The new season features the opera debuts in Italy of international directors such as Simon Stone, Ersan Mondtag and the duo Le Lab. It also features the first appearance at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma of Claus Guth, Allex Aguilera and Luca Micheletti as a director. The new programme welcomes the return of Barrie Kosky, Deborah Warner and Damiano Michieletto. The program will also highlights the presence of celebrated choreographers such as William Forsythe, Benjamin Millepied and, for the first time at the Teatro Costanzi, it will be presented a work by Uwe Scholz. Alongside with them will perform great conductors such as Marc Albrecht, Juraj Valčuha, Omer Meir Wellber and, music director Michele Mariotti, who will conduct four opera and two concerts. The programme also includes stars such as Lisette Oropesa, Maria Agresta, Vittorio Grigolo, Erwin Schrott, John Osborn, Karita Mattila, Gregory Kunde and Simon Keenlyside. There will be also the opportunity to listen to an exciting succession of rarely performed opera such as Boito’s Mefistofele, Ravel’s L’’eure espagnole, Janáček’s Jenůfa and Britten’s Peter Grimes, along with other opera from the great classic repertoire such as The Magic Flute, Otello, La sonnambula, as well as Tosca and Turandot performed at the Terme di Caracalla on the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of Puccini’s death. This will be the debut at the opera of the architect Massimiliano Fuksas. There will be also a world premiere with the work L’ultimo viaggio di Sindbad, which was commissioned to Silvia Colasanti, and based on the story written by Erri De Luca. Last but not least this season’s programme welcomes the return of the life honorary conductor, Riccardo Muti, directing the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
This is the 2023-24 season of the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, whose graphic layout of its visual communication has been entrusted to the great figurative artist Giulio Paolini, chosen in collaboration with the National Museum of Contemporary Art and Architecture (MAXXI). He has created a series of evocative collages to promote the various artistic events featured on the programme with his sophisticated personal style.
“The new season represents the endorsement and the enhancement of the concept of a theatre that last year we outlined with five defining adjectives: open, inquisitive, sensitive, inclusive, and challenging – says Sovrintendente Francesco Giambrone -. Our vision does not change, and indeed is enriched by a strong commitment to new productions, with ambitious choices, and by exploring unusual itineraries. S|Confinamenti has become our motto: with an invisible line that defines, but also connects, the boundaries with unexplored territories. We have sought to adopt a broader perspective and embrace both the great classical repertoire of Verdi, Mozart, Boito, Puccini and Bellini, as well as the extraordinary heritage of absolute masterpieces of the 20th-century Europe, from Britten to Janáček, from Strauss to Ravel, without forgetting the present time with premieres such as those of the Italian composers Silvia Colasanti and Fabio Vacchi. Even in the ballet’s programme we combine the three famous romantic ballets by Tchaikovsky with creations by great choreographers of our time such as Forsythe, Uwe Sholz and Benjamin Millepied. Francesco Giambrone concludes: ‘Our intention is to promote a theatre that accepts the challenges posed by new debates, of being inquisitive about what is happening in the world around us, about social change, about the great issues of the contemporary world, and also about the dilemmas that have always been at the core of human behaviours. This is not a universe that is self-contained, that celebrates the works it produces or the artists it puts on stage, but a place that is open to thinking, to the desire for knowledge and to the paths of growth that, like all journeys that have a theatre as their destination, can only contribute to our general improvement”.
The programme therefore features 10 new productions, 6 of which are opera and 4 ballets, 11 opera titles, 7 ballets and 5 concerts, with a total of 28 additional performances compared to last year: that is 25% increase in cultural activities. The season will be followed, as usual, by the Caracalla Festival 2024 of which we are able to anticipate some titles: the ballet Carmen and the homage to Giacomo Puccini with Tosca and Turandot, both part of Massimiliano Fuksas’ new creative project.
The partnership with Rai is always very productive. Rai Cultura will film three opera – the premiere of Mefistofele which will be broadcast live, and the Diptych comprising Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and Ravel’s L’heure espagnole, and Bellini’s La sonnambula which will be broadcast on Rai5 TV Channel , while radio channel Radio3 will broadcast the entire opera and the concert season.
“The Teatro dell’Opera di Roma is an institution of huge importance for the local, the national and the international cultural activities – declared Roberto Gualtieri, Mayor of Rome and President of the Foundation Teatro dell’Opera – which with its high-quality programmes has reached a very large audience in recent years. The theatre’s successes and its role in the broad spectrum of the art world are the lifeblood in the creation of a programming of absolute quality, which in this new season will see an increase in titles and performances to satisfy an ever-growing demand, capable of reaching the city as a whole. The Teatro dell’Opera di Roma will continue to be a cultural representation of the great heritage of beauty that it preserves with love and passion, from music to singing, from ballet to stage settings. Thanks to the Sovrintendente Francesco Giambrone and all the professionals whose precious work makes the magic of art a tangible reality”.
THE NETWORK OF INSTITUTIONAL PARTNERSHIPS AND OPEN THEATRE INITIATIVES
The quality of the artistic proposition of the season goes hand in hand with the opening of the theatre to the city and its local communities. For this reason, the network of institutional partnerships within Rome is increasingly expanding and enriched with new projects. We have established and will continue collaborations with MAXXI, Musica per Roma, with EUR S.p.A. through EUR Culture per Roma, Romaeuropa Festival, the Istituzione Università e Concerti, Festival Equilibrio, the Soprintendenza Speciale of Rome, the Universities and important educational institutions. We are also closely working with Atac, with the fifteen Municipalities of Roma Capitale, which represent the local communities, and with some of the widespread networks of cultural organisations.
Alongside the official season of operas, ballets and concerts, the activities of “Fabbrica” the Young Artist Program and the Scuola di Danza, new initiatives, along those started in recent months, are blossoming and will be consolidated: Linea Opera, which has begun to build a strong relationship with many local communities, Una notte a teatro, which will help us strengthen, especially among young people, the idea that the theatre is like one’s home, and Cantamondo, a training course in choral singing aimed at primary school children and promoting their inclusion process through the language of music.
The season and all the Foundation’s activities are made possible thanks to the support of our private partners Camera di Commercio di Roma and ACEA. Just as invaluable is the contribution of companies that for years – or more recently – have chosen to support our activities as Patrons and Sponsors such as Banca del Fucino, Terna, BMW Roma and Aeroporti di Roma.
NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL CO-PRODUCTIONS
The focus on the city is matched by launching new partnerships in Italy and in Europe: cooperations have been established and successfully developed with some of the most prestigious national and international theatres such as the Teatro Real of Madrid for Mefistofele directed by Simon Stone; the Puccini Festival of Torre del Lago for the Diptych comprising L’heure espagnole and Gianni Schicchi; the Royal Opera House of London for Jenůfa. Peter Grimes is co-produced with three prestigious institutions such as the Teatro Real of Madrid, Covent Garden of London and the Opéra National of Paris.
The Italian debut of the director Simon Stone with Mefistofele, broadcast live on Rai5 TV Channel and radio programme Radio3
Following a new habit, on Monday 27 November 2023 the season opens with the new production of Arrigo Boito’s Mefistofele, conducted by Michele Mariotti and directed by Simon Stone, who, after his successes in the most renowned theatres and festivals in the world, puts on stage an opera in Italy for the first time. The performance, which is co-produced with the Teatro Real of Madrid, features John Relyea in the main role, Maria Agresta as Margherita and Elena, and Joshua Guerrero as Faust. The opening night is being filmed by Rai Cultura and broadcast live on Rai5 TV Channel as well as on the radio programme Radio3 of RAI. Performances are scheduled until 5 December.
Mariotti conducts Tosca with the singers Anna Pirozzi, Vittorio Grigolo and Erwin Schrott
A few months after first directing Tosca on tour in Japan and immediately after Mefistofele, Michele Mariotti returns to the podium, the from 9 to 14 December to conduct Tosca. The performance is the “original” one with the same sets of the first ever performance of Puccini’s masterpiece, which has been regularly staged at the Teatro Costanzi since 2015 with great success. The artistic direction is by Alessandro Talevi. Three acclaimed opera singers Anna Pirozzi, Fabio Sartori and Erwin Schrott (Amartuvshin Enkhbat on 14 December) will be on stage for the occasion.
The premiere in Rome of The Magic Flute by Michieletto
Damiano Michieletto returns to the Teatro Costanzi with his production which has already been highly successful in Venice and Florence: Mozart’s Die Zauberflötee (The Magic Flute), which comes to Rome for the first time from 13 to 21 January. The director sets the opera in a school, and makes it an initiation journey towards self-awareness and maturity, in a clash between the forces of reason and those of dogmatism. The music direction is given to Michele Spotti, who was born in 1993 and was recently appointed Music Director of the Marseille Opera, making this his debut in Rome. On stage will be Juan Francisco Gatell and Emőke Baráth in the parts of Tamino and Pamina, Markus Werba as Papageno, Aleksandra Olczyk and John Relyea will play respectively the role of the Queen of the Night and Sarastro.
Ersan Mondtag makes his opera directing debut in Italy with the diptych Gianni Schicchi and L’heure espagnole
Music director Michele Mariotti’s third production is the second part of the three-year project ‘Trittico ricomposto’, realised in collaboration with the Puccini Festival of Torre del Lago on the occasion of the centenary of the composer’s death. His Triptych is broken down and re-assembled into three diptychs, staged, one per year, for three consecutive seasons, thanks to the combining of each title with another 20th-century masterpiece. After Il tabarro and Duke Bluebeard’s Castle, it is now the turn of Gianni Schicchi alongside Ravel’s L’heure espagnole. The new production of this diptych is entrusted to one of the new talents of the German theatre, Ersan Mondtag, a 36 years old music director of Turkish origin, who also designs the settings and directs an opera in Italy for the first time. Gianni Schicchi is played by a celebrated bass-baritone who is specialised in comic roles: Carlo Lepore. The cast of L’heure espagnole instead features French mezzo-soprano Karine Deshayes, making her debut at the Teatro Costanzi. Performances are scheduled from February 7 to 16. The ‘Trittico ricomposto’ project will end in the 2024-25 season with Puccini’s Suor Angelica coupled with Dallapiccola’s Il Prigioniero, directed by Calixto Bieito.
The return of Barrie Kosky with Salome conducted by Marc Albrecht
After the success of The Magic Flute staged in 2018, Australian director Barrie Kosky, admired by the world’s leading festivals and theatres and this year winner of the Italian critics’ Abbiati Prize, returns to the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma. From 7 to 16 March, Kosky presents Richard Strauss’s masterpiece Salome, based on the one-act tragedy by Oscar Wilde, in a production already acclaimed in Frankfurt that explores the protagonist’s character. Salome’s elusive identity seems to be outlined through the eyes of the other characters, all immersed in the darkness of an eerie black box, illuminated from time to time by cones of light. On the podium goes one of the most acclaimed interpreters of Strauss: Marc Albrecht, making his debut at the Teatro Costanzi. The daunting task of singing the part of Salome is entrusted to Sara Jakubiak, who is much admired for the richness of her voice as for the charm and charisma she brings to the stage.
Lisette Oropesa makes her debut in La Sonnambula
Another great come-back to Rome is that of the Cuban-born American soprano Lisette Oropesa, who marked the recent history of the Teatro Costanzi with the unforgettable film-opera La traviata directed by Mario Martone during the pandemic. Mrs Oropesa will take on Bellini’s La sonnambula for the first time in her career, joined by other celebrated bel canto singers such as John Osborn, Roberto Tagliavini and Monica Bacelli. On the podium goes Francesco Lanzillotta. This new production of this opera is in the hands of the French artistic director-duo Jean-Philippe Clarac and Olivier Deloeuil known as ‘Le Lab’, who will make their debut in Italy. Performances are scheduled from 9 to 17 April.
The Janáček project ends with Jenůfa directed by Claus Guth and conducted by Juraj Valčuha
This three-year project will see the final staging of its third part in May. The programming is the one related to the representations of the works by the Czech composer Leoš Janáček. In the last two seasons, we have seen the representations of the opera Kát’a Kabanová and From the House of the Dead, which this season will be followed by Jenůfa. All three productions are in collaboration with the Royal Opera House of London. Jenůfa, which runs from 2 to 9 May, marks the debut at the Teatro dell’Opera of the great German director Claus Guth, who won the Laurence Olivier Award in 2022 for the best opera production with this work. The opera will be conducted by Juraj Valčuha, the highly acclaimed interpreter of Janáček’s music and currently music director of the Houston Symphony Orchestra. This is his debut at the Teatro Costanzi. The cast also includes the great Karita Mattila in the part of the sacristan Buryjovka.
Verdi’s Otello with Gregory Kunde
The great voices of Gregory Kunde, Roberta Mantegna, and Igor Golovatenko are the protagonists of Verdi’s Otello on stage from 1 to 12 June in a production originating from the Monte-Carlo Opera House and the Tbilisi National Opera. This is the Italian premiere for this production, which is directed by Allex Aguilera, famous for his collaborations with the Catalan theatrical group La Fura dels Baus and making his debut at the Teatro Costanzi. Back on the podium, after his success last season with Pagliacci, is Daniel Oren.
Deborah Warner directs Peter Grimes
Her Billy Budd, which was last performed in Rome in 2018, won the Italian critics’ Abbiati Prize, the Laurence Olivier Award and the International Opera Award. Now the British artist is back at the Teatro Costanzi with another Britten masterpiece, Peter Grimes, which is co-produced together with the Teatro Real of Madrid, the Royal Opera House of London, and the Opéra National of Paris. Deborah Warner, from 11 to 19 October, puts on show an opera with deep psychological and dramatic implications, entrusted to the music direction of Michele Mariotti, who will be conducting an opera by Britten for the first time. The singers on the stage are Allan Clayton as Peter Grimes, Sophie Bevan as Ellen Orford and Simon Keenlyside as Balstrode. Peter Grimes has not been represented at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma since 1961.
L’ultimo viaggio di Sindbad by Silvia Colasanti premiered with Luca Micheletti as director
The opera season closes with a work commissioned by the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma to the composer Silvia Colasanti, it is a work based on a book by Erri de Luca: L’ultimo viaggio di Sindbad (Sindbad’s Last Journey), a world premiere which is scheduled from 16 to 23 October 2024 at the Teatro Nazionale, in co-operation with Romaeuropa Festival. This is the story of the captain of an old boat on his last journey, with a cargo full of men, women and children. This story becomes a symbol of one of the great dramas of our time, amidst biblical echoes and the legends of the sea. Staging the new production of the play is Luca Micheletti, a multifaceted artist working as director for the first time at the Teatro dell’Opera of Rome. Enrico Pagano makes his debut on the podium.
Viardot’s Cenerentola at the Teatro Nazionale in a new production by the Young Artist Program “Fabbrica”
Next season opera programme also includes a new production entrusted to “Fabbrica” Young Artist Program directed by Lorenzo Amato. The talents of the fourth edition, 2023/24, the creative team, the singers and the répétiteur are all called upon to produce a show that will make its debut at the Teatro Nazionale from 28 to 31 May: Cenerentola by Pauline Viardot in its Italian version is edited by Vincenzo De Vivo.
The new ballet season of the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma continues with its intent to enhance the understanding of ballet, this an effort brought forward by Eleonora Abbagnato. Alongside Tchaikovsky’s trilogy (The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty), new works and creations by new composers will be added to the Corps de Ballet repertoire. Étoiles, first dancers, soloists and the entire ballet company of the Teatro dell’Opera will be performing in two tours. The first tour will go to Paris and then to Dubai with Les deux nuits, which includes Nuit Dansée by Giorgio Mancini and Nuit Romaine by Angelin Preljocaj, which will also be featuring Eleonora Abbagnato and Friedemann Vogel. The second tour will go to Barcelona, at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, with Swan Lake by Benjamin Pech.
A new Nutcracker which bears the signature of Chalmer with costumes by Falaschi
The ballet program kicks off with the traditional ballet of the holiday’s season, the performances are also staged on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. From 21 to 31 December is scheduled Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker in the adaptation by Paul Chalmer in a new production choreographed by Andrea Miglio, with costumes designed by Gianluca Falaschi. Along with the Roman artists, the roles of the leads are played by Maia Makhateli and Victor Caixeta, who returns to dance together after last February’s La Bayadère. The conductor is Nir Kabaretti.
Two new productions at the Teatro Nazionale
The year 2024 begins with a programme dedicated to new talented choreographers. At the Teatro Nazionale, two creations for the corps de ballet will be staged from 31 January to 2 February. The opening show is Yellow by Adriano Bolognino, winner of the Danza&Danza 2022 Award as an emerging choreographer, at his first experience with the Teatro dell’Opera Corps de Ballet. Completing the diptych is I died for love by Simone Repele and Sasha Riva who, after last summer’s successful experience in Bernstein’s Mass, returns to collaborate with the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma. The new production features the staging created by Michele Della Cioppa and costumes by Anna Biagiotti. Music is on a recorded base.
Playlist by Forsythe in the evening dedicated to contemporary ballet
Building on the success of the last few seasons, from 23 to 29 March the formula of the Dance Triptych, a project strongly supported by Eleonora Abbagnato, is being enriched. The performance opens with Playlist (Track 1, 2), production created for the English National Ballet in 2018, in which William Forsythe has managed to combine classicism and athleticism of ballet with the rhythms of new-soul and house music. This is followed by Windgames by Patrick de Bana, created in 2013 for the Wiener Staatsballett based on Tchaikovsky’s Opus 35, who brings his choreographic creativity to the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma for the first time. The show closes with Women, a creation by Juliano Nunes, one of the most promising young Brazilian choreographers making his debut in Rome, is staged on music by Danish pianist and composer Alexander Mackenzie. Music is played on a recorded base.
Fumi Kaneko debuts at the Teatro Costanzi with Swan Lake
A box-office success at its 2019 premiere, Swan Lake created by Benjamin Pech returns to the stage from 19 to 27 June. Deception, that of Benno towards the Prince, and the Prince’s involuntary betrayal of Odette, both become the central theme of this version. In the leading roles we have the Japanese dancers Fumi Kaneko, making her debut at the Costanzi, and Vadim Muntagirov from Russia, both principal dancers of the London Royal Ballet. Tchaikovsky’s music is conducted under the baton of Koen Kessels, musical director of the Royal Ballet.
Sleeping Beauty with Marianela Núñez and Reece Clarke
After the summer break, The Sleeping Beauty, the last of Tchaikovsky’s three masterpieces in the programme, will be performed at the Teatro Costanzi from 14 to 22 September. Jean-Guillaume Bart has worked on this piece focusing his attention on dramaturgical coherence, using Tchaikovsky’s score in its entirety, in order to give greater theatrical unity to the choreography. Great expectations await the return of the ballet dancer Marianela Núñez, while Reece Clarke, principal of the Royal Ballet of London, who will be making his debut at the Teatro Costanzi, will be Prince Désiré, a role that in Bart’s version has much more prominence than usual. On the podium there is Kevin Rhodes.
For the first time in Rome The Red and the Black by Scholz
The repertoire of the Corps de Ballets of the Teatro dell’Opera will be enriched with Uwe Scholz’s creation The Red and the Black, which will be on stage from 26 October to 2 November. In the three acts of his composition, Scholz has succeeded in giving a choreographic interpretation to Stendhal’s famous novel, fully capturing the essence of the drama, with a collage of music by Hector Berlioz. It comes to the Teatro Costanzi in a new version with sets designed by Ignasi Monreal and costumes created Anna Biagiotti. Étoiles and first dancers of the Teatro dell’Opera will revive Julien Sorel’s passionate triangle with Madame de Rênal and Mathilde de la Mole. On the podium of the orchestra of the Teatro dell’Opera, in his debut, there is Martin Georgiev.
Two works by Benjamin Millepied on music by Philip Glass for the Festival Equilibrio 2024
The programme which is scheduled in February at the Sala Petrassi of the Auditorium Parco della Musica, co-produced with the Fondazione Musica per Roma for the Festival Equilibrio 2024, is entirely dedicated to Benjamin Millepied. Two works inspired by Millepied’s visionary approach and his close connection with Philip Glass’s score: Closer, a delicate duet between a man and a woman, with a classical structure and a strong modern touch. This will be followed by On the other side, the third chapter of the Gems trilogy, a reinterpretation of Balanchine’s Diamonds, created in 2016 and now shown in a version that has been choreographed for the Corps de Ballet of the Teatro dell’Opera.
Riccardo Muti, honorary director for life, returns to the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma for an extraordinary concert with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to mark the 100th anniversary of the Banca del Fucino. The programme features works by Ljadov, Stravinsky and Strauss. Alongside this, there are in the programme four additional concerts featuring the theatre’s artistic ensembles, two conducted by music director Michele Mariotti, one by Omer Meir Wellber and one by Roberto Abbado. On 20 February Mariotti will conduct Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with Stravinsky’s ballet Pulcinella, which is based on Pergolesi’s music, while on 14 May he presents Prokofiev’s cantata Aleksandr Nevskij with a screening of Ėjzenštejn’s famous film and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4. On 10 February, Wellber directs Proximity or Closeness, featuring a choreography by Ermanno Sbezzo performed by Eleonora Abbagnato and Sergio Bernal, with music by Mahler and Schnittke. On the same evening he will also direct Mozart’s Requiem. On top of that on 15 March is scheduled the premiere of the new version for orchestra of Bandiere nere (Black Flags) by Fabio Vacchi, based on a script that narrates the birth of ISIS written by the journalist Joby Warrick, Pulitzer Prize winner in 2016. On the podium Roberto Abbado will also conduct the overture from Beethoven’s Egmont and Šostakovič’s Symphony No. 1.