Fans of Rossini know the name Alberto Zedda. Those who are unfamiliar and interested in Rossini should find out more about the man and how much he contributed to the music world.
Now there’s a website where all can learn more. Text (in Italian – use google translate if needed), photos, audios – it’s a wonderful tribute.
Marie Ross, whose popular Fidelio Podcast may be known to some ARS members, graciously agreed to take time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions related to her passion for original instruments, Rossini, and her career in general. The episodes of the Podcast are eclectic. Of particular interest is her “My year of living dangerously, 4 Rossini operas in one year”. Read More
Bellini’s La Straniera (The Stranger) July 13, 2019
Rossini’s La gazza ladra (The Thieving Magpie) July 14, 2019
Teatro Nuovo at Purchase College, New York
Last year, conductor/teacher/impresario Will Crutchfield introduced a new enterprise in his long history with bel canto opera. He called it “Teatro Nuovo”—the “New Theater,” and its noble intent was (and remains) an American training ground for historic performance practices in the operatic bel canto repertory. Using period instruments, the orchestra (about 50 players) learned to collaborate with the singers onstage and to perform without a conductor, instead using as leaders the First Violin (also called the Head of the Orchestra) and the maestro al cembalo, the “maestro at the keyboard.” The latter role was usually assumed by the composer himself at the opening performances of a new opera. The arrangement of the instrumentalists is also “nuovo” for our time, but in accord with the way it was in the early nineteenth century (the primo ottocento of Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti and their fellows). Thus, “communication between the singers and the orchestra” becomes Read More
This year, the Rossini Opera Festival celebrates its 40th anniversary.
In a nod to its storied history the directors of the Festival are dedicating it to Montserrat Caballé and Bruno Cagli. Caballé is of course a legendary figure in the opera world, while Cagli is less known outside Italy. However Cagli’s impact on the Rossini Renaissance is formidable.
Gianfranco Mariotti who is himself a crucial figure in guiding Rossini’s out of obscurity commented about this dedication: “Bruno Cagli was an absolute protagonist of the Rossini Renaissance and the last member of the legendary Triad of the Rossini Foundation. I shared with Bruno, inside and outside the ROF, the whole long adventure of the rediscovery of the forgotten Rossini and I lived with him over the years joys and sorrows, disappointments and successes. I remember him with affection and nostalgia.”
The present president of the Rossini Opera Festival, Daniele Vimini, observed : “From the beginning Bruno Cagli was a fundamental figure in the rediscovery of Gioachino Rossini’s musical heritage, both as a member of the Editorial Board of the Rossini Foundation (with Alberto Zedda and Philip Gossett) He was also, for a year, an artistic consultant of the ROF before the arrival of Alberto Zedda, after which he dedicated all his unparalleled expertise to the Rossini Foundation.”
Last summer, Hilary Metzger played continuo and led the cello section in Teatro Nuovo’s production of Tancredi, under the direction of Will Crutchfield (at the keyboard) and Jakob Lehman (as concertmaster). She’ll be back for this summer’s upcoming production of La gazza ladra, for which the orchestra will again be playing on period instruments and experimenting with historical performance practices and orchestral seating plans. Here, she reflects on the issues raised by such performances of Rossini’s operas in the light of the historical evidence. Read More
Zelmira is one of the least known of Rossini’s 39 operas. It had its premiere on 16 February, 1822, at the San Carlo Opera House in Naples, the last of the Rossini operas premiered there. Rossini had been under contract with Domenico Barbaja, impresario of the San Carlo, since 1815 and had composed nine operas for the Parthenopean city (as well as nine operas for other cities during the seven year period). Zelmira was a great success with the public, and the critics generally found it the most advanced and orchestrally complex of Rossini’s works; he wrote it with an eye to a coming production in Vienna, the city of Beethoven. Barbaja had assumed direction of the Theater am Kärntnertor and had planned to offer a three month Rossini Read More
A Life with Rossini
Alberto Zedda, transl. Charles Jernigan
Reviewed by Will Crutchfield
The Italian title of this book – a tossed salad of information, anecdote, and reflection, delightful and infuriating like its author – is Divagazioni Rossiniane. Divagazione means digression or detour. It’s exactly the right title, and the book could perfectly well have been published in English as “Rossinian Digressions” – and yet “A Life with Rossini” is perfect too. First, because it is itself a divagazione from the original, and in that way faithful to its spirit; second, because “life” for Zedda was synonymous with “digression.” Conducting, teaching, editing, writing, administrating (under-discussed in the book, hugely important in the life) – slipping and sliding among these things in no particular sequence, but always “with Rossini” as a lodestar – Alberto Zedda managed to preserve his eccentricity, his curiosity, his stubbornness, and his unquenchable capacity for delight across a career surpassing six decades. He also managed to leave a decisive personal imprint on the world’s understanding of the composer who mattered most to him. Read More
The one you surely know, but the other perhaps not!
For more information follow this link!
Then await excerpts of our interview with her which will be posted here in the near future!
Daniela Barcellona returned to the 2018 Rossini Opera Festival to participate in the closing concert of Petite Messe Solennelle. Daniela was a participant in the early years of the Accademia Rossiniana and subsequently appeared in numerous performances at ROF in most of the iconic Rossini mezzo roles. This season marked her return after what we feel has been too long an absence.
Daniela has always been a supporter of ROF and in that connection we brought you an interview with her when she agreed to be on the honorary board of the Friends of the Rossini Opera Festival. Readers of “Opera Magazine” may remember her “favorite city” profile in the September 2016 issue. Pesaro could not have asked for a better advocate. In connection with her return to ROF we asked her to share with us her thoughts related to staged vs. concert versions of operas, approaches to singing “characters” vs religious works, and how she sees this wonderful Rossini masterpiece. Read More
We are thrilled to bring contributions from two members of the American Rossini Society. Charles Jernigan has translated the libretto for Adina into English ( download the .pdf file hereAdinalibretto
and Celia Montgomery has provided an illustration ( after you read the libretto you will see the connection with the opera) Thank you to both!