DAMIANO CELEBRATE VERDI’S BICENTENNIAL
From 29 July in Salzburg, with Zubin Mehta conducting the Wiener Philharmoniker
Following the success of his Bohème, 37-year-old Italian director Damiano Michieletto is returning to the Salzburg Festival after one year with a new production of Giuseppe Verdi’sFalstaff that celebrates 200 years since the composer’s birth. The production will see Zubin Mehta conducting the Wiener Philharmoniker and will be staged at Haus für Mozart beginning on Monday 29 July. The sets are by Paolo Fantin and the costumes by Carla Teti.
“I have set the opera at Giuseppe Verdi’s retirement home for musicians – says Damiano Michieletto – the house was designed by Architect Camillo Boito just around the time in which his brother, scholar Arrigo Boito, was writingFalstaff together with Verdi. The composer imagined this house to be a place for those artists ‘who didn’t have the virtue of thrift in their youth’; this made me think of Falstaff as an old singer, whose past is not so clearly identified, not necessarily glorious, surrounded by people who don’t need him, and who continually encourage him to be Falstaff.
The opera constantly faces the motifs of melancholy, aging, death – adds Michieletto, who is the first Italian director to be called at Salzburg Festival after Strehler and Ronconi – This character lives within his memories, because his reality is that of finitude, of awaiting death. The whole story happens as a memory, a dream, a joke: Falstaff sees his whole life presented before his eyes within seconds.”.
Artists involved are Ambrogio Mestri playing Falstaff, Fiorenza Cedolins as Alice, Massimo Cavalletti as Ford, Eleonora Buratto as Nannetta, Elisabeth Kulman as Mrs. Quickly, Stephanie Houtzeer as Meg, and Javier Camarena as Fenton. The chorus will be Vienna’s Philharmonia Chor. The show will be repeated in Salzburg on 31 July, and 3, 4, 6, and7 August.
After Falstaff, Damiano Michieletto will be at La Scala in Milan in September with his staging of Rossini’s La Scala di Seta, and in Vienna next November at Theater an der Wien with his new production of Mozart’s Idomeneo.