6-20 Aug 2004. Four new productions grace this sophisticated festival which aims to rediscover Rossinis vast oeuvre, much of which is still unknown. Although the event has been slimmed down for lack of funds, the organisation has called on great stage directors Mario Martone, Daniele Abbado, Henning Brockhaus to give life to the operas: Elisabetta Regina dInghilterra, Matilde di Shabran, Il Viaggio a Rheims, Tancredi and Il trionfo delle belle by Stefano Pavesi.

Pesaro is one of the most graceful and welcoming seaside resorts in the Marche region. Those who choose to spend their holidays there can combine leisure with culture; in the morning you can go to the sea, and in the evening to the Rossini Opera Festival. As usual the festival alternates Rossini operas that have never been staged before with past successes. Among the new pieces, there is Elisabetta Regina dInghilterra (7-19 Aug), with the debut of Sonia Ganassi in the role of the protagonist. It was with this opera that Rossini won over the Teatro S. Carlo in Naples. He also won over Isabella Colbran, the primadonna of the theatre who was soon to become his wife. It is an opera in which he re-uses musical pieces from his previous operas: the symphony and Elisabettas melodious air come from Aureliano in Palmiera and return again in the Barber of Seville.

The other novelty is the cantata Il vero omaggio (18 Aug) written in 1822 and re-worked here in the conducting by Donato Renzetti. Tancredi (6-18 Aug) returns in the production by Pier Luigi Pizzi, which first went on stage in 1999, but with a different musical approach from conductor Viktor Pablo Perez, and with different singers for the principle characters, Vesselina Kasarova (Tancredi) and Patrizia Ciofi (Amenaide). It is an opera that abounds in beautiful music, both in the melodious arias as well as in the elegance of the instrumentation. Stendhal loved Tancredi and considered it the perfect fusion of Italian melody and German harmony. Another opera is Matilde di Shabran (8-20 Aug). It was first staged in 1996 with the debut performance of Juan Diego Florez, the most acclaimed Rossini tenor of the new millennium, who also returns this year in the role of the male protagonist. If the opera and the tenor are "old", the other singers and the director Mario Martone are "new". Matilde di Shabran is a semi-serious opera that once again re-uses musical material, and also boasts one of the longest first acts in opera history, with more than two hours of uninterrupted music.

Another opera that returns to Pesaro almost every year is Il Viaggio a Reims (11-14 Aug). It will be performed in a new guise with a young group of singers in their first stage experience, entrusted to the care of Henning Brockhaus (director) and Riccardo Frizza (conductor). To conclude the events is a Rossini masterpiece of sacred music: the Petite Messe Solennelle (9 Aug), which will be conducted by Michele Campanella, with a quartet of worthy soloists: Darina Takova, Daniela Barcellona, Antonio Sircusa and Marco Vinco. Paolo Di Nicola

General Info

Address For booking and information tel. 07213800294.

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Rossini Opera Festival.

For booking and information tel. 07213800294.