Rome Opera divas who seduced Tokyo

La Traviata arrives in Tokyo with her Valentino wardrobe in the company of Tosca, wearing antique lace from the “house” of Zeffirelli, and conquers the beating heart of Japan next to the Capitoline Venus and the She-Wolf, exhibited in the city’s central museum. And this is a triumph of Roman perfection, art and beauty.


To pay tribute to Costanzi’s two opera productions, it is on tour until September 26 at the two prestigious Bunka Kaikan theaters and Kanagawa Kenmin Hall in Yokohama, as well as the exhibition “Rome, the Eternal City: Masterpieces from the Collections of the Capitoline Museums” at the Tokyo Museum. Metropolitan Art Museum, queues at the box office, visits and events at the cultural institute in a magnificent building designed Gae Aulenti, at the headquarters of NBS, which supports the project, and the reception of the Italian Ambassador Gianluigi Benedetti, who opened his residence and charming garden to welcome the Director of the Rome Opera Francesco Giambrone, the Superintendent of the Capitol Claudio Parisi Presicce and the artists. , diplomats and Capitol delegations. And then dinners, social events, evenings in traditional kimonos and accessories in the latest Western fashion.


Violetta, a “party girl” (as director Sofia Coppola, who created an installation in 2016 for the Rome Opera, defined a new creation from her rich and complex female catalog), sets out to open a week of glamor in Japan. The young woman, who loves the wonderful world of parties, relies on her charm “with a strong personality, she is not a little bird, she knows pain and love and consciously chooses what to do with her life,” explains the soprano. Lisette Oropesa who interprets it with elegance and depth. And she sings her passionate story in couture dresses, tulle and taffeta trains, sequins, feathers and veils created by the emperor of Italian fashion, Valentino. Intolerant of the restrictions that society places on the female world (reminiscent of the American director’s Marie Antoinette, as well as Priscilla, the protagonist of her latest film, which she just presented at the Venice Film Festival), Verdi’s heroine dances and melts in luxurious halls , on majestic staircases, among magnolias and aviaries and seduces the public with Roman perfection.


And the two thousand three hundred spectators who filled the great hall, the temple of the opera in the heart of the bustling Ueno district (all tickets were sold out for future performances as well, with admission even from 400 euros), are usually one of the largest in the world, on the 13th and in the second mid-afternoon on the 16th, the soprano Oropesa, her Alfredo (Francesco Meli, one of the most authoritative Verdi tenors of that time), Giorgio Germon (a personal success for Amartuvshin Enkbat) and the entire cast, orchestra and choir were greeted with long applause (more than ten minutes) Costanzi under the direction of the director Michelle Mariotti at the pinnacle of excellence. Encore applause on the 17th, also for Puccini’s Tosca, with Vittorio Grigolo, the absolute star of Franco Zeffirelli’s 2008 historical direction (revived by Marco Gandini for the centenary of the great director’s birth), in the hall in front of the Yokohama port, the second largest population city of Japan and home of car manufacturer Nissan.


On the stage of the Grand Tour of Rome, Sant’Andrea della Valle, Palazzo Farnese and Castel Sant’Angelo, created by a Florentine master: 15 minutes of applause from 2,500 spectators for the main character Sonya Yoncheva, the diva of La Scala, Salzburg and Roman Burdenko (Scarpia) met and Vittorio Grigolo, who as a boy made his debut in Costanzi, a shepherd boy, in Tosca, opposite Pavarotti: “The dream that began then,” says the tenor star, who will resume the role of Cavaradossi in Rome in December, “and that has brought me here today.” The audience goes crazy because the opera is ours, Italian.”

EXPO 2030

A precise seductive strategy in the midst of the Expo 2030 campaign in a market in which opera institutions from all over the world compete, and implemented with all the most exciting that Made in Italy has to offer. Music, performers, high fashion, craftsmanship. And the Japanese raised their glasses to this responsible operation of the Capitoline Foundation, which, consisting of almost 250 people, including teachers of the orchestra, choir, ballet troupe, technicians, seamstresses, costume designers, set designers, founded the Roman community among the skyscrapers of the East. “I believe that theater should also serve as a cultural ambassador,” says Rome Opera director Francesco Giambrone. “And I’m especially proud that although we are here in Japan with two productions, we have the guys from Fabbrica, our academy in Paraguay for the Expo 2030 campaign with concerts and master classes, then Opera on the Tiber with Fitzcarraldo, Vivaldi concerts at Tor Marancio and Tor Bella Monaca. And tonight, September 19th, a modern dance show debuts in Rome at Costanzi. Art is about inclusivity, and the opera foundation also serves a social function in the city and in the world.”


For Costanzi, 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) surrounded by Manon Lescaut). ). But this year Rome captured the entire bay. Surprisingly, at the end of the performances, a crowd of fans asked for autographs: in line, in Bunka Kaikan, in an open space, lively with the comings and goings of townspeople and street performers, music lovers, as well as ladies with bags from the Ameyokocho market, families with strollers returning from a big city ​​park, or tourists drawn to the area by the Kanei-ji temple complex, one of the oldest in the country. A ritual that was repeated in Yokohama, where Grigolo, immortalized in dozens of selfies, received bandanas, flags and hats as gifts.


Sofia Coppola’s debut of La Traviata at Costanzi in 2016 boasted Hollywood audiences with Keira Knightley, Monica Bellucci, Kim Kardashian and father Francis Coppola. And since then, the blockbuster has continued its triumphant march: 45 performances in Rome and on tour, record box office receipts and recognition. And also Tosca, which next season will be revived by maestro Mariotti, who debuted it right here in Tokyo, with a deep and accurate rereading. The operation is also a collaboration with the legendary Nbs. Sasaki, patron-producer, now deceased, personal friend of world stars (Master Kleiber was often his guest), founder of the Tokyo Ballet. And it is held in the most representative theaters of the city: Bunka Kaikan, built in 1961 in honor of the 500th anniversary of the birth of the eastern capital, where the baton is passed on by the orchestras of La Scala, Covent Garden, Chicago or Berliner, and which is now occupied by the scenography developed for Costanzi star of Hollywood studios Nathan Crowley. And Kanagawa Kenmin Hall, an international event venue where King Crimson, Alanis Morisette and Diana Ross have performed.

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