LIVE RECORDING FROM
THE SFERISTERIO OPERA FESTIVAL, MACERATA 2004
Francesca DANIELA DESSÌ
Paolo “il bello” FABIO ARMILIATO
Samaritana GIACINTA NICOTRA
Giovanni ALBERTO MASTROMARINO
CORO LIRICO MARCHIGIANO “V. BELLINI”
ORCHESTRA FILARMONICA MARCHIGIANA
Conducted by MAURIZIO BARBACINI
Stage Direction, Set Design
and Costumes by MASSIMO GASPARON
Zandonai’s most popular creation “Francesca da Rimini” was commemorated in Macerata, the provincial capital of the northern Italian region of Marche, in 2004.
Massimo Gasparon (former assistant to the celebrated scenographer Pier Luigi
Pizzi) was responsible for the direction, set and costumes of this production for the Sferisterio Opera Festival. With its all-star cast including Daniela Dessì and Fabio Armiliato as the passionate lovers (the singers are regarded as two of the leading interpreters of Italian soprano and tenor roles respectively, both hail from Genoa and are in fact also real-life partners) and the baritone Alberto Mastromarino as the ideal “villain”, the production follows in a long line of signifi cant post-war performances of Francesca da Rimini.
The Sferisterio – a 4,500-seat arena originally used as a venue for the traditional ballgame gioco del bracciale (a game played with spiked arm protectors and a heavy wooden ball) – was built between 1819 and 1829; since 1921 it has been home to the annual opera festival held in late July/early August.
As has come to be associated with staged events in Verona, the representative open-air nature of the performance turns this lavishly costumed production in a historic setting into something out of the ordinary.
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