28 Nov 2012

Rome Opera Opens New Season

Yesterday, Conductor Riccardo Muti opened the Rome Opera, where he is “honorary conductor for life,” with a gala presentation of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra.

The country’s president and the city’s mayor were only some of the leading figures in attendance.

The production is by Adrain Noble with sets by Dante Ferretti, who has worked with cinema giants Frederico Fellini and Martin Scorsese. Baritones George Petean and Dario Solari alternate in the title role with Italian sopranos Maria Agresta and Eleonora Buratto sharing the role of Maria Boccanegra. Two other Verdi operas are on the bill for the bicentenary of his birth.

Wagner bicentenary will be celebrated by Rienzi and the centenary of Benjamin Britten will be honored with performances of his opera Curlew River. The season will end with a David Hockney production of Puccini’s Turandot. Rome has managed to balance the books by increased attendance, no doubt helped by Muti’s presence.

Frank Cadenhead