18-30 Nov. Conducted by Daniele Gatti, directed by Calixto Bieito, with Ellie Dehn, Sara Fulgoni and Richard Paul Fink.
The Teatro Comunale in Bologna inaugurates its 2006-2007 opera season with The Rakes Progress by Igor Stravinsky (18-30 Nov). The conductor is Daniele Gatti, who has a love and special interpretative skill for modern music. This he demonstrated three years ago in Rome with a splendid Wozzeck by Berg without any help from the score a real virtuoso triumph given the complexity of the opera. But the main draw in this season opener is the presence of Calixto Bieito, a famous Catalan director who finally makes his debut in Italy. His performances always tear the public in two: there are those who find them ingenious and those who criticise them openly, considering them snobbish, exaggerated and deliberately provocative. The Rakes Progress has already been seen in La Corua last summer and is set in a fantasy world half-way between innocence and vulgarity: an enormous fairy castle decorated with the typical wares of a sex shop. The performance revolves around the futility and inconsistency of life, so that in the finale when the characters are confronted with hard and cruel reality everything deflates and collapses like a house of cards. The main players are Marlin Miller (Tom Rakewell), Richard Paul Fink (Nick Shadow) and Ellie Dehn (Anne Trulove). Paolo Di Nicola