Since the early 1990s Bergamo, the birthplace of Gaetano Donizetti, has devoted enormous energy to the study of the composer’s life and works – some of the most frequently performed in the world – and research into his teacher, Simone Mayr. The arrival in 2015 of Francesco Micheli as artistic director of the then Fondazione Donizetti (today the Fondazione Teatro Donizetti) marked the start of the Donizetti Revolution, a programme for the rediscovery and promotion of the genius from Bergamo’s Borgo Canale district. At the heart of this series of initiatives are the Donizetti Opera festival and Donizetti Night: the former is an international festival held every November in tribute to Bergamo’s most illustrious composer; the latter a June night of homage to Donizetti, during which the streets and squares of the city are invaded by theatre for an evening of his operatic work. In 2017, with the aim of developing the city’s musical identity and awakening a genuine pride in Donizetti, a group of tourism operators created Visit Donizetti: Bergamo’s visitor experience which guides tourists in their discovery of the composer, from the house where he was born to the Donizetti Museum, and along the way little-known treasures such as the original manuscript of Lucia di Lammermoor. You’ll find all this and much more on this website.
The world needs Gaetano Donizetti, today more than ever.
Contemporary life – extreme, vast and emotional – may at last be ready to receive and fully accept the uncomfortable, awkward message of Gaetano Donizetti. It is only fitting that the people of Bergamo should take on the task of circulating his revolutionary word.
“I was born underground in Borgo Canale. You had to descend a ladder to a cellar where the light never penetrated. And like an owl I took flight…”
21 short films from Classica HD (Sky channel 138) to tell Donizetti’s story. From successes to secrets while exploring his Bergamo.
The Fondazione Teatro Donizetti’s Research Centre continues the work of the Fondazione Donizetti, founded in the early 90s thanks to an idea by Gianandrea Gavazzeni. Operating since 1997, the bicentenary of Gaetano Donizetti’s birth, the centre is involved with research, conferences and publications concerning the works of Gaetano Donizetti, Giovanni Simone Mayr and their contemporaries in Bergamo’s music scene.
To this end it collects documentary sources in the form of books, archives, music, images and audio; in collaboration with Ricordi it publishes critical editions of Donizetti’s operas (National Editions since 2001) and scientific publications, and organises cultural and musical events.
The scientific director of the Research Centre is Paolo Fabbri.
Donizetti Night is the focal point of early summer music in the city: it is a great popular cultural festival in which Gaetano Donizetti’s music turns the centre of Bergamo into an open-air stage hosting a broad programme with widespread appeal. The 100-plus shows on a single evening are inspired by the multi-disciplinary nature of popular projects which blend the composer’s music with many other art forms: from film to literature, history to pop music, street theatre to graffiti, contemporary dance to puppets, DJ sets to conferences, rap, beatboxing, choral and instrumental concerts: all these are also ingredients for the Off programme of the Donizetti Opera festival.