14, 21, 28 Oct 2006. Conducted by Mauro Roveri/Alberto Meoli, with Marina Di Marco, Sandro Ferril, Clemente Franciosi and Daniela Ciavoni.
Also at the starting line is the Accademia Nazionale di S. Cecilia which opens its symphonic season at the Parco della Musica in Rome with an opera in concert form: La damnation de Faust by Hector Berlioz (21, 23 and 25 Oct). It will be conducted by Antonio Pappano, the musical director of the academy, and interpreted by a trio of good singers: Jonas Kaufmann, Erwin Schrott and Vesselina Kasarova. The opera is a revolutionary masterpiece, eliminating consequential narrative and focusing on a series of autonomous tableaux. There is very little solo performance, and with great emphasis on group scenes, choruses and orchestral pieces Berlioz is free to concentrate on his favourite themes: nature, the high spirits of students and soldiers, devilish enchantments and concepts of paradise and melancholy.
La damnation de Faust is not the only opera in concert form on the programme at the Parco della Musica: to inaugurate its season of chamber music the Accademia di S. Cecilia has chosen Giulio Cesare by Handel (26 Oct). This too is a masterpiece, with some beautiful arias and some simply sublime. The score is rich and varied and perfectly adapted to a complicated story that involves courtly intrigues, exchanged identities and amorous plots. Christophe Rousset will conduct, while Andreas Scholl, Rosemary Joshua, Sonia Prina, Alice Coote, Mario Cassi and Franco Fagioli will take the leads. Paolo Di Nicola