - 7:00 pm
Friday 1st April - 8:00 pm
Sunday 3rd April - 3:30 pm
The season’s third opera is another Verona “first”: La Scala di seta, a farce by a young Gioachino Rossini never before performed at the Verona Filarmonico. The new Fondazione Arena production is directed by Stefania Bonfadelli, an acclaimed Verona soprano who debuted as a director in recent years. The creative team is completed by set designer Serena Rocco and costume designer Valeria Donata Bettella.
Sunday 8th May - 3:30 pm
Wednesday 11th May - 7:00 pm
Friday 13th May - 8:00 pm
Sunday 15th May - 3:30 pm
The first modern-day performance of Antonio Vivaldi’s Orlando furioso in 1978 was a sensational event. The four performances on stage at the Filarmonico feature the elegant production recently created for Venice’s Teatro Fenice and the Festival della Valle d’Itria, with direction by the young Fabio Ceresa (much in demand), set design by Massimo Checchetto and costumes by Giuseppe Palella.
Sunday 23rd October - 3:30 pm
Wednesday 26th October - 7:00 pm
Friday 28th October - 8:00 pm
Sunday 30th October - 3:30 pm
The Artistic Season resumes in October with La Gioconda, the masterpiece by Amilcare Ponchielli, also performed at the Arena, and in which Maria Callas, unknown at the time, made her triumphant international debut. This is the first time at the Teatro Filarmonico for the great intense melodrama by the Cremona composer, to a libretto by the volcanic Arrigo Boito, and is being staged in a new version co-produced by Fondazione Arena along with As.Li.Co and the Slovene National Theatre Maribor, directed by Filippo Tonon, also set designer and costume designer, along with Carla Galleri.
Sunday 11th December - 3:30 pm
Wednesday 14th December - 7:00 pm
Friday 16th December - 8:00 pm
Sunday 18th December - 3:30 pm
The last opera being staged is Puccini’s La Bohème, to a libretto by the composer’s two trusty writers, Illica and Giacosa: the curtain rises on the Lucca composer’s masterpiece precisely during the days leading up to Christmas, the period of the jests of the four protagonists, penniless artists whose meeting with love was to leave a lasting impression on their young lives.
The first concert features the Orchestra and Chorus of the Arena with a tribute to Beethoven on his 250th anniversary, which began with the major symphonies and concerts for piano and is completed during the 2022 season. The program combines the charm and vivacity of his Symphony No. 2 in D with the tempestuous romanticism of the Coriolano Ouverture. The two masterpieces form the setting for the Rhapsody for contralto, male chorus and orchestra by Johannes Brahms, a setting for verses by Goethe. Debuting on the podium of the Teatro Filarmonico is young New York maestro James Feddeck, who has conducted in Chicago and with Europe’s most important orchestras and, with him for the Brahms rhapsody, contralto Marianna Pizzolato.
The protagonists of the second concert are the wind instruments of the Arena di Verona Orchestra, conducted by Marco Alibrando: the first part of the program features Mozart’s monumental “Gran Partita” Serenata for wind instruments, an unrivalled masterpiece of the classic genre. With a leap in time of almost two centuries, there is a performance of the very rare Serenata Op. 7 for wind instruments by Richard Strauss, an extremely refined fascinating early work by the Munich maestro, after which there is an intriguing modernist foray into the music world of the Weimar Republic, well represented by Kurt Weill (1900-1950), with the Suite from the renowned Threepenny Opera composed by Bertolt Brecht.
March dates continue with the third symphonic concert, conducted by Verona maestro Vittorio Bresciani, conductor, virtuoso and teacher. Here, Brahms is once more the protagonist, with the person who was his mentor and first enthusiastic critic: Robert Schumann. The greatest late romantic from Hamburg is represented by the Tragic Ouverture and the Song of Destiny for chorus and orchestra, to a poem by Hölderlin, featuring both the Orchestra and Chorus of the Fondazione, prepared by chorusmaster Ulisse Trabacchin. The program ends with Schumann’s Symphony No.4 in D, a tormented masterpiece on which the composer worked for twelve years with numerous revisions and second thoughts.
A real treat is provided by the combination of two compositions from the 1900s scheduled for the fourth symphonic concert: maestro Francesco Ommassini returns to the podium with the Arena Orchestra for Transfigured Night by Arnold Schőnberg, a sinuous late romantic masterpiece for string orchestra by the composer who was later to become famous as the inventor of the dodecaphonic technique. The program is completed by the rare suite by Benjamin Britten Les Illuminations for tenor and string orchestra: a refined song cycle composed to verses by Arthur Rimbaud and performed here by Toby Spence, currently one of the world’s most sought-after performers of the repertoire of the 1900s.
The fifth concert of the season is a symphonic-choral one on April 8th and 9th: approaching Easter 2022, the Orchestra and Chorus of the Fondazione Arena perform two cornerstones of the classic repertoire: Adagio and Fugue KV546, a work by a mature Mozart, followed by the monumental Requiem in C minor by Luigi Cherubini for soloists, chorus and orchestra. After several years, acclaimed conductor Matteo Beltrami returns to conduct the Orchestra of the Fondazione Arena and the Chorus prepared by chorusmaster Ulisse Trabacchin.
For the sixth concert, the Arena Orchestra returns to Beethoven with the composer’s Symphony No.4, a complex work by the Bonn genius and a favourite of many legendary orchestra conductors. The first part of the program foresees an illustrious very young Italian talent: Giuseppe Gibboni who, at just 20 years of age, won the Paganini Prize, the world’s most prestigious violin competition, and will perform the brilliant Concert N.1 for violin and orchestra, composed precisely by the virtuoso Nicolò Paganini.
The following week, the Fondazione Orchestra, conducted by Marco Guidarini, undertakes the seventh symphonic concert, an important monographic evening dedicated to the music of Richard Strauss, already famous in Verona for his first overwhelming operas, Salome and Elektra. The two masterpieces performed are very different and were composed a considerable time from each other, but have Strauss’s reflection on the classic world in common: the Concerto for oboe and small orchestra, a masterly gem from the composer’s last period, with the participation of the Arena’s first oboe, Francesca Rodomonti, and the Suite from The bourgeois gentleman, incidental music for the comedy by Molière, initially conceived to introduce the opera Ariadne auf Naxos, but separated for concert hall performance for a fresh original nod to the 1700s.
The last spring appointment before the interlude for the Arena Festival is the eighth symphonic concert, which continues the exploration of the most refined French suggestions, begun in 2021. In this program, the Arena Orchestra again shows its skills with masterpieces from the late 1800s and early 1900s. Maestro Giuseppe Grazioli conducts Fauré’s delicate Pavane and the powerful Symphony in D by Franck, summa of French symphonism, then accompanies young prize-winning soloist Mariangela Vacatello in Ravel’s brilliant refined Concerto in G for piano and orchestra.
Verona’s symphonic autumn opens with two different symphonic works composed round the role of a solo clarinet as the protagonist, here entrusted to Giampiero Sobrino: Debussy’s Première Rhapsodie and Carlo Galante’s contemporary composition Invano morte desìo, being performed for the first time in Verona. The ninth concert is completed by La Mer by Debussy, the three symphonic sketches forming the greatest masterpiece of musical impressionism, in which the hundreds of nuances of the Arena di Verona Orchestra are stimulated by US conductor Christopher Franklin.
Fondazione Arena Orchestra and Chorus join forces for 2022’s last regular symphonic appointment: for the tenth concert, with the most highly imaginative visionary Russia of a century ago in the spotlight, combining colouristic synesthesia and explosive innovation. Among the latter, Igor Stravinsky’s monumental Symphony of Psalms, test-bed for the Chorus prepared by chorusmaster Ulisse Trabacchin, manages to be original even while evoking archaic spirituality. Too rarely performed, the beautiful Concerto for piano in F# by Aleksandr Skrjabin is performed here by Edoardo Maria Strabbioli. On the other hand, extraordinary fairy-tale colours and sounds are unleashed by the fantastic Suite from The Golden Cockerel by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, the greatest arranger and maestro of all 20th century Russians. Young conductor Francesco Cilluffo is debuting on the Verona podium.
With its extraordinary appointments and projects for kiddies, schools, universities and youngsters, the Teatro features a total of 85 shows, also including national and international tours, in Oman and on the Lombard circuit.
With this busy program, Fondazione Arena can finally (after two years) relaunch a systematic season ticket campaign with a new feature also for the ticketing system, which since 16th December is being handled by TicketOne.