7-21 Aug 2006. Apart from the classic masterpieces of the Rossini repertoire restored to their authentic form, such as this years LItaliana in Algeri, the festival also boasts a long list of unknown and forgotten works, which have travelled from Pesaro to theatres all over the world. The crowning moment of the festivals revival of Rossinis unknown works was the recovery of Il Viaggio a Reims in 1984, the mythical score that disappeared after its first performances in 1825, and of which not even manuscript copies seemed to have survived. Its accidental re-discovery and its revival in Pesaro in 1984 constitute one of the most important musical events of the 20th century.
Pesaros Rossini Opera Festival (7-24 Aug 2006), the most awaited event of the Italian summer opera season gets underway with Torvaldo e Dorliska (7-21 Aug 2006), which makes its first appearance at the festival. It is also Rossinis first semi-serious opera, which unfortunately makes use of a rather unsuccessful libretto. However, there are also quite difficult virtuoso pages, languishing love duets, and very expressive, moving arias that were written to bring out the best in exceptional singers. The direction has been entrusted to Mario Martone, a cinema director who has dedicated himself with conscientiousness and enthusiasm to opera for years and who returns to the festival after the acclaimed staging of Matilde di Shabran in 2004.
This year Mozart could not be missing from the programme and Die Schuldigkeit des ersten gebots (The Obligation of the First Commandment) (8-18 July) comprises a symphony, seven arias and a terzetto. It was the Austrian composers first oratorio, written at the age of just 11, and shows signs of the symphonic style of Johann Christian Bach, the son of the more famous Johann Sebastian. Together with the Mozart opera will be Rossinis La Cambiale di Matrimonio in a much-praised production by Luigi Squarzina. Returning to pure Rossini will be LItaliana in Algeri (9-19 Aug), a production by Dario Fo that has been staged at the festival on various occasions. The singers this time will be Marco Vinco, Maxim Mironov, Bruno De Simone, Alex Esposito and Marianna Pizzolato, the latter a contralto whose career is really taking off after a big launch at Pesaro in 2004 with a great Tancredi (shes just back from a concert with Riccardo Muti in Ravenna). Marianna Pizzolato will also star in a concert on 16 Aug and there are two other concerts programmed, with Lorenzo Ragazzo and Marco Vinco on 13 Aug and Dsire Rancatore on 17 Aug. Among so many operas, a space albeit small had to be made for Rossinis religious music with Stabat Mater (18 Aug), an authentic masterpiece that rests on the professionalism of Anna Bonitatibus, Darina Takova, Dmitry Korchak and Michele Pertusi and on the passion of the maestro Alberto Zedda. The last opera in the programme is Adelaide di Borgogna (17 and 20 Aug). Unfortunately only two performances in concert form are scheduled, but it remains a welcome proposition, both because the opera is new to the festival (which thus concludes as it began) and because it offers the skills of two good and well-trained Rossini singers: Patrizia Ciofi and Daniela Barcellona.
Paolo Di Nicola