OperaVision LIVE Streaming Dittico Donatoni/Pergolesi

DATE: Maggio 26, 2024
TIME: 8:00 pm

This double bill from I Teatri Reggio Emila sets theatrical farce in private spaces. Alfred, Alfred, comes from the experience in hospital of its composer, Franco Donatoni, in 1992: a journey suspended between the surreal intimate visions of a patient and the reality of hospital life. Written three centuries earlier, Pergolesi’s La serva padrona offers a picture of domestic antics, where a shrewd maid outwits her grumpy master into marrying her.

A kind of complementarity links the two operas. La serva padrona launched the genre of the intermezzo (precursor of opera buffa) in the mid-17800s on a European scale, not least because of the debate that flared up among philosophers (including Rousseau) about the virtues of staging the triviality of daily life with ordinary characters. Alfred, Alfred is also subtitled, not coincidentally, ‘intermezzo’, the name Donatoni chose to highlight the farcical potential of an immobilised patient at the centre of a bustling hospital – at a time when buffoonery in the musical theatre of the late 20th century had somewhat fallen into disuse. Both operas are bold artistic statements to question theatrical traditions of their respective periods. Even the distance in musical language between the two works conceals correspondences in the ways each evokes caricature and irony; the viscous softness of Pergolesi’s strings find correspondence in Donatoni’s shrill asymmetrical tinkling. OperaVision is live in Reggio Emilia for this unusual pairing conceived by Muta Imago, directed by Claudia Sorace with Dario Garegnani conducting the Icarus Ensemble.

2019 Dario Garegnani © All rights reserved.