Israeli Opera Presents LA GAZZETTA, 3/29-4/8
For the first time in Israel the Israeli Opera presents the delightful Gioacchino Rossini comic opera "La Gazzette" ("The Magazine") - performed by the Royal Opera of Wallonie from Liege, Belgium, conducted by Jan Schultsz and directed by Stefano Mazzonis di Pralafera, the Liege Opera general and artistic director. The set designer is Jean Guy Lecat, the costume designer is Fernand Ruiz and the lighting designer is Olivier Wery. Performed by the soloists, chorus and orchestra of the Opera Royal de Wallonie, Liege.
The opera will be presented between March 29 and April 8, 2017, at the Shlomo Lahat (Chich) Opera House in Tel Aviv.
Sung in Italian, with English and Hebrew Surtitles.
In the last decade there has been a wave of reviving lesser known operas by Rossini and among them is "La Gazzette" which will be presented for the first time in Israel, 200 years after it was written.
This production is an initiative by conducted Jan Schultsz who has always dreamt to perform this Rossini opera and for this purpose he contacted director Stefano Mazzonis di Pralafera.
In 2012 a manuscript of a quintet was found at a library in Palermo and was sent to musicologist Philip Gossett, an American Rossini researcher, who confirmed it as belonging to the "La Gazzette" opera. Two years later, the first professional presentation of the opera edition containing the recently found quintet was presented at Liege.
La Gazzette's comic plot centers on a newspaper (in this production, the LaGazzette.com website) with which the opera's heroes are trying to find a matching and love.
The story which takes place in a small hotel in Paris is based on a comedy by Carlo Goldoni. The Libretto by Giuseppe Palomba, Rossini's librettist, is filled with social criticism on the new rich class that swept its wealth in the riot of the Napoleonic wars and which in the center of their world- their aspiration to marry their daughters to the richest, from privileged families, grooms.
The heroes who are up for a matching are: Lisetta, daughter of Don Pomponio who is new to the rich class and who puts an add in the website in order to find a suitable husband for his daughter. Doralice, a shy and gentle "tourist", daughter of Anselmo. The young men in love are Filippo, an "innkeeper, young, sly and strange" who falls in love with Lisetta even though he knows her father will no be content with him because of his standing, and Alberto, a wealthy young man who is looking for a girl for his liking. Alberto falls in love with Doralice.
The opera's music and libretto are filled with sharp and sarcastic jokes. The characters are caricaturist and characterized in an extreme and ridiculous way.
Identity exchanges, misunderstandings and a comedy of errors - all these are an inseparable part of the opera.
In the end of the first act the plot reaches the peak of the complication, which is untangled by the second act where in its end Lisetta and Doralice's fathers give up and give their blessing to the young men their daughters chose to love.
Conductor Jan Schultsz was born in the Netherlands. From 1999 to 2009 he conducted the Neuchatel Chamber Orchestra. He also conducted the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich, the Basel Symphony and Chamber orchestras, the Lausanne and Geneva Chamber orchestras, the Hungarian Symphony Orchestra, the Prague National Theatre and others. He conducted opera productions in the opera houses of Oslo, Budapest, Liege and others. The many productions he conducted include Otello (Rossini), Lucrezia Borgia (Donizetti), Oberto (Verdi) and many others. This is his Israeli Opera debut.
The Italian director Stefano Mazzonis di Pralafera directed his first opera in 1983 and quickly achieved great success when he was invited to direct and design many operas in leading opera houses, including the Comunale in Florence for the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Theatre Ventidio Basso and the Theatre Sistina in Rome. Before his appointment as general manager and artistic director of the Opera Royal de Wallonie (ORW) in Liege he was the artistic director of numerous festivals and concert series, and superintendent of the Teatro Comunale of Bologna. A well-known figure in the audio-visual media, he also produced and presented numerous television and radio (RAI) programs. In 2007, he directed three Intermezzi at the ORW, thus introducing three little masterpieces of the 18th century. The operas he then directed include Il matrimonio segreto (Cimarosa), Il barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini), La traviata (Verdi), Le Pays du sourire (Donizetti). Recently he directed Otello (Verdi) and Manon (Massenet) in Liege. At the Israeli Opera he directed Nabucco (2015), La bohème (2014), Otello (2013) and La traviata (2011).
The soloists in this opera are:
Lisetta: Cinzia Forte and the Israeli soprano Shiri Hershkovitz.
Doralice: Mezzo-soprano Julie Bailly.
Alberto: Tenors Daniele Zanfardino and Enrico Casari.
Filippo: Baritone Laurent Kubla.
Don Pomponio: Baritone Enrico Maria Marabelli.
Madama La Rose: Mezzo-soprano Alexise Yerna.
Traversen: Baritone Roger Joakim.
Anselmo: Patrick Delcour.
Wednesday Mar. 29, 2017 at 20:00, Friday Mar. 31 at 13:00, Saturday April 1 at 21:00, Monday April 3 at 20:00, Tuesday April 4 at 20:00, Wednesday April 5 at 20:00, Friday April 7 at 13:00, Saturday April 8 at 21:00.
Sung in Italian
English and Hebrew Surtitles
Performance duration: 3 hours.
One hour before each performance there is a 30-minute introductory lecture in the auditorium (in Hebrew). Opera staffers present the opera and the production and enable the audience to get some extra information a short time before attending the performances. Admission is free for ticket holders of the performance for the same day.
For tickets and further information visit Israel-Opera or call 03-692777 (Israel).
(Photo: La Gazzetta/The Israeli Opera)