12-24 April 2005. Conducted by Oleg Caetani, directed by Guy Montavon, with Roberto Scandiuzzi, Jon Villars, Francesca Patan and Marco Vratogna. Largely self-taught and writing in an eclectic late romantic style, Montemezzis operas stand outside the mainstream of Italian music of his time (1875-1952). LAmore dei tre re, first performed in 1913, is considered Montemezzis masterpiece and is a hauntingly beautiful work and one of the finest of all 20th-century Italian operas. It is especially notable for its magnificent orchestration and for its remarkable characterisation of a blind old king.
Those who are passionate about lesser-known operas or ones that are rarely staged are in for a treat. To start off, there is Montemezzis Lamore dei tre re in Turin (12-24 April). An opera that was written in 1913 and performed until the 1950s after which it disappeared, at least in Italy, it was appreciated by great conductors such as Toscanini and De Sabata and by high-calibre singers such as Ezio Pinza and Rosa Ponselle. It is Montemezzis masterpiece and constitutes one of the most successful syntheses of the symphonic experience, German opera and the Italian musical tradition. It tells of the beautiful Fiona, who has married Manfredo but who she betrayed with Avito. The blind tyrant Archibald, father of Manfredo, discovers the love affair and in order to put a stop to it, kills Fiona, after which follows the inevitable death of her lover, and also that of her husband. An opera of blurred colours and make-up, it is in keeping with the neogothic style which was very fashionable in the first half of the 20th century. The libretto is well researched and was influenced by the poet Gabriele DAnnunzio. The cast includes Francesca Patan, Roberto Scandiuzzi and Jon Villars who are all suitable singers for the opera. Paolo di Nicola