The artistic activity of the Maggio begins on 30 and 31 August 2020 with two important and significant performances of Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem Mass directed by Zubin Mehta in the Piazza della Signoria in Florence and continues for 11 consecutive months (8 months of the season and 3 months of the Festival) which see a succession of stars from the world music scene including Zubin Mehta, honorary director for life of the Maggio, our former musical director Riccardo Muti, and the exceptional presence of James Levine. Other guests include, in alphabetical order, the conductors, Marco Armiliato, Paolo Carignani, Myung-Whun Chung, James Conlon, Christoph von Dohnányi, Christoph Eschenbach, Adam Fischer, Riccardo Frizza, Daniele Gatti, Manfred Honeck, Eliahu Inbal, Ingo Metzmacher, Gianandrea Noseda and Lahav Shani; among the voices Elīna Garanča, Ekaterina Gubanova, Edita Gruberová, Saioa Hernández, Anna Netrebko, Jessica Pratt, Marina Rebeka, Carmela Remigio, Maria Josè Siri, Krassimira Stoyanova, Sonja Yoncheva, Vittoria Yeo, Nicola Alaimo, Marcelo Álvarez, Roberto Aronica, Placido Domingo, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Thomas Hampson, Francesco Meli, Leo Nucci, Michele Pertusi, Luca Salsi, Fabio Sartori, Michael Spyres, Ludovic Tézier, Michael Volle; recitals by Michael Barenboim, Rudolf Buchbinder, Amanda Forsyth, Maurizio Pollini, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Pinchas Zukerman; and stage directors Roberto Andò, Sven Erich Bechtolf, Valerio Binasco, Robert Carsen, Jurgen Flimm, Denis Krief, Cesare Lievi, Davide Livermore, Damiano Michieletto, Chiara Muti, Carlus Padrissa, and Pier Luigi Pizzi.
Florence, 6 July 2020 – Eleven months of uninterrupted programming, beginning in late August 2020 to the end of July 2021. Ten opera titles in the season and 6 during the Festival (of which 12 are new productions), more than 40 symphonic concerts (between the season and the festival) and five operas for children (with 32 performances dedicated to them) bringing the opera productions to a total of 21, numerous recitals, a ballet and tours in Italy and abroad for a total of over 160 days of performances.
The Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino opens with great momentum after the summer break and the even longer lockdown offering its audience a rich season that begins solemnly and significantly with a tribute to the victims of the pandemic on August 30, 2020 with the first of two performances of Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem Mass (second concert on August 31) conducted by Zubin Mehta with a cast of outstanding solo voices in the Piazza della Signoria in Florence and continues through the Festival del Maggio, which opens on April 24, with a an equally intense and rich program for the following three months until July 30, 2021. It begins with an immediate intensity, offering a clear sign of optimism to the public. The Maggio looks to the future by proposing a program of the highest quality and profile including artists of the greatest stature and celebrity.
Zubin Mehta, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino’s honorary director for life, during the recent weeks of the reopening of the Theatre after the closure due to the pandemic, has dedicated himself to the recovery by directing the integral cycle of the symphonies of Franz Schubert. He has accepted the proposal of the superintendent Alexander Pereira to follow the auditions for Orchestra professors, an ensemble to which, together with the Chorus, he has a very strong reciprocal relationship, as with “his” theatre and the city of Florence. The Maestro enjoys the affection and esteem of everyone; he is an artist whose stature, example, strength, and his human qualities make him a focal and fundamental part of the life of the Maggio as the fatherly guide of our theatre. His kindness and friendship towards the Maggio will allow the Superintendent to calmly continue the search for a new musical director knowing that he can always rely on the closeness and collaboration of Zubin Mehta.
The Maestro will count numerous presences on the podium between the season and the Festival for concerts and operas, beginning at the end of August 2020 with the Maggio in Piazza della Signoria with the solemnity of two performances of Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem Mass with the outstanding world-famous solo voices of the soprano Krassimira Stoyanova, the elegant mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča, the great Francesco Meli, tenor and and the international star Ildar Abdrazakov, bass. He will conduct three opera productions: the highly anticipated Othello (from November 27 to December 19), Cosi fan tutte (from March 28 to April 11, 2021), and La Forza del Destino (from June 4 to 20, 2021) and numerous symphonic events including the integral of Beethoven’s symphonies, the completion of the Schubert cycle, and a Brahms cycle.
Lyric programming and ballet 2020/2021
The operatic curtain rises on the 2020/2021 lyric season of the Teatro del Maggio on September 7 with Georg Friedrich Händel’s Rinaldo (other performances 9, 10 and 13 September) in a newly staged co-production with the Fondazione Teatro La Fenice in Venice. The opera, which has never been offered during the programming of the Maggio, should have been performed between the end of March and the beginning of April as the final title of the season but was canceled because of the lockdown. Rinaldo, the first work composed by Händel’s for the London public, was based on a libretto by Giacomo Rossi, liberally based on an episode of Torquato Tasso’s “Jerusalem freed”, was first performed on February 24, 1711 at the Queen’s Theatre. In Florence it will be presented in the fantastic and now historic staging of Pier Luigi Pizzi (on the occasion of the great director and set designer’s 90th birthday) and offers some of the best known pages of Händel’s including “Cara sposa”, sung by the protagonist in the first act and “Lascia ch’io pianga” intoned by Almirena in the second act. The opera is conducted by the recognised baroque specialist Federico Maria Sardelli; the protagonists are all highly experienced artists: Raffaele Pe, Leonardo Cortellazzi, Carmela Remigio, Francesca Aspromonte, Andrea Patucelli and William Corrò.
On September 22 the season continues with La Rondine by Giacomo Puccini on a libretto by Giuseppe Adami (other performances on 25, 27 and 29 September), a title that the Teatro del Maggio has “rediscovered” in recent times and brought to the attention of the public. The work, in the staging of the Teatro del Maggio with the direction of Denis Krief, will be conducted by Marco Armiliato. The role of Magda will be performed by Ailyn Pérez, the famous American soprano who after La Scala, the Metropolitan, Covent Garden, makes her debut in Florence, along with Roberto Aronica as Ruggero, Roberta Mameli as Lisette, and Francesco Castoro as Prunier.
The third title on the program is Giuseppe Verdi’s Nabucco in the production from the Teatro Lirico of Cagliari (October 4, 7, 10 and 13) already seen in recently in Florence. Verdi’s famous opera, directed by Leo Muscato, will see opera superstars like Placido Domingo on the stage as Nabucco in a greatly anticipated return to Florence, Fabio Sartori as Ishmael and Maria Josè Siri in her debut as Abigaille. Other interpreters include the bass Alexander Vonogradov as Zaccaria, a regular guest on the stages of the Bolshoi, Berlin Staatsoper, Paris Opera and La Scala, and the young mezzo-soprano Caterina Piva in her debut as Fenena and who will return during the season as Emilia in Otello and as Maddalena in Rigoletto. The conductor will be Paolo Carignani, formerly the musical director of the Frankfurt Opera and currently present in the playbills of the Staatsoper of Vienna, of Munich, the Deutsche Oper and the Staatsoper Berlin, at the Metropolitan of New York, at the Gran Teatre de Liceu in Barcelona, at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, at the Concertgebouw and Opera Theater in Amsterdam and at the Bastille in Paris.
The Barbiere di Siviglia by Gioachino Rossini returns on October 23 (other performances on 25, 27 and 29) in the now classic Maggio production by Damiano Michieletto. The Orchestra del Maggio will be conducted by the young conductor Michele Gamba, while the protagonists will be the captivating Russian mezzo-soprano Vasilisa Berzhanskaya as Rosina, already under contract with opera houses such as Covent Garden, the Wiener Staatsoper, the Paris Opera, and Massimo Cavalletti as Figaro, Fabio Capitanucci as Don Bartolo and Ruzil Gatin, the recent star of the Spoleto Festival, debuts as Count d’Almaviva.
The first new production of the 2020/2021 season is Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly which opens on November 12 (other performances on November 15, 23, 26, 28 and December 1) with the stage direction of Chiara Muti. The Chorus and Orchestra of the Maggio will be conducted by Francesco Ivan Ciampa and will see the talented Vittoria Yeo play Cio Cio San, in the role of Pinkerton Sergej Skorokhodov, one of the tenors favored by Valery Gergiev and a true star of the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Annalisa Stroppa as Suzuki, and Alessandro Luongo will be Sharpless.
Giuseppe Verdi’s highly anticipated Otello will open on November 27 after being cancelled during the Festival this past spring due to the lockdown. On the podium, conducting the Orchestra del Maggio will be Maestro Zubin Mehta. Three absolute debuts in the main roles: Fabio Sartori after much anticipation as Otello, Marina Rebeka, the acclaimed Latvian soprano and guest on the most important international stages, as Desdemona and Ludovic Tézier the French superstar baritone, as the perfidious Jago. The opera, which marks the apex of the exceptional creative parable of the master from Busseto (triumphantly debuted at the Teatro alla Scala on February 5, 1887) returns to the bill in Florence in a new production directed by the actor and film director Valerio Binasco (who made his operatic staging debut at the Maggio in May 2018 with Cardillac by Paul Hindemith, the opening title of the 81st edition of the Festival). Repeat performances are scheduled for November 30, and December 3, 6, 15, 19.
Another opera never before performed at the Teatro del Maggio, Linda di Chamounix by Gaetano Donizetti, will open on December 23 (repeat performances: December 27 and 29; January 3, 5 and 10), in a new production that bears the signature of the director Cesare Lievi. The musical direction is entrusted to Michele Gamba, considered one of the most promising young Italians, who has already collected successes and appreciation at La Scala and was assistant to Daniel Barenboim and Antonio Pappano. The cast comprises virtuosi bel canto singers with the queen of bel canto Jessica Pratt in the title role of Linda. Francesco Demuro sings the role of Carlo and in the role of the Prefect a much anticipated return to Florence by the imposing bass Michele Pertusi.
Dance will return in the upcoming season and on December 30th (other performances: January 4, 8, 9 and 14, 2021) a ballet at the Teatro Goldoni is on the bill: a new production with choreography by Massimiliano Volpini and the dancers of the New Ballet of ToscanA (directed by Cristina Bozzolini), performed to chamber music by Franz Schubert and Anton von Webern played by a chamber formation of the Maggio Orchestra. Playing chamber music is of great interest to the orchestra musicians as it represents a reason for study and enhancement of their profession and a type of music to which they cannot often dedicate themselves. The new idea of creating ballets on chamber music therefore favours both the small orchestral ensembles of the Orchestra del Maggio and allows choreographers to create new and interesting projects on music for quartets, quintets and piano sonatas.
Maestro Marco Armiliato has the honour to close 2020 and toast the New Year with the extraordinary concert, a Verdi Gala on December 31, in which the exceptional voices of Saioa Hernández, Marcelo Álvarez, Ludovic Tézier and Ferruccio Furlanetto join forces with the Chorus and the Orchestra del Maggio.
Hector Berlioz’s La damnation de Faust will be performed in concert form on 11, 13 and 16 January, with the extraordinary presence on the podium of James Levine. The American conductor of international fame was director of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra of New York for 41 years, who with his presence in the Maggio marks his return to the podium. In Europe he has conducted only a few prestigious orchestras such as the Wiener Philharmoniker, the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Philharmonia Orchestra of London, the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden and at the Bayreuth Festival and this will mark his absolute conducting debut of an Italian orchestra. Michael Spyres as Faust leads the cast of La damnation, already heard in the role in a recording with Joyce di Donato and in Benvenuto Cellini with Sir John Eliot Gardiner, and is recognised worldwide as one of the greatest interpreters of Berlioz. Marianne Crebassa the renowned French mezzo-soprano, well-known to audiences at the Opéra di Parigi, the Salzburg Festival, the Wiener Staatsoper the Teatro alla Scala, and at the Metropolitan, will be Marguérite and makes her debut at the Maggio. Long absent from the Florentine stage, the great Ferruccio Furlanetto returns in the diabolical role of Mephistopheles. In addition to La Damnation de Faust, James Levine will conduct two important symphonic concerts with Johannes Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem on January 17 and the last three symphonies by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart on the 21st.
On February 21st, Davide Livermore, affirmed opera director known, among others, for his recent success of Tosca for the inauguration the 2019 season at the Teatro alla Scala, designs the new staging of Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto (repeats on 23, 26 and 28, March 3 and 7) with Maestro Riccardo Frizza on the podium. One of the most important Italian conductors, he is the musical director of the Donizetti Festival and works regularly at the Metropolitan, in Monaco, at Covent Garden and now finally returns after a some years to Florence to direct the Chorus and the Orchestra del Maggio in this Verdi opera. The extraordinary baritone Leo Nucci appears in the role of Rigoletto, one of the roles most congenial to him which he has played more than 550 times in 46 years of career in theatres all over the world. Joining him are the award-winning American tenor Renè Barbera as the Duke of Mantua and the soprano Enkeleda Kamani in the role of Gilda, who recently appeared in the role alongside Nucci at La Scala to great personal success.
The final opera scheduled during the 2020/2021 season is Cosi fan tutte, by the maestro of Salzburg, proposed from March 28 (other performances April 1,6, 8 and 11) in a new production of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino with maestro Zubin Mehta on the podium. The stage direction is entrusted to Sven Erich Bechtolf, who has successfully touched all aspects of the theatrical experience during his career as both a theatrical and film actor, prose and opera director, making his Florentine debut. The creative staff also includes Julian Crouch (nominated for the Tony Award, winner of the Drama Desk Award and the Lawrence Olivier Award) as the scene designer and Kevin Pollard for the costumes. Both winners of an Abbiati award in 2018, they often collaborate with Bechtolf and have produced shows for La Scala and for the Staatsoper Unter der Linden in Berlin. Among the performers: the soprano Valentina Naforniţă, who from the Wiener Staatsoper has taken flight by establishing herself in the most important European theatres, now making her debut in Florence as Fiordiligi, Gaëlle Arquez mezzo-soprano, a rising name in the lyrical star system and recently triumphant in Bregenz as Carmen, will be Dorabella; the new celebrity among American tenors Matthew Swensen as Ferrando; the highly acclaimed Mattia Olivieri as Guglielmo; Benedetta Torre (already heard at the Maggio in Paisiello’s Missa Defunctorum conducted by Riccardo Muti), as Despina and the charismatic Thomas Hampson as the wise philosopher Don Alfonso.
Symphonic season 2020/2021
The long and articulated concert season begins on September 12 when maestro Daniele Gatti will take the podium with a program of mostly twentieth century works for a symphonic/choral concert with music by Stravinsky, Maderna, Hindemith and Bach.
On October 11 is the appointment with the celebrated Israeli conductor Eliahu Inbal, considered one of the most important specialists of the music Mahler, Bruckner and Šostakovič. Trained in Jerusalem, Paris, Hilversum and Siena, along with (among others) Olivier Messiaen and Sergiu Celibidache, he will lead the Orchestra in the Fifth Symphony of Anton Bruckner.
Adam Fischer, the highly-regarded Mozartian specialist, will be the conductor and piano soloist in a program of compositions by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Franz Joseph Haydn on October 15.
October 22 will be the first appointment of the highly anticipated Beethoven cycle (for the celebrations of 250 years since the birth of the composer) that Maestro Mehta should have directed during the May Festival of this year. The first concert of the integral cycle will see the conductor lead the Orchestra del Maggio in the Symphonies n.1, n. 2 and n. 4, followed on October 28 by the Symphony n.7 (together with Symphony n. 2 D125 of Franz Schubert and Kammersymphonie n.9 of Schönberg), and on October 31 the Symphonies n. 3 and n. 5. Continuing in November, on the 25th Mehta will lead the Symphony n. 6 (together with the Symphony n.1 by Franz Schubert and the Five pieces for Orchestra op.16 by Arnold Schönberg), and on December 5 the Symphonies n. 8 and n. 9, with the solo voices of Genia Kühmeier, Marie-Claude Chappuis, Micheal Koenig and Thomas Hampson. This concert also includes the first absolute performance of Prometeo, o il tacere, for chorus and orchestra by Salvatore Sciarrino. This work was specifically commissioned by the Maggio for the period March-May 2020, during the lockdown and funded thanks to Enel.
On December 11, Lorenza Borrani, appears as maestro concertatore with the Orchestra del Maggio, at the Teatro Goldoni in a program with music by Haydn, Ades and Schubert.
Manfred Honeck, the principal conductor of the Pittsburg Orchestra, one of the most important American ensembles, joins the Orchestra and Chorus of the Maggio on December 22 with the Symphony n. 93 in D major by Haydn, James McMillan’s Miserere and Haydn’s Missa in tempore belli.
In the new year on January 17 and 21, following the performances of Hector Berlioz’s La damnation de Faust in concert form, James Levine will remain in Florence for two concerts which will see him conducting the Orchestra in the monumental Ein deutsches Requiem by Johannes Brahms on January 17 with the solo voices of Hanna-Elisabeth Müller, one of the most refined interpreters not only of the concert repertoire, and Thomas Hampson,
one of the most celebrated baritones on the world scene. On the evening of January 21 he will direct Mozart’s last three Symphonies n.39, n.40 and n.41. Levine is recognised as one of the greatest interpreters of Mozart in the world.
The young conductor Lahav Shani will take the podium of the Orchestra del Maggio on January 26. The Israeli conductor was a pupil of Zubin Mehta and is currently his successor at the helm of the Israel Philarmonic Orchestra.
The highly anticipated Christoph von Dohnányi, the acclaimed conductor of the great German and romantic repertoire will propose to the public Charles Ives’ The unanswered question, the Double concert for flute, oboe and orchestra by György Ligeti and Symphony n.6 by Pëtr Il’ič Čajkovskij on May 20.
James Conlon, director of the Rai National Symphony Orchestra, will return to Florence on February 27 to conduct the Orchestra del Maggio in two symphonies by Antonín Dvořák, n. 5 in F major, Op. 76, B. 54 and the romantic n. 7 in D minor, Op. 70, B. 141.
Maestro Zubin Mehta returns on March 6 for a concert of compositions by Schönberg, Mozart and Mendelssohn which will see Rudolf Buchbinder on the piano.
On March 14, the internationally renowned conductor Ingo Metzmacher, who’s versatility ranges from classic to contemporary repertoire, will conduct the Orchestra in Anton Bruckner’s Symphony n.8.
The symphonic season continues with Maestro Mehta who will propose Symphony n. 3 in C major D 200 by Franz Schubert, the Violin Concerto by Ludwig van Beethoven with the soloist Vilde Frang, and I pini di Roma by Ottorino Respighi.
The finale of the symphonic calendar on April 15 is entrusted to Christoph Eschenbach, the great pianist and conductor regularly present with the most important orchestras and musical institutions in the world from Vienna, Paris, London, Munich, New York, with a program that includes the Symphony n .49 “La Passione” and the Concerto for cello and orchestra in C major by Haydn, with cellist Bruno Philippe and the Symphony n. 5 op. 107 “Reformation” by Felix Mendelssohn.
Non-subscription and extraordinary concerts
The rich programming of non-subscription and extraordinary concerts proposed by the Maggio Fiorentino for 2020-2021 bring many events and great names of international acclaim. On August 30 and 31, the two important and very significant choral symphonic concerts have already been mentioned: Maestro Zubin Mehta will conduct the solemn Messa da Requiem by Giuseppe Verdi, in the Piazza della Signoria; the solo voices will be outstanding: Krassimira Stoyanova, Elina Garanca, Francesco Meli and Ildar Abdrazakov.
On October 6th in the sumptuous Sala of the Cinquecento in Palazzo Vecchio, Zubin Mehta will direct Die Schopfung, (The Creation) by Franz Joseph Haydn. The soloists will be Hanna-Elisabeth Müller, Patrick Grahl, and Michael Volle. The concert, which was scheduled for last March, has been postponed twice due to the impossibility of performing concerts in public due to the pandemic, and has been reprogrammed in order to celebrate Maestro Mehta fifty years after his debut at the Festival of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.
On September 18th, Maurizio Pollini finally returns to the stage of the Maggio in a very special concert realised in co-production with the Amici della Musica Firenze in a program with music by Brahms, Schönberg, and Beethoven.
On October 3 the spotlights of the theatre and the attention of the public will be focused on the highly anticipated concert of the great soprano Edita Gruberová who, accompanied on the piano by Peter Valentinovic, will offer a program with music by Strauss, Dvorak, Rachmaninov, Donizetti and Bellini.
On October 24 at the Teatro Goldoni, Veronica Simeoni’s recital will be repeated and she will present the CD recorded for the series “Maggio Live” with songs by Hahn, Berlioz, Massenet, Donizetti and Saint-Saëns. Veronica Simeoni will be accompanied on the piano by Michele D’Elia and the concert will be followed by a discussion with the public with the reflections of the music critics Elvio Giudici, Alberto Mattioli and Jorge Binaghi.
On November 9, Zubin Mehta leads the Italian Youth Orchestra, renewing his attention and sensitivity towards young artists, in the Ouverture from Rienzi by Richard Wagner followed by the pianist Andrea Lucchesini in the Concerto for piano and orchestra in A minor op. 54 by Robert Schumann and the Symphony n. 9 ‘From the new world’ by Antonín Dvořák.
On November 11 the Maggio Children’s Chorus directed by Lorenzo Fratini will perform numbers from famous operas: Turandot, Madama Butterfly, Gianni Schicchi, Nabucco, Armida, Carmen, reworked for the children’s choir, and more compositions by Strauss jr, Britten, Chilcott, Rutter and Lightfoot expressly written for children’s chorus.
As part of the cycle dedicated to the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven, including the integral of the symphonic cycle conducted by Zubin Mehta, a double appointment is proposed organised in co-production with the Amici della Musica Firenze scheduled on December 9 and 10 which will see Rudolf Buchbinder, conductor and pianist, conducting and soloing with the Italian Youth Orchestra, once again a guest at the Maggio, in the complete concertos for piano and orchestra by the German composer.
The traditional and much-loved Christmas Concert will be held on December 14th, conducted by Lorenzo Fratini and Samuele Zagara with the Ensemble Astrolabio and the Maggio Children’s Chorus.
On March 2, 2021, in another non-subscription concert, the violinist Michael Barenboim will conduct the Michael Barenboim & West-Eastern Divan Ensemble in the Rondo in A major, D. 438 by Franz Schubert, Jawb by Benjamin Attahir, the Sonata n. 3 BWV 1005 in C major by Johann Sebastian Bach and the Octet in E flat major Op. 20 by Felix Mendelssohn.
The 83rd edition of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Festival
Six operas (all new productions) and twelve symphonic and concert events, are the structure that make up the next edition of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Festival which will be held from April 24 through July 30, 2021. The Festival will keep the number 83 (and not 84 as it should have been in 2021) given that the 2020 festival could not be realised.
The title that opens the festival on April 24 is Adriana Lecouvreur by Francesco Cilea (repeat performances April 27, 30; May 3 and 6) with the stage direction of Jürgen Flimm and a cast that sees Fabio Sartori in the role of Maurizio Count of Saxony, Nicola Alaimo as Michonnet, Maria Josè Siri in her debut as Adriana Lecouvreur and the most famous Russian mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Gubanova as the Princess of Bouillon.
At the Teatro Goldoni on May 20 (repeated on May 23, 25 and 26) will be the premiere of Jeanne Dark, a work commissioned by the Teatro del Maggio to the composer Fabio Vacchi, inspired by the life of Joan of Arc. The opera was originally programmed as part of the 2020 Festival, with Valentino Villa directing and Maestro Alessandro Cadario conducting the ContempoArtEnsamble. The cast includes Elia Schilton, Alexia Voulgaridou, Roberta Mameli, Manuel Amati, Paolo Antognetti, Leonardo Cortellazzi, Giovan Battista Parodi, Gianluca Margheri and Carlo Cigni.
The stage direction of the third scheduled title, La Forza del Destino by Giuseppe Verdi, is entrusted to Carlus Padrissa, the great innovator and founder of the company La Fura dels Baus. The Verdi masterpiece, to be conducted by Zubin Mehta, renews the very successful collaboration and great harmony between Mehta and Padrissa after their resounding success in the production of Richard Wagner’s Tetralogy, which remains among the milestones in the history of the Maggio Fiorentino,.
This new production of Forza will be staged on June 4, 7, 10, 16 and 20, 2021 and include among the interpreters the brilliant Saioa Hernández, Amartuvshin Enknbat who debuts at the Maggio, and again Roberto Aronica and Ferruccio Furlanetto.
On June 28th (other performances June 30, July 3 and 8) the Teatro della Pergola will host a tribute to Baroque music with Claudio Monteverdi’s Il ritorno di Ulisse in patria, in a new staging by Robert Carsen, a recent winner of the Abbiati 2020 Award, which will see Maestro Ottavio Dantone conduct the Orchestra del Maggio and the Academia Bizantina. Among the performers is Delphine Galou as Penelope.
The fifth title scheduled for the Festival is Siberia by Umberto Giordano, a rarity never before presented at the Maggio. Composed in the early years of the twentieth century, the opera was the composer’s favorite among his works and opens at the Teatro del Maggio for the first time ever on July 7 (repeat performances on July 10, 13, 16 and 24). This new production will be staged by Roberto Andò, a director, screenwriter, playwright and author and the acclaimed conductor Gianandrea Noseda will make his operatic debut at the Maggio Fiorentino. The cast brings together first-rate stars such as the soprano Sonja Yoncheva (Stephana) who will confront one of the most impervious roles and some of the most arduous arias in the entire verismo soprano repertoire, the tenor Arsen Soghomonyan (Vassili) in an equally demanding role and the Lucchese baritone Gabriele Viviani (Gleby).
The Maggio is honoured to celebrate the eightieth birthday of Maestro Riccardo Muti for the finale of the festival. On the evening of his birthday, July 28th, Muti will be on the podium to direct one of the most beloved operas of which he is one of the greatest interpreters of all time, Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. This extraordinary Don Giovanni will premier on July 21 (repeat performances on July 23, 26, 28 and 30) in a new production in co-production with the Teatro San Carlo di Napoli with the stage direction of Chiara Muti and the musical direction of the great Maestro. In the cast are Luca Micheletti, known in Florence for his recent dazzling Rigoletto and some of the most prominent singers of the Mozart repertoire including Alessandro Luongo, Mandy Frederich, Mariangela Sicilia, Giovanni Sala, Fatma Said and Vittorio Prato.
Daniele Gatti, who inaugurates the 2020/2021 symphonic season on September 12, 2020, will open the symphonic program of the 83rd Festival on 26 April, 2021 with a performance of Le Roi des étoiles and Symphonie de Psaumes by Igor Stravinskij, Tod und Verklärung, Op. 24 by Richard Strauss and the Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde by Richard Wagner.
Myung-Whun Chung returns to Florence to conduct two Mahler concerts on May 5 with the Symphony n.3 with the contralto Gerhild Romberger and on May 9 with the Symphony n. 9. Riccardo Muti takes the Florentine podium on May 10 for an extraordinary concert with the Wiener Philarmoniker, among the most famous and prestigious orchestras in the world, performing Felix Mendelssohn’s Meeresstille und glückliche Farht, Robert Schumann’s Symphony No. 4 and Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 2. The concert is realized thanks to the support of Rolex.
Maestro Zubin Mehta will be engaged with the Orchestra del Maggio in the “Brahms Cycle” on June 8, 12, 18 and July 6 in the execution of the four symphonies: n. 1 in C minor Op. 68, n. 2 in D major Op. 73, n. 3 in F major Op. 90, n. 4 in E minor Op. 98, to be presented in the chronological order of composition. With maestro Mehta will appear the soloists Pinchas Zukerman, violin (8 and 12 June) and Amanda Forsyth, cello (12 June). The integral of the Brahms symphonic cycle will include the great concertos for solo instruments and orchestra such as the violin concerto, the violin and cello concerto and the two piano concertos.
The recital of violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann is scheduled for June 20 at the Teatro della Pergola, with Martin Helmchen on the piano for a performance of the Sonata n. 2 op. 100, the Sonata n. 2 op 120, Sonata n.3 op 108 for violin and piano by Johannes Brahms, and the Sonata n.2 Sz 76 by Béla Bartók for violin and piano.
On June 27 the spotlight will be on the celebrated soprano Anna Netrebko who will grace the stage of the Teatro del Maggio as the protagonist of a Verdi concert with the Maggio Orchestra, Marco Armiliato conducting.
A May project is also being studied with the LNDF company “The Marriage of Figaro” for an extraordinary concert that can be held on the “unprecedented” stage of the Visarno Arena, in the context of Firenze Rocks.
Children’s Maggio 2020/2021
The special attention to the younger audience is confirmed for the next season, a feature that has always distinguished the Teatro del Maggio and continues to strengthen with more proposals. There are in fact five titles, for a total of 32 performances, dedicated to children and teenagers in the 2020/2021 season, giving the very young the opportunity to appreciate some of the masterpieces of opera tailored to be easily understood and enjoyed by this little but large audience.
On October 23 (other performances October 24, 25, 29 and 30) L’elisir d’amore per bambini returns in a reduction of Gaetano Donizetti’s masterpiece in a production of the Teatro alla Scala redesigned for the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. This edition of L’elisir for very young spectators (abbreviated by Alexander Krampe) preserves the patrimony of catchy melodies, sometimes brilliant, then melancholic for which the work is known all over the world. The staging is by Grisha Asagaroff and Gianna Fratta will conduct the Italian Youth Orchestra and the soloists of the Accademia del Maggio.
Dedicated to the schools at the Teatro Goldoni in November (19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25 and 26), the curtain opens on Cosi fan tutti! L’amore e’ un gioco – in the absolute first representation and in co-production with Venti Lucenti. Taken from the famous title of the Mozart-Da Ponte trilogy in a new Maggio production with the direction of Manu Lalli and the soloists of the Accademia del Maggio, this anticipates the production ‘for grownups’ of Cosi fan tutte which will be produced on the main stage in late March 2021 under the direction of Zubin Mehta and staged by Sven Erich Bechtolf. The adaptation and original music are by Luca Giovanni Logi. On stage In December (9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 15) is the amusing The (van) Beethoven game which involves the youngest audience members in the discovery of the repertoire of the German composer, directed by Manu Lalli in a production of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.
The first appointment dedicated to children in 2021 will be La Cenerentola per bambini by Gioachino Rossini, in a production of the Teatro alla Scala with the direction of Ulrich Peter featuring on stage the Artists of the Accademia del Maggio, opening in Florence on February 25 (other performances March 2, 4 and 5). The final offering for children beginning on March 30th (other performances on March 31 and April 2) is La principessa di gelo, a new production under the direction of Manu Lalli (it had been scheduled for this past spring) inspired by Giacomo Puccini’s Turandot and in co-production with Venti Lucenti.
L’elisir d’amore per bambini and La Cenerentola per bambini are made possible by the support of the Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze Foundation.
The shows in co-production with Venti Lucenti are realized in collaboration with the l’Accademia del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and with the support of the Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze Foundation and the contribution of the Department of Education of the Municipality of Florence.
There will also be numerous off-site appointments of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino which is a prestigious testimony of Italian musical culture both in our country and abroad. Due to the importance and exceptional nature of many of these international occasions and collaborations and in relation to the other promoters, the news relating to the tours will be communicated in the near future.
The Teatro del Maggio would like to thank the Public Founding Members, and the Private Partners Fondazione CR Firenze, Intesa SanPaolo, Enel for their support; Baker Huges, Allianz, Kuehne + Nagel, Gucci, Publiacqua, Toscana Airports, Unicoop Firenze, Salvatore Ferragamo, Toscana Energia, University of Florence, Pitti Immagine, Rolex.
Thanks also go to the patrons of companies and private patrons, to supporters, to merits, to members, junior members, members, corporate members. Thanks to all subscribers and the public. Thanks to the Amici del Maggio.