The 2022-2023 Opera and Ballet Season and the Symphony Season of Fondazione Teatro La Fenice were presented today, Wednesday 13 July, 2022, by the superintendent and artistic director Fortunato Ortombina and the general director Andrea Erri.
The Superintendent said: ‘Fourteen operas, two ballets and eighteen symphony concerts for season ticket holders; countless activities in the Education Programme for children, teenagers and families, music in and around Venice and, in collaboration with the Venice Diocese, a programme of sacred music in the nearby Church of San Fantin.’ This was how the superintendent and artistic director Fortunato Ortombina summarised the season. ‘Paying particular attention to the younger generation we have increased the dates for under 35s in both the Symphony and Opera Season. This is a season in which La Fenice is even more open, making it more and more accessible to people today. This is the signal we felt we had to give, nine months after having finally returned to 100% seating capacity. 2023 will also see two tours, one in Italy and one abroad. Myung-Whun Chung will open both the Opera and Symphony Season.’
The opening opera this season is Falstaff, bringing to a close the long path that began in 2009 with Maestro Chung, Teatro La Fenice and Verdi. The director will be the English-born Adrian Noble, who directed the Royal Shakespeare Company for many years. There will be two ballets: La Dame aux Camélias by the choreographer John Neumeier; the ballet was inspired by the same literary source as Verdi’s Traviata, and it will celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Hamburg Ballet’s foundation. This will be followed by Jean-Christoph Maillot’s Lac from Pëtr Il’ič Čajkovskij’s Swan Lake with Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, which was programmed for the last season but cancelled because of the pandemic.
Going back to opera, this season pays homage to Bruno Maderna with a new production of his Satyricon, marking not only the fiftieth anniversary of its world première but also the composer’s death while the Symphony Season will commemorate Luciano Berio, twenty years after his death. There will be two operas from the eighteenth-nineteenth century opera buffo repertoire: a new production of Domenico Cimarosa’s Matrimonio Segreto and a revival of Gioachino Rossini’s Barber of Seville. After a lengthy absence, two of Giuseppe Verdi’s masterpieces will return to the Venetian stage: Ernani, the first of the five operas by Verdi that debuted in Venice, in a new production co-produced by La Fenice with Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia, Valencia while I Due Foscari will close the season, and is a collaboration between La Fenice and Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. I Due Foscari were last staged at La Fenice in 1977.
Regarding contemporary music, there will be two works, both of which are mainly for schools: Bach Haus by Michele Dall’Ongaro, in collaboration with the Benedetto Marcello Conservatory of Venice, and Acquaprofonda by Giovanni Sollima, an AsLiCo production, which was awarded the prestigious ‘Filippo Siebaneck’ prize at the Premio Abbiati 2022, with Orchestra 1813 of the Teatro Sociale of Como. A fundamental title in Gluck’s ‘reform operas’, Orfeo ed Euridice will be staged with a new production with direction by Pier Luigi Pizzi and musical direction by Ottavio Dantone: it should be noted that the last production of this opera in Venice was in 1995. Going to the Baroque, of particular note is the Venetian première of Triumph of Time and of Disillusion by Georg Friedrich Händel: the director of this new creation is the famous Japanese choreographer Saburo Teshigawara. But that’s not all. Five years after its resounding success in the theatre, Antonio Vivaldi’s Orlando Furioso will be staged with a production by Fabio Ceresa and conducted by Diego Fasolis. Staged for the first time in 2018 and published on the Teatro La Fenice YouTube channel in 2020, this performance has had over six hundred and twenty views. Another great revival is by the German composer Richard Wagner with his Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman), with a new production conducted by Markus Stenz. This opera has also not been staged in Venice for over twenty-five years. La Fenice and the Venice Academy of Fine Arts will collaborate once again with a new production of Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana. Last of all, the programme includes one of the great Fenice repertoire productions, Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata with the now historic direction by Robert Carsen.
Beginning on December 3, 2022, and ending on November 4, 2023, the Symphony Season will see the return and debut of some of the most active conductors worldwide in Teatro La Fenice and Teatro Malibran. Myung-Whun Chung will be holding the baton for the opening of the Season with Gustav Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, a continuation of the long-standing project going back numerous seasons; in addition, he will be conducting Vesperae solennes de confessore for soloists, choir and orchestra, KV 339 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with the soloists Zuzana Marková, Marina Comparato, Antonio Poli and Alex Esposito. Maestro Chung will return in the spring for the concert on Easter Friday when he will conduct Gioachino Rossini’s Stabat Mater with the soprano soloist Carmela Remigo, mezzosoprano Marina Comparato, tenor Maxim Mironov and bass Gianluca Buratto. Amongst those who will be conducting the Teatro La Fenice Orchestra for the first time are George Petrou; Jonathan Darlington who will conduct Mozart’s Concerto KV 466 with the piano soloist Davide Ranaldi who won the prestigious ‘Premio Venezia’ and Fauré’s Requiem with the soprano Hilary Cronin and the baritone Armando Noguera; Louis Lortie, who will be making up the concert that was cancelled last year for health reasons; and lastly, Min Chung who will be conducting the guest company this season, the Haydn Orchestra of Bolzano and Trento. Other protagonists include Asher Fisch, Charles Dutoit, Ton Koopman and Federico Guglielmo with a Baroque programme that also includes Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons; Donato Renzetti will also return, conducting Puccini’s Messa di Gloria with the soloist voices of Giorgio Berrugi, and Simone Del Savio; Harmut Haenchen with a ‘German’ programme dedicated to Schumann and Wagner; Robert Trevino will be conducting Beethoven’s Pastoral and Richard Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra; and lastly, Alpesh Chauhan, Markus Stenz and Dennis Russell Davies. The programmes range from the Baroque to Bruno Maderna. On the occasion of his concert, Maestro Dutoit will be awarded the ‘Premio una Vita per la Musica.’ The new Season also includes the Christmas Concert with Marco Gemmani and the Marciana Cappella in the Basilica of Saint Mark and in Mestre Cathedral; the New Year’s Concert conducted by Daniel Harding, soloists Federica Lombardi and Freddy De Tommaso, which will be broadcast live on the Italian television channel Rai1; and the symphony concert in Saint Mark’s Square at the height of summer with Juraj Valčuha who will be conducting Beethoven’s Ninth. After the summer we will announce further details of a new initiative together with the Venice Diocese, a programme of sacred music that will take place in the Church of San Fantin from April to June 2023. The programme foresees a short series of concerts, starting with Antonio Vivaldi, in a recently restored religious building, as a development of the long-standing project on the “Prete Rosso”.
In recent years our national and international audience have made us understand that culture cannot be defined as such unless it considers the function of its social impact. This means programming in such a way that it is not only open to everyone, in our venues in La Fenice and Malibran, but also goes beyond these spaces to encounter people. With specific initiatives that are promoted as part of the ‘Education Programme’ for children, teenagers, families and the under 35s, La Fenice is therefore continuing its commitment, very often with the help of and made possible thanks to the invaluable collaboration of associations in the sector that have all of the Venetian Opera House’s support and admiration.
In May 2023 the Teatro La Fenice Choir will be performing at Teatro alla Scala in Milan, with Gustav Mahler’s Eighth Symphony, conducted by Riccardo Chailly.
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