The Rossini Opera Festival 2014 was dedicated to Claudio Abbado
Il Viaggio a Reims “had its glorious first performance in Pesaro in 1984 under the direction of Claudio Abbado … with one of the most extraordinary bel canto casts ever assembled ( including Katia Ricciarelli, Lucia Valentini- Terrani, Lella Cuberli, Cecilia Gasdia, Samuel Ramey, Ruggero Raimondi, Francisco Araiza, Leo Nucci, Bernadette Manca di Nissa, Enzo Dara, and William Matteuzzi) in “the inventive staging of Luca Ronconi” P. Gossett.
This opera whose score lay scattered and dormant until its performances in 1984 and 1992 ( in its complete version) had become a permanent part of the repertory, a real tribute to the scholarship that brought it back to life. Its most recent performance in the United States was at Wolf Trapp in the summer of 2013.
Claudio Abbado who passed away earlier this year was a founding member of the Honorary Board of the American Friends of the Rossini Opera Festival. Music lovers, Rossini fans, and Friends of the Festival are deeply indebted to this incredible musician.
Luca Ronconi, another Honorary Board member, returns to ROF 2014 with his production of Armida.
A foot-note is Osborne’s wise observation that “In 1825 it was Bourbon prodigality and Rossini’s name which enabled “Il viaggio a Reims to be mounted” Nowadys we need comparable, if different, names and resources”
It is the good fortune of the opera world and Rossini lovers in particular, that The Rossini Opera Festival was instrumental in bringing this about. It also underscores the importance of bringing resources to these efforts. The public can play an important part by supporting organizations such as the Friends of the Rossini Opera Festival. What could be a better tribute to the artists and scholars who made this performance possible?