Italian Opera Season
Sundays and Thursdays in November
Italy will always be the birthplace of opera! Each November, opera houses throughout the country ring in the new opera season. On Sundays at 14:00 CET, Stingray Classica broadcasts some of Italy’s finest composers’ masterpieces to celebrate the opening of this year’s opera season, including Gaetano Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, Gioachino Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Vincenzo Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi. These broadcasts are repeated on Thursdays at 21:00 CET.
Donizetti - Lucia di Lammermoor
November 5 and 9 | 14:00 and 21:00
Italian conductor Speranza Scappucci leads the Philharmonia Zürich and the Chorus of the Opernhaus Zürich in a performance of Gaetano Donizetti’s tragic opera ‘Lucia di Lammermoor’ (1835). Salvatore Cammarano based his libretto on Sir Walter Scott’s novel ‘The Bride of Lammermoor’ (1819). Set in 17th century Scotland, the opera tells the story of Lucia, who falls in love with Edgardo, her family’s arch enemy. Lucia’s brother Enrico, however, forces her to marry a man she does not love instead, driving the young woman insane. Highpoint of the opera is Lucia’s famous ‘mad scene’, in which the technically demanding aria ‘Il dolce suono’ is heard. In this scene, Lucia’s voice is accompanied by a glass harmonica, adding to its eeriness. Italian conductor Speranza Scappucci leads the Philharmonia Zürich and the Chorus of the Opernhaus Zürich. Among the soloists are Irina Lungu (Lucia), Massimo Cavalletti (Enrico Ashton), Piotr Beczała (Edgardo di Ravenswood), Andrew Owens (Lord Arturo Bucklaw), Oleg Tsibulko (Raimondo Bidebent), Roswitha Christina Müller (Alisa), and Iain Milne (Normanno). This performance was recorded at the Opernhaus Zürich, Switzerland, in 2021.
Rossini - Il Barbiere di Siviglia
November 12 and 16 | 14:00 and 21:00
Guy Van Waas leads the Orchestra and Choirs of the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège in this 2015 production by director Stefano Mazzonis di Pralafera of Gioachino Rossini’s famous Il barbiere di Siviglia ('The Barber of Seville'). The opera is based on Pierre-Augustin de Beaumarchais's play Le Barbier de Séville (1775). Rossini’s witty, lively opera tells the story of Count Almaviva's love for Rosina, a beautiful and wealthy young lady who is constantly guarded by her elderly guardian, doctor Bartolo. With the help of barber Figaro, the Count tries to win Rosina's heart in spite of her guardian's efforts to prevent this. Among the soloists are Lionel Lhote, Jodie Devos, Gustavo De Gennaro, Enrico Marabelli, Laurent Kubla, Alexise Yerna, Victor Cousu, and Marc Tissons. This production was recorded at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie in Liège, Belgium.
Bellini - I Capuleti e I Montecchi
November 19 and 23 | 14:00 and 21:00
Omer Meir Wellber leads the Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro La Fenice in a performance of Vincenzo Bellini's tragic opera 'I Capuleti e i Montecchi'. Felice Romani's libretto is not based on William Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' but on Luigi Scevola's 1818 play 'Giulietta e Romeo'. Teatro La Fenice commissioned Vincenzo Bellini's opera for the Venetian Carnival of 1830. Bellini composed 'I Capuleti e i Montecchi' in just a month and a half, recycling material from his previous opera 'Zaira', which enjoyed little popular success. In this production, English-born soprano Jessica Pratt performs the role of Giulietta, and Italian mezzo-soprano Sonia Ganassi performs the role of Romeo. Among the other soloists are Rubén Amoretti, Shalva Mukeria, and Luca Dall'Amico. This performance was recorded at Teatro la Fenice di Venezia in Venice, Italy, on January 18, 2015.
Donizetti - Don Pasquale
November 26 and 30 | 14:05 and 21:00
Frédéric Chaslin leads the Orchestre Symphonique Région Centre-Val de Loire/Tours and the Choir of Opéra de Tours in a performance of Gaetano Donizetti’s comic opera Don Pasquale (1842). Featuring a cast of the most famous singers of the day, Don Pasquale premiered at the Parisian Salle Ventadour in 1843. It was an immediate success, being performed in the great opera houses of Europe within a year after its premiere. The work’s libretto is largely written by Giovanni Ruffini, as well as by the composer himself. It tells the hilarious story of the old, wealthy bachelor Don Pasquale, who is outraged when hearing his nephew Ernesto wishes to marry the impoverished widow Norina. Consequently, Pasquale decides to disinherit his nephew by marrying himself. His friend Malatesta and Norina, however, make up a plan to thwart the old bachelor, arranging a mock marriage. Among the soloists are Laurent Naouri (Don Pasquale), Florian Sempey (Malatesta), Sébastien Droy (Ernesto), Anne-Catherine Gillet (Norina), and François Bazola (notary). This performance was recorded at Opéra de Tours, in 2021.