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Susan Wingrove

City in Alaska, USA. Anchorage Opera, a nationally recognized regional non-profit-making company founded by Elvera Voth, its artistic director, presented Pagliacci as its first production in 1975, followed by The Ballad of Baby Doe to celebrate America’s 1976 bicentenary, then La bohème in 1977. In 1979 Lucia di Lammermoor became the first fully produced non-English opera to be presented in its original language in Alaska. Since ...

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Bari  

Pierfranco Moliterni

City in Apulia, southern Italy. Despite the many musical associations of the region, Bari had no real theatre until the mid- 19th century. From 1815 to 1835 the Teatro del Sedile, the only building capable of holding even 250 people, presented recitals, concerts, drama and opera. Between 1840 and the opening of the multi-purpose Teatro Comunale Piccinni (on corso Ferdinando, later corso Vittorio Emanuele) the temporary site of the Circo Olimpico was used.

The series of theatres opened over a 60-year period – the Piccinni in 1854, the Petruzzelli in 1903 and the Margherita in 1914 – reflected the social and economic development of the city. (Apulia, and Bari as its chief town, were always important components of the kingdom of the Two Sicilies.) The architect chosen was Antonio Niccolini from Naples, considered with Alessandro Sanquirico to be the father of Italian scene-painting and renowned internationally for his restoration of the S Carlo opera house and his studies on theatre acoustics. The Piccinni (named after the composer, a native of Bari) was the only ‘teatro di pianta’ he designed; its horseshoe plan had 312 stalls seats and 64 boxes (the capacity eventually reached ...

Article

Village in Italy near Grosseto, Tuscany, the site of an opera festival since 1974. The festival, which takes place during July and August, was founded by the designer Adam Pollock on the site of a ruined monastery, Santa Croce; the theatre is an open-air cloister in which performances are given in the late evening by the company Musica nel Chiostro (‘Music in the Cloister’). It was inaugurated by a performance of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, sung by a mixture of Italian and British artists, in which scene changes were accomplished by moving the audience from one part of the building to another. The operas are always given in Italian. Works from the Baroque period (by Handel, Cavalli and Cesti, among others) have predominated; the company has also given J. C. Bach’s Temistocle (1988), Mozart’s La finta semplice, and Zaide with additional text by Italo Calvino (both 1981), Beethoven’s ...

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Bolzano  

Alessandro Roccatagliati and Giuliano Tonini

(Ger. Bozen)

City in the South Tyrol, northern Italy. Performance licences furnish sporadic evidence that operatic entertainments were staged during the Bolzano fairs in the 17th and 18th centuries by travelling companies. For 15 years from 1784 a wealthy merchant family, the von Menz, organized Carnival seasons in the Palazzo Mercantile of Italian (usually comic) opera given in German, mainly by local artists. Translations were made on the spot from librettos and scores originating mostly in Vienna, Naples and Venice. To this period belong Franz Bühler’s Singspiels Die falschen Verdachte (Carnival 1796) and Der tiroler Landsturm in franzosen Kriege (Carnival 1798). Travelling Italian-speaking companies came for the summer–autumn season, but did so less often in the following century.

The city’s first theatre was the Kaiserkrone, built in 1805 by public subscription in the Piazza della Mostra and inaugurated with Generali’s Pamela nubile. The theatre was designed by Andrea Caminada with 800 seats, two tiers of 33 boxes and a gallery. Changing economic circumstances led to a break in the initially annual performances, which had been given mostly by Austrian companies or local amateurs. Although playbills indicate that Italian and French works were produced, most of the operas performed were those in vogue in German-speaking areas. The Kaiserkrone was closed in ...

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Carmel  

Paul Hertelendy

Coastal town in California. Since the 1960s the Carmel Bach Festival under its music director Sandor Salgo has given a summer season including operas and oratorios, with the emphasis on Handel until the mid-1970s and thereafter Mozart. Its first opera production, at Sunset Theater, was Monteverdi’s Orfeo (1965). Other notable choices, typically semi-staged, have been Purcell’s Fairy-Queen (1969) and Dido and Aeneas (1976), Blow’s Venus and Adonis (1971), Telemann’s Pimpinone (1974), the pasticcio Il maestro di musica by Pergolesi and others (1975), Haydn’s Orlando paladino (1984) and Handel’s Imeneo (1985). Meanwhile in Carmel Valley the imaginative but intermittent Hidden Valley Opera, under Peter Meckel, has produced the works of composers such as Samuel Barber (A Hand of Bridge), Conrad Susa (Black River, Transformations) and Malcolm Seagrave (The Birthday of the Infanta...

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Galliano Ciliberti

City in Umbria, Italy. At Carnival 1629, to celebrate the marriage of Vittoria and Gianfrancesco Vitelli, the tourney Il toro celeste was staged with musical intermezzos by Pietro Gambari (libretto in I-CCc and Vgc ). The Accademia degli Illuminati was formed in 1650 and 12 years later it commissioned the architect A. Gabrielli to build the Teatro degli Illuminati. The theatre was inaugurated on 25 August 1666 with the opera Il trionfo della religione cattolica in Inghilterra, to a text by F. I. Lazzari, the academy’s principal (music by G. P. Almeri, G. B. Giansetti and G. Micarelli). In August 1669 another opera to a text by Lazzari was performed, Le gelosie di Bacco (composer unknown), and in 1673 a religious drama by him, La cena di Baldasare. In 1678 and 1679 L’Attenaide and Il Cambise (librettos in I-Bu ) respectively were performed by a company working under the auspices of Louis XIV. On ...

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Robert D. Hume and Arthur Jacobs

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Robert D. Hume and Arthur Jacobs

In 

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Michaela Freemanová

Town in Moravia. Among the theatres at all the castles belonging to Count Johann Adam Questenberg (1678–1752), the one at Jaroměřice was the most important. It was first opened to the local public in 1722, and completely rebuilt in 1731; the stage was altered in 1739. There was also a garden theatre, built in 1735. Some of the scenery, notably in the 1730s, was designed by Giuseppe Galli-Bibiena. The first opera performance took place in 1723. The repertory consisted not only of Italian opera and German Singspiel, mostly imported from Vienna, but also of works in the Czech language; composers included Brivio, Bioni, Pergolesi, Caldara, Giacomelli, F. B. Conti, I. M. Conti, D. N. Sarro, Vinci, Leo, Hasse and the count’s Kapellmeister, the singer and composer František Antonín Míča. Míča’s L’origine di Jaromeriz in Moravia was given in Czech in 1730. Most of the singers, dancers and musicians in the count’s company were members of his household or local people, especially from the Míča and Frey-Svoboda families. Others visited Jaroměřice from Vienna and Brno. The count’s band of music existed from around ...

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Arrigo Quattrocchi

City in the Marches region of central Italy. In July and August an open-air opera season is held in the Arena Sferisterio, built in 1829 for the game of pallone and restored in 1966. Its stage is 90 metres long, and the semicircular auditorium can hold 6000. Count Pier Alberto Conti organized the first seasons of opera in ...

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Pierfranco Moliterni

Town in Apulia, south-east Italy. Its cultural and musical history is closely connected with its geographical position – it was formerly part of the kingdom of Naples – and with its architectural status as one of the finest southern Baroque towns. The Palazzo Ducale, designed by G. A. Carducci, was begun by Duke Petraccone V Caracciolo in 1668. Musical activity in the town benefited from the patronage of the Caracciolo dukes and the proximity of the Naples conservatories. In the 18th century one of its most famous native musicians was the castrato Giuseppe Aprile. But even in the heyday of its Baroque architectural development, the town had no opera house. Its importance for opera lies rather in a modern festival. In 1975 a group of interested local individuals and musicians (including Paolo Grassi, director of La Scala, Milan, 1970–75) instituted the Festival della Valle d’Itria, which takes place over a fortnight in July and August, in the splendid setting of the great courtyard of the Palazzo Ducale. Its aim is the rediscovery and historical performance of operatic and sacred works of the 18th and early 19th centuries. As well as works by composers born in southern Italy, those who spent a long time in Naples, such as Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti, are also represented. Other Italian and European institutions have used productions first staged at Martina Franca as models, notably ...

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Arrigo Quattrocchi

Town in central Italy, in the province of Siena (Tuscany). It is the headquarters of the Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte, a music festival started in 1976 by Hans Werner Henze. The initial idea of the Comune’s administration was to found a festival with special characteristics in a small town where there was little musical activity. In the Cantiere, both young and mature artists are invited from all over the world to take part in works of entertainment, actively cooperating at all levels (administrative, executive, creative) with the residents of the town. The word ‘cantiere’ (workshop) refers above all to this interchange between professional guests and citizens. The artistic director from 1976 to 1980 and again in 1989 was Henze; in 1981–8 the post was shared by Jan Latham-König and Gianluigi Gelmetti. Performances take place in July and August in the Teatro Poliziano (built in 1795, cap. 400), in churches and in the open air. In addition to operas rarely performed in Italy, like ...

Article

Charles Pitt

Capital of Tenerife, in the Canary Islands. The Teatro de la Calle de la Marina was built in 1835 and became the island’s principal theatre. The first opera to be performed there was Constantino, an opera seria in three acts by Carlos Guigou to a libretto by José Placido Sansón, followed shortly by the same composer’s El templario. The present house was built in 1851 by Manuel de Oràa as the Teatro Isabel II; since 1924 it has been known as the Teatro Guimera, in honour of a local writer. The first opera presented, by the impresario and conductor Mariano Courtier, was Ernani (1861), followed by Il trovatore and Norma. In 1911 the architect Antonio Pintor completely remodelled the interior, reducing the seating from 1400 to 870. Miguel Fleta sang there in 1928, Hipólito Lázaro in 1930. The season is traditionally during October and November, when one performance of each of three or four operas is given, usually with an international cast. Alfredo Kraus, born in the Canary Islands, has been a frequent guest. Performances are given with the Tenerife SO, which during the rest of the year gives symphony concerts in the theatre....