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  • Donizetti Opera 2020: the complete programme of the 6th edition

    Donizetti Opera 2020: the complete programme of the 6th edition

    Festival 2020: Belisario, La fille du régiment and Marino Faliero three titles for the final return of the opera to the restore Donizetti Theatre

    At the Teatro Sociale, #Donizetti200 with Le nozze in villa and a homage to Beethoven with L’amor coniugale by Giovanni Simone Mayr

    A group of international stars shine on playbills: from Placido Domingo to Alex Esposito, from Javier Camarena to Celso Albelo, Xabier Anduaga and Paolo Bordogna, Davinia Rodriguez and Francesca Dotto. Corrado Rovaris, Stefano Montanari and David Stern will alternate on the podium, alongside our musical director Riccardo Frizza.

    New productions in collaboration with the Fondazione Teatro Regio di Torino, the Fondazione Arena di Verona and the Teatro Lírico Nacional de Cuba; the direction is entrusted to the famous duo ricci/forte and to younger talents such as Luis Ernesto Doñas and Davide Marranchelli.

    In 2020 the festival will grow further also thanks to the special contribution of the Parliament and to the support of local institutions, sponsors and Donizetti Ambassadors

    Bergamo, from 19 November to 6 December 2020

    We will have five opera titles for the sixth edition of the Donizetti Opera, an international festival dedicated to the composer from Bergamo organized by the Donizetti Theatre Foundation and entrusted to the artistic direction of Francesco Micheli and the musical direction of Riccardo Frizza. The 2020 edition marks the definitive return of the opera to the Donizetti Theatre, which will be reopened with a completely restored structure, following the unforgettable 2019 world premiere of the rediscovered work L’ange de Nisida staged on the construction site of the theatre.

    The Donizetti Opera 2020 festival will take place in Bergamo, the “City of Gaetano Donizetti”, from 19 November to 6 December. It will be built on the results achieved during the past five years and in the last edition, which exceeded 10,000 admissions and thus witnessed to an audience increase of 21% and to a 53% increase of foreigners in relation to tickets sold (excluding season tickets).

    These results have received important awards such as the German “Oper! Award” for the best festival in 2019 and the current nomination for the English “Opera Award”, as well as the growing interest of the press (104 accredited newspapers in 2019).

    Moreover, in December the Parliament approved an amendment that granted a special annual contribution of one million euros for the three-year period 2020-2022, doubling the previous one, equal to 500 thousand euros, received in 2018 and 2019.

    In the opening night at the Donizetti Theatre, on Thursday 19 November (8 p.m.), we will have an opera in concert form, Belisario (Venice, 1836 – critical edition by Ottavio Sbragia). The title role will be played by Placido Domingo, who was fascinated by Bergamo and the festival dedicated to its composer, and thus decided to debut a new character for his baritone repertoire. The musical director Riccardo Frizza will stand on the podium on this unique occasion, together with an exceptional cast including Simon Lim, Davinia Rodriguez, Annalisa Stroppa, and Celso Albelo. The Orchestra and the Choir conducted by Andrea Secchi will come from the Teatro Regio di Torino, which has co-produced this project. The programme includes a repeat performance of Belisario on Thursday, 16 November.

    The programme will continue with two other operatic titles that will be on stage at the Donizetti Theatre and that were both written for the Parisian scene: La fille du régiment (Paris, 1840), which will be presented according to the new critical edition edited by Claudio Toscani for Casa Ricordi, as part of the Edizione Nazionale, realized thanks to the collaboration and contribution of the Municipality of Bergamo and the Donizetti Theatre Foundation; and the tragic opera Marino Faliero (Paris, 1835), in the critical edition by Maria Chiara Bertieri.

    On the podium of La fille du régiment (20 and 28 November, 3 December) will be Corrado Rovaris, who will come back to conducting a theatrical work in Bergamo after dedicating his last years to sacred operas. The conductor from Bergamo will be engaged in one of the last masterpieces of his fellow citizen: written in 1840 – at the top of his career – for the Opéra-Comique, La fille du régiment was immediately highly appreciated on stages all over the world. It is characterized both by the presence of fascinating pieces of bravura for the soprano and tenor, and by a peculiar plot that combines historical, patriotic, and sentimental elements and revolves around a cheerful and resolute female protagonist. The male protagonists are interpreted by some of the most acclaimed contemporary singers: the tenor Xabier Anduaga, a voice born in and discovered by the festival, and the baritone Paolo Bordogna, the quintessential buffo of our time. The role of the protagonist Marie will be played by the Spanish soprano Sara Blanch, a voice only recently established on the international scene in whom the festival has chosen to believe, as we have done on previous occasions.

    This new production of the opera belongs to the young Cuban director Luis Ernesto Doñas (known in Bergamo for the recent staging of Rita for the Donizetti Night and for schools) and is co-produced by the Fondazione Arena di Verona and the Teatro Lírico Nacional de Cuba, which is involved in an international project for the first time: references to recent Cuban history will be visible in the Caribbean setting and colours. Moreover, for La fille du régiment we have renewed the partnership started by the festival in 2019 with Palazzetto Bru Zane, a French institution based in Venice that has been active in the field of the study and rediscovery of the French romantic music repertoire for more than ten years: Alexandre Dratwicki, scientific director of Palazzetto Bru Zane, will work with the Donizetti Opera Choir and the artists involved in La fille as a linguistic coach for the French singing.

    For Marino Faliero (on stage at the Donizetti Theatre on 21 and 27 November, 6 December) the musical director Riccardo Frizza will return to the podium, while the creative project will be entrusted to ricci/forte, a duo of directors who have conquered opera audiences with a series of successes in recent years (from their operatic debut with Turandot at the Sferisterio, Abbiati Award 2018, to Nabucco at the Festival Verdi in 2019) and who were asked to stage this complex story set in Venice in the fourteenth century, a mixture of politics and sentiment

    Marino Faliero was staged at the Théâtre Italien in Paris – the most fashionable theatre at the time –on 12 March 1835, with Rossini as part of the management. It boasted a cast of first-rate virtuosos (Luigi Lablache, Antonio Tamburini, Giulia Grisi, Giovan Battista Rubini), which caused a bitter rivalry with Bellini, who had just staged I Puritani in the same theatre. Inspired by such a legendary first cast, in the 2020 version of this opera some of today’s greatest performers will tread the boards of the Donizetti Theatre: the bass from Bergamo Alex Esposito in the title role, the tenor Javier Camarena – artist in residence of the 2020 edition –, the soprano Francesca Dotto, and the baritone Bogdan Baciu.  The Choir (conducted by Fabio Tartari) and the Orchestra of the Donizetti Opera will take part in both productions.

    At the Teatro Sociale, the cycle #donizetti200 – the annual staging of an opera by Donizetti that turns two centuries old – continues with the comic opera Le nozze in villa (Treviso, 1820) in the critical edition by Edoardo Cavalli and Maria Chiara Bertieri (22 and 29 November, 5 December). It is a little-known work that has come to us through a single surviving score, which is not autographed and is unfortunately incomplete, without direct evidence of its first performance. Following the tradition of the #donizetti200 project, on the podium we will see Stefano Montanari, a specialist of the ancient repertoire for the rediscovery of Donizetti’s sound thanks to the presence of the Orchestra Gli Originali. To tell the story of a couple in love struggling with a father and a groom-to-be with caricatured and ridiculous outlines, there will be the young director Davide Marranchelli, winner in 2019 of the selection for a new work for the Donizetti Night (Don Gaetano – A Speed Date With). We will also have a group of experts in the buffo repertoire of the early nineteenth century, such as Fabio Capitanucci, Omar Montanari, Gaia Petrone, Edgardo Rocha, and Manuela Custer. On stage with them there will be the Choir of the Accademia Teatro alla Scala conducted by Salvo Sgrò.

    In the year of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven, Bergamo wanted to pay homage to this great German composer with the one-act opera L’amor coniugale (Teatro Sociale, Friday, 4 December, in concert form), with music by Giovanni Simone Mayr and libretto by Gaetano Rossi based on Léonore, or L’amour conjugal by Jean-Nicolas Bouillyal, on which Beethoven’s Fidelio (set to music in 1805) was also based. A production by Opera Fuoco in collaboration with Beethovenfest Bonn, it will be conducted by David Stern with the soloists and the Orchestra of the Atelier Opera Fuoco, a French project that has been dedicated since 2003 to the study and mis-en-scène of the lesser known repertoire of the second half of the 18th century.

    The study and research activity on the legacy and codification of Donizetti’s operatic musical identity, entrusted to the scientific department of the Donizetti Theatre Foundation directed by Paolo Fabbri, has been essential for the drafting of the festival programme.

    Two appointments that have now become customary will precede the Donizetti Opera festival in the incoming months: on 15 April at the Teatro Sociale (8 p.m.), Francesco Micheli will be on stage for the Donizetti Revolution vol. 6, presenting the next edition of the Festival to the audience with the soprano Anaï Meijáse and the pianist Sem Cerritelli (free tickets available on the website gaetanodonizetti.org).

    The Donizetti Night, an eagerly awaited town event that has been attracting thousands of people in the name of Gaetano Donizetti in the past years, is scheduled for Saturday, 5 September as part of the activities with which the Municipality of Bergamo and the Donizetti Theatre Foundation will celebrate the reopening of the Donizetti Theatre together with citizens.


    Weekday shows will start at 8 p.m. (new time); shows on Sundays will start at 3.30 p.m.

    Ticket Office
    Subscription renewal: from 19 February to 19 March 2020
    Groups and reservations: from 19 February 2020 – T. +39 035 4160612 – gruppi@fondazioneteatrodonizetti.org
    Tickets and new Subscriptions: from 27 March 2020

    Tickets Prices:
    – Opening Night, 19 November: from 200 euros to 55 euros
    – Other dates at the Donizetti Theatre: from 110 euros to 30 euros
    – Le nozze in villa at the Teatro Sociale: from 95 euros to 40 euros
    – L’amor coniugale at the Teatro Sociale: from 35 euros to 20 euros

    Carnet Tickets:
    Buy all the tickets for each weekend with a 25% discount. The first two will also include Belisario with Placido Domingo (in preemption, only with the carnet ticket, until 19 March).

    The Donizetti Opera festival is organized by the Donizetti Theatre Foundation and the Municipality of Bergamo with the support of the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, Cariplo Foundation, Regione Lombardia, SACBO, Bergamo Chamber of Commerce; in collaboration with Conservatorio Gaetano Donizetti, Fondazione Mia, Opera Europa, Atb; with the contribution of ABenergie, the light of the Donizetti Night, San Lucio Events; media partner Classica; technical sponsors NT Next, Cavalli Musica, Fidelitas.

    Special thanks to UBI Banca and to the Donizetti Ambassadors that have been supporting the Foundation’s activities with the Art bonus.