An important test awaits the young artists of the Accademia Teatro alla Scala on Thursday 16 and Sunday 19 February 2023.
Students and former students, under the musical direction of Sesto Quatrini, will tread the stage of the Royal Opera House of Muscat in Oman for the historic edition signed by Giorgio Strehler of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and taken up by Marina Bianchi, for the first time at outside the European borders.
The staging sees the participation of various artistic groups of the Scala family: the soloists of the Academy of specialization for opera singers, the artists of the choir directed by Salvatore Sgrò, the musicians of the new orchestral formation, just formed, the dancers of the Ballet School engaged in a choreography by Frédéric Olivieri and the master collaborators, coordinated by James Vaughan.
He made his debut in the role of Figaro Matías Moncada, a Chilean bass, still a student of the Academy, currently on stage at the Piermarini in The Little Prince. First time as Susanna also for Francesca Pia Vitale who, after completing her studies, immediately embarked on a promising career that saw her win the prestigious “Neue Stimmen” last July. In April she will be seen in Scala for Li zite ‘ngalera by Vinci.
Two other alumni are entrusted with the parts of the Countess and the Count: if the Countess is embodied by Arianna Giuffrida, Paul Grant, a Scottish baritone recently heard at La Scala in Tempesta by Adès, will play the role of the Count. The fickle Cherubino will be Caterina Piva, a former student of the two-year period 2018-’20 who can already enumerate significant successes in various operas by Rossini, Donizetti, Verdi, Puccini, between Florence, Genoa, Naples, Paris, Salzburg, under the direction of artists such as Zubin Mehta, John Eliot Gardiner, Gianandrea Noseda, Fabio Luisi.
Martina Serra, back from an applauded participation in Morocco in the Petite Messe Solennelle, will be Marcellina, while the Croatian bass Toni Nežić, who boasts an assiduous collaboration with the Zagreb Opera Theater, where he has distinguished himself in the last year La traviata, Tosca, Nabucco, and in Rossini’s Otello, he will take on the role of Don Bartolo. The other interpreters of Strehler’s production, which at La Scala has recorded more than 70 performances since the first edition in 1981 and which will return with an exceptional cast between September and October, will be former pupils Paolo Antonio Nevi (Don Basilio), who at the Piermarini will play Don Curzio, Noemi Muschetti (Barbarina), Bozhidar Bozhkilov (Antonio) and the young pupil Pierluigi D’Aloia (Don Curzio).
For young artists, being part of a production that has marked the history of opera direction in Italy and which has counted the presence of legendary performers over time is certainly a challenge as demanding as it is exciting. If for some this experience represents a considerable step in a career already brilliantly undertaken, for others it is a real debut. For the Orchestra, in particular, which has just begun the improvement process which over the next two years will lead it to deepen its symphonic, operatic and ballet repertoire under the aegis of absolutely authoritative mallets. Like Fabio Luisi, for example, who in July will direct the students in Genoa and at the Ravello Festival.
This fully responds to the theoretical-practical approach that underlies the teaching methodology of the Accademia Teatro alla Scala, whose training proposal covers almost all the arts and crafts of live entertainment. The Verona school considers it essential for its students to have the opportunity to experience their skills both on stage and behind the scenes, because only by having real work experiences can artistic and professional awareness be developed.
The artistic commitments to which the students are called every year are inserted in this perspective. The most significant commitment in the course of study is the Academy Project, the work that is entrusted to them in full every year and included in the Verona season. The title (the twenty-first in the history of the Academy) chosen for the next edition will be The Barber of Seville, which will be staged in September under the direction of Evelino Pidò, in the staging designed for the Teatro alla Scala by Leo Muscato in 2021.