Opera and Ballet Season 2019-2020

The 2019-2020 Opera and Ballet Season at Teatro Regio is one of the richest and busiest ever, boasting a good 17 works, including 7 new productions. A packed and exciting musical journey  awaits, ranging from opera in the French tradition to the great Italian repertoire, from Singspiel to sacred music, from ballet to musicals. Once again this year there will be an exceptional Guest Star: Roberto Bolle with his extraordinary Friends. This bounteous offer presents the best of the history of opera without losing the courage to explore, offering to the audience the most popular work, along with some more hidden gems. It is a wager on the artistic and technical capacities of our Theatre and on the audience's desire to discover new productions, new works - including an absolute first in Italy – and new performers. This Season is inspired by one of the most precious values we have: the ability to combine repertoire with innovation and tradition with creativity, two inseparable aspects in art, theatre and music.

The Season opens with a challenge: The Pearl Fishers (Les Pêcheurs de perles) by Georges Bizet and Tosca by Giacomo Puccini, two very different works and both not to be missed, alternating on the stage, bringing together the best of musical theatre and technical and artistic commitment.

Bizet's The Pearl Fishers will open the Season on 3 October. A work that has not been seen in Turin for a good 60 years, it is now considered Bizet's first success, written when he was just twenty-five years old. It is an ambitious work both for its sonority and for the vocal commitment required from the singers; at the Regio, the tormented love and friendship triangle between Leïla, Nadir and Zurga will be played by Hasmik Torosyan, Yaroslav Abaimov and Fabio Maria Capitanucci. Bizet's sensual and intense music will be enhanced by the new staging created by Julien Lubek and Cécile Roussat, a couple of French artists who have already charmed the Regio's audience, in 2015, with a wonderful Dido and Aeneas. Leading the Orchestra and Chorus will be the young American Ryan McAdams, a rising star in conducting. Bizet's opera will be staged from 3 to 20 October.

From 15 to 29 October one of the most popular works in the history of Italian opera will take to the stage, Tosca by Giacomo Puccini, in the sumptuous staging by Mario Pontiggia, with scenery and costumes by  Francesco Zito, who has received widespread acclaim at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and at Palermo's Teatro Massimo. The leading role goes to Anna Pirozzi, star of the triumphant Macbeth which won the Critics' prize on our 2017 Edinburgh. Mario Cavaradossi will be played by a true star: Marcelo Álvarez; Scarpia will be Roberto Frontali, a very charming artist. Daniel Oren, a highly regarded conductor of the Puccini and Verismo repertoire, will lead the Orchestra and Chorus at the Teatro Regio. 

A month entirely dedicated to dance follows, with The Taming of the Shrew to music by Dmitrij Šostakovič and Fuego to music by Manuel de Falla performed by the Regio Orchestra.
The first appointment is with great classical dance: from 6 to 10 November, the Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo dancers return to the Regio after almost 10 years, presenting The Taming of the Shrew with choreography by Jean-Christophe Maillot. A new work for the Turin stage, but very famous on the world scene; devised in 2014 for the Moscow Bolshoi, it won the Golden Mask as best ballet in 2015. Maillot aims to portray, rather than Shakespeare's comedy, the very nature of the characters, focusing on the extraordinary expressive effectiveness of the movements, contemporary in the performance but supported by impeccable classical technique, enhanced by the music of Šostakovič. The Teatro Regio Orchestra is conducted by Igor Dronov.
From 14 to 17 November it is the turn of the flamenco, with Fuego to music by Manuel de Falla taken to the stage by the Compañía Antonio Gades, a true legend of Andalusian dance, directed by Stella Arauzo. The choreography, a reinterpretation of El amor brujo by De Falla, presented for the first time in 1989, was created in homage to Gades' motto: “evolving by returning to tradition”; the movement takes strength from the sounds and the land of Andalusia, removing all the formalities of ballet to express itself fully in the irrepressible, tormented and passionate vitality of the flamenco. The subject, choreography and direction are by two sacred prodigies of Spanish culture, Antonio Gades and Carlos Saura, author, amongst other things, of two legendary dance films Blood Wedding and Carmen Story.

From 10 to 20 December, the Andalusian atmospheres return in the notes of Georges Bizet, with his absolute masterpiece Carmen. The direction by Stephen Medcalf – created for the Teatro Lirico of Cagliari – won him the Abbiati award in 2006. The scenery and costumes by Jamie Vartan transport the drama to the era of the Spanish Civil War, with rare realist effectiveness. Varduhi Abrahamyan, a Franco-Armenian mezzo-soprano, greatly appreciated for her full-bodied vocal range, will be Carmen; the Turin tenor Andrea Carè, with a splendidly colourful voice and extraordinary acting skills, will be Don José; Micaëla will be Salome Jicia who, since her debut at the Rossini Opera Festival in 2016, has conquered the audience of Italian music lovers; debuting in the role of Escamillo is Lucas Meachem, 2016 winner of the Emerging Star of the Year Award at the San Francisco Opera. The conductor will be Giacomo Sagripanti, winner of the 2016 International Opera Awards as young emerging conductor.

In line with tradition, the year ends in the name of beauty with the most famous solos and pas de deux in dance history in the Roberto Bolle and Friends Gala. The étoile Roberto Bolle is by now at home at the Regio for this not-to-be-missed end-of-year event which brings together the world's best dancers in an anthology of ballet from 29 to 31 December.

In January, another very popular work, The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, will take the stage from 15 to 24 January. The last theatrical work by the musical genius par excellence, composed just two months before his death, is impossible to label with a genre, having its own unique style and register: fairy tale, Masonic opera and story of love and of power. The Singspiel by Emanuel Schikaneder is a perfect mix of sublime and comic and never fails to charm, move and entertain the audience at every performance. This refined and essential show, created by the great Pier Luigi Pizzi, plays precisely on the contrast between Masonic symbolism and spontaneity of the natural world. At the forefront, representing this innocence, is the beloved character of Papageno who, to the delight of the Turin audience, will once again be played by Markus Werba, theatrically and musically perfect in this role. The cast includes the Australian soprano Kiandra Howarth, the young tenor Giovanni Sala, and Eleonora Bellocci in the role of Queen of the Night, all debuting at the Regio. Returning to the podium of the Regio's Orchestra and Chorus is the maestro Diego Fasolis, one of the protagonists of the great success of Agnese last March.

From 21 to 28 January the Teatro Regio stage hosts an absolute first for Italy, Violanta by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. The Austrian composer, an enfant prodige incisively defined by Mahler as “a musical genius”, lived in a crucial artistic and historical period, that of the early twentieth-century in the clash between late-Romantic and avant-garde music. Korngold, to escape Nazism, took refuge in the United States where he was able to reinvent himself, with a new, very fortunate career in Hollywood, becoming a film music pioneer. Violanta, a one-act opera in a Renaissance setting, composed by Korngold when he was just seventeen, was staged for the first time in 1916, conducted by Bruno Walter. For the first Italian production of the opera, a new performance will be staged, created by Pier Luigi Pizzi. Returning to the podium is Pinchas Steinberg, one of the world's most respected and appreciated orchestra conductors. 

In February, from 12 to 22, a cornerstone of Italian opera comes to the stage, which the Regio's spectators have not seen for more than twenty years: the first masterpiece by Giuseppe Verdi, Nabucco, in a new production by the Teatro Regio in co-production with Palermo's Teatro Massimo; Andrea Cigni is the director. A Risorgimento work par excellence, where the real star is the people of Israel, oppressed but firm in their perseverance, to whom choral pages are entrusted that have entered forever the heart of the audience since 1842. The big star will be Leo Nucci, a Verdi performer par excellence, who will alternate with the baritone Giovanni Meoni. The other solo parts will be played by Saioa Hernández, Riccardo Zanellato and Enkelejda Shkosa. Conducting the Orchestra and Chorus will be the expert and charismatic baton of Donato Renzetti.

After Verdi, the vein of Italian opera continues with the second Puccini work on the bill, La Bohème, from 11 to 22 March. Daniel Oren returns to the podium in his second engagement of the Season. Giacomo Puccini's most popular opera, which debuted precisely at the Regio on 1 February 1896, sanctioning its immortal success and that of its author, will be performed by a cast of fresh voices, very suited to the role, such as Dinara Alieva, Azerbaijani soprano debuting at the Regio, Fabio Sartori, Hasmik Torosyan and Massimo Cavalletti; on the stage we will see the new staging that combines the direction, by Paolo Gavazzeni and Piero Maranghi, with scenery and costumes taken from the original sketches and figurines by Adolf Hohenstein, designed for the 1896 Turin premiere.

From 8 to 19 April we return to France with Le damnation de Faust by Hector Berlioz. The author originally saw this work as a légende dramatique, not intended for the stage but to be performed in concert form; however, the powerful symbolic and theatrical charge of the composition, inspired by Goethe's drama, triggered - as early as the late nineteenth-century - its representation in stage form. The staging is a new co-production by the Teatro Regio with Rome's Teatro dell’Opera and Valencia's Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, created in the 150th year of the composer's death, with direction by Damiano Michieletto, scenery by Paolo Fantin and costumes by Carla Teti. Conducting the Orchestra and Chorus is Roland Böer, Artistic and Musical Director of the Montepulciano Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte, who continues to strengthen his artistic link with the Turin audience. Faust is played by John Osborn, 2017 winner of the Abbiati award for best tenor; Méphistophélès and Marguerite will be, respectively, the charismatic Alex Esposito and Veronica Simeoni.

This “profane oratorio” is followed by the monumental St Matthew Passion (Matthäus-Passion), on stage from 10 to 18 April, the most theatrical of the sacred compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach, where the evangelical narration becomes the engine of the protagonist dramatic action of the recitatives that link arias and choral music. Composed in 1727 as liturgical music, and “rediscovered” thanks to Mendelssohn who conducted extracts from it in Berlin in 1829, it is presented with a new staging with direction by Andrea Bernard and scenery by Paolo Fantin. The Teatro Regio Orchestra and Chorus will be led by Alessandro De Marchi, a reference figure for the baroque repertoire on the international music scene. Singing in the role of the Evangelist will be Ian Bostridge, one of the most refined opera and lieder performers. The other stars include: Roberta Mameli, Kathrin Wundsam, Carlo Allemano, Luca Tittoto and Nicola Ulivieri

In May, from 8 to 24, Don Pasquale by Gaetano Donizetti takes the stage. The comic opera is presented in the historical and much appreciated staging of the Regio created by Eugenio Guglielminetti and Ugo Gregoretti. A nineteenth-century Rome reproduced with lithographic suggestions acts as a background to the very lively comedy of misunderstandings, in which the whims of the beautiful Norina lead Don Pasquale to desperation. On stage will be a first-rate cast, with Paolo Bordogna, Maria Grazia Schiavo, Antonino Siragusa and Roberto de Candia. Conducting the Orchestra and Chorus is Francesco Ivan Ciampa, an emerging star trained under the guidance of Carlo Maria Giulini and Bruno Aprea.

On stage from 16 to 20 May is The Wizard of Oz by Pierangelo Valtinoni, an operatic version of Dorothy's famous adventure with her travelling companions: the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion. After the success of Pinocchio, this is another work created by the musician Pierangelo Valtinoni and by the librettist Paolo Madron; on stage a new production with direction by Luca Valentino and the amazing puppets of Claudio Cinelli. Just as the film with Judy Garland has enthused and united numerous generations all across the world, this evocative musical fairy tale will also engage both the adult audience and families, to whom three performances are dedicated, and school children, who may attend two performances. Created in 2016 at the Zurich Opera, by which it was commissioned, it will be staged at the Regio in interactive form, a formula able to conquer the audience of young and older spectators, while the stars will be young soloists selected for the occasion and the Chorus of children's voices of the Regio and the “G. Verdi” Conservatory. On the podium of the Orchestra and Chorus of the Regio will be the maestro Giulio Laguzzi.

From 9 to 21 June, another Verdi work, Simon Boccanegra, will take to the stage with an exceptional cast: Carlos Álvarez, Rebeka Lokar, Michele Pertusi, Roberto Aronica and Roberto de Candia. Pier Giorgio Morandi, an acclaimed conductor debuting at the Regio, leads the Orchestra and Chorus. Voices and baton of the highest rank for one of the most complex operas by Giuseppe Verdi, with its dark and evocative overtones, which gives up the classic love triangle in favour of an all-male drama, where fatherly love, devotion to the homeland and civil responsibility clash against the backdrop of the pictorial and refined setting by Sylvano Bussotti, presented successfully also on the 2016 Hong Kong tour.

On the bill from 13 to 20 June is another comic opera, an audience favourite, The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini. An uninterrupted success since 1816, it is enhanced here by one of the most appreciated, historical productions of the “Made in Regio”, with direction by Vittorio Borrelli, scenery by Claudia Boasso and costumes by Luisa Spinatelli. A cast of young talents will take to the stage: René Barbera, Chiara Amarù, Simone Del Savio and Marko Mimica. The podium of the Orchestra and Chorus will be filled by Matteo Beltrami.

This rich season will close with the now traditional musical event: from 30 June to 5 July, My Fair Lady by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe will take to the Regio stage for the first time. The musical, inspired by George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, became, in 1956, one of the longest-running successes, popularised by Julie Andrews and Rex Harrison with a good 2,717 encore performances in New York, 2,281 in London and the award of six Tony Awards. It was forever immortalised in the collective memory thanks to the Audrey Hepburn film of 1964. The show is created by Paul Curran, the scenery is by Gary McCann, costumes by Giusi Giustino and choreography by Kyle Lang. Leading the Orchestra and Chorus of the Regio is the maestro Timothy Brock

This Season involves a great commitment for the Regio teams: the Teatro Regio Orchestra will take part in 16 shows. The Teatro Regio Chorus led by Andrea Secchi will participate in all 14 opera productions. The Chorus of children's voices of the Teatro Regio and the “G. Verdi” Conservatory, trained by Claudio Fenoglio, will be on stage for a good 7 shows. The Teatro Regio Scenography Workshops will create 5 new productions.

The 2019-2020 Season presents two major innovations: a new website, designed and developed to simplify access to the contents offered to the public. The technological update, which facilitates better use by all devices, goes hand in hand with more immediate and direct communication and language. Current events are highlighted and harmonised with the rich programming at the Teatro, ranging from the Opera and Ballet Season to all proposals for young people and extra events. All services and offerings dedicated to individuals and companies are wide-ranging. In addition, the Teatro Regio has chosen a new way of communicating the Season's events, developing a story in pictures. This direct approach, a dialogue of glimpses starting from the guiding image, will accompany us throughout the Season, the result of the work by Sara Rambaldi. A Milanese artist, she studied Modern Literature at the Milan State University and attended the Brera Academy. She works as an illustrator and graphic designer and collaborates with the publishers Mondadori and Rcs. The second big innovation involves online ticketing: from this year, purchasing tickets and season tickets on the Teatro website, including renewals, will no longer entail additional costs. This will be involve significant saving, as well as the convenience of obtaining a seat at the Teatro with a quick click. Purchasing a season ticket at the Teatro Regio is even better value: depending on the chosen season ticket, discounts of up to 24% are available, peaking at 46% for the Young Under 30s season ticket and 65% for the Under 30s "Turno A". The Teatro Regio uses the app Satispay: tickets and season tickets can therefore be purchased directly from your smartphone. All season ticket holders will receive a free Regio Card, allowing for use of the services, discounts and conventions and replacing the traditional Carnet. 
Ordinary Season Tickets can be renewed from as early as Tuesday 25 June and until Saturday 20 July, while new season tickets can be purchased at the Ticket Office from Tuesday 27 August and online on the Regio website from Saturday 27 July. Special Season Tickets can be renewed from Tuesday 25 June and until Friday 6 September. 
From Saturday 29 June tickets are on sale for all performances of The Pearl Fishers, Tosca and Roberto Bolle and Friends and for the following performances: The Taming of the Shrew  (8 November at 2:30pm and 9 November at 8pm), Carmen (13, 17, 19 and 20 December) and The Magic Flute (17, 22 and 24 January). 
The Teatro Regio has become the partner of the Torino City Lab project, a City project aimed at strategically redesigning the support to local development by way of new technologies. The Regio will become a Tech Hub, or an experimentation field focused on Live Entertainment, a laboratory open to frontier innovation. The Teatro will therefore welcome a corollary of technological proposals involving three levels: multimedia, accessibility and artistic, with the aim of proposing a broad, widespread and inclusive offer. 
Seventeen works from October to July, a great technical and productive commitment, thanks to which, for a good 5 periods in the Season, two shows will alternate on the stage. A major cultural offering recognised by the support of the City of Turin, by the fundamental contribution of the Foundation's Members, now more present than ever, by the support of the Friends of the Regio and by the contribution of the numerous Companies that believe in the Teatro Regio.

For further information: www.teatroregio.torino.it.

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Press Office Teatro Regio
Communication and Press Department - Paola Giunti (Director), Sara Zago (Press Relations) - Tel. +39 011 8815 239/730