Rome Opera brings Italian excellence to Japan

Great opera stars such as Sonya Yoncheva, Lisette Oropesa, Francesco Meli and Vittorio Grigolo. The pan-Italian work of two artists such as Franco Zeffirelli and Valentino Garavani. Two much-loved operatic works such as Verdi’s La Traviata and Puccini’s Tosca, both performed by Michele Mariotti. They are the main components of the next tour of the Rome Opera, presented today in Tokyo, which will take place at Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo from September 13 to 26 and at Kanagawa Kenmin Hall in Yokohama over seven nights. operas.


After the success of its last tour in 2018, the Rome Opera returns to Japan, bringing to the Far East two famous productions: Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca, directed by Franco Zeffirelli in 2008, revived today by Marco Gandini on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of the great director – and ” La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi in the successful 2016 production by Sofia Coppola, in costumes by the symbol of Italian fashion Valentino Garavani. For the Capitoline Foundation, this is the fifth presence in Japan, after 1994 (with La Traviata and Tosca), 2006 (with Rigoletto and Tosca), 2014 (with Nabucco and Simon Boccanegra) and 2018 (again with La Traviata “together with Manon). Lesko).


Franco Zeffirelli, who died in 2019, staged Tosca in 2008 to mark the 150th anniversary of Puccini’s birth. He said of the composer that “his music has it all” and for this reason he argued that in his production “everything comes back, because only by respecting the music and the drama can you go wrong.” Zeffirelli himself took care of the decorations together with Carlo Centolavigna. The costumes are by Anna Biagiotti and the lighting is by Marco Filibek. “The play has only been staged once at the Rome Opera in 2008,” says Marco Gandini, who has taken over the direction, “and this Japanese edition represents a revival of the production and combines the wisdom of Zeffirelli with the wisdom of the Capitoline Foundation, where Tosca saw it worldwide premiered in 1900.”


Tosca became an important title in the career of maestro Zeffirelli, who also staged it in 1964 at the Royal Opera House in London: the performance marked the return of Maria Callas to the stage; at the Met in New York in 1985; and in semi-staged form in 2000, again at the Rome Opera, for the centenary of the world premiere, with Luciano Pavarotti as the title character and conductor Placido Domingo.


Sofia Coppola’s direction of Verdi’s La Traviata – on stage a few days after the Venice Film Festival, where her film Priscilla was in competition (Volpi Cup for Best Actress for lead character Cailee Spaeny) – was a successful 2016 production (the premiere was attended by Keira Knightley, Monica Bellucci and Kim Kardashian) have been sold out several times and have already been brought to Japan with great success in 2018, highlighting the prestige and elegance of the costumes by Valentino Garavani, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli. The choreography was entrusted to Stefan Favorin. The lighting was created by Vinicio Celi, shot by Jacopo Pantani, and the video part was by Lorenzo Bruno and Igor Renzetti.


Both titles of the tour are entrusted to the music director of the Rome Opera, Michele Mariotti, guest of the main international theaters and festivals, winner of the Abbiati Prize for best conductor 2017. On the stage next to him is a group of world stars. The embodiment of Violetta Valeri in Verdi’s masterpiece is Lisetta Oropesa, one of the most respected and sought-after sopranos of our time, who was already the main character in the film-opera La Traviata, directed by Mario Martone in Costanzi. He will return to Rome in April to take part in a new production of Bellini’s La Sonnambula. Alfredo Germont is Francesco Meli, the famous tenor Verdi. Germont Sr. is played by baritone Amartuvshin Enkhbat. Instead, Tosca features Sonya Yoncheva, Opus Klassik 2021 Singer of the Year and leading lady on the most prestigious stages, from La Scala in Salzburg to the Met in New York, and Vittorio Grigolo, one of the most famous tenors in the world and considered the heir apparent. vocals by Pavarotti, who has just achieved huge success at the Ravello festival as an interpreter of the iconic songs of Frank Sinatra. After a tour of Japan, he will reprise the role of Cavaradossi in Rome for three performances in December under the direction of Mariotti. Baritone Roman Burdenko performed with them in the role of Scarpia.


In addition to the soloists, 227 people are taking part in the tour, including orchestra professors, a choir under the direction of Ciro Visco, a corps de ballet under the direction of Eleonora Abbagnato, technical specialists and employees of the Rome Opera. Among the artists were also four young singers from the Fabbrika project of the Capitolina Foundation Young Artists Program.


La Traviata, directed by Sofia Coppola, will be performed at the Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo on Wednesday, September 13th. Performances are scheduled for Saturday 16 September and Monday 18 September. Franco Zeffirelli’s Tosca will be performed on Sunday 17 September at Kanagawa Kenmin Hall in Yokohama and at Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo on Friday 22, Sunday 24 and Tuesday 26 September. All performances will begin at 15:00 (local time).

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