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Monday, November 30 2020 at 9.15 pm: “Otello” by Giuseppe Verdi, broadcasted by Rai Cultura on Rai 5

Florence, 23 November 2020 – The Maggio continues its programming by staging on November 30 Otello, by Giuseppe Verdi, the highly anticipated title of the Maggio Musicale Season in the new staging conducted by Zubin Mehta and directed by Valerio Binasco. The work will be broadcast by Rai Cultura on the Rai5 channel on November 30 at 9.15 pm. On the poster a cast of the highest order with the important and expected debuts in the roles of Fabio Sartori as Otello and Marina Rebeka as Desdemona. It is almost a debut, however in the role on stage, also for Luca Salsi who will be Jago in the Maggio, a role he played only in the form of a concert directed by Zubin Mehta in Berlin in April 2019. The scenes are by Guido Fiorato, the costumes by Gianluca Falaschi, the lights by Pasquale Mari. In the cast also: Riccardo Della Sciucca (Cassio), Caterina Piva (Emilia), Alessio Cacciamani (Lodovico), Francesco Pittari (Roderigo), Francesco Milanese (Montano) and Francesco Samuele Venuti (A herald). The choir and the children’s choir are directed by Lorenzo Fratini. The television direction is by Claudia De Toma.

“This Otello represents our autumn” first “. – said the superintendent Alexander Pereira – It was scheduled for the Festival last May and we were able to reschedule it and stage it right now and I am very happy that Rai Cultura, through the Rai5 channel, has given us the opportunity to broadcast live the performance of November 30 with all these great wonderful artists starting with the master Zubin Mehta with Fabio Sartori, Marina Rebeka, Luca Salsi, Riccardo della Sciucca, Caterina Piva, Alessio Cacciamani, Francesco Pittari, Francesco Milanese and Samuele Venuti. Valerio Binasco is doing a splendid job with Guido Fiorato and Gianluca Falaschi and Pasquale Mari. One of the biggest challenges at the moment – continues the superintendent – is to give security to all the theater staff; since September we have tested all of them periodically and continue to do so. In this way we were able to assure the choir and the orchestra that they could work in safety and tranquility. I would also like to thank Philippe Foriel-Destezet who supported this production of ours for the support ”.

“I have directed many Othellos in my life, in New York, in London, in Berlin – said the maestro Zubin Mehta this is one of the most beautiful productions and with greater substance thanks to a director who knows very well the meaning of this lyrical tragedy among all and also here in Maggio we have an ideal cast. The Orchestra and the choir play and sing protected by screens and masks but the sound is not affected. I am happy for what we are doing with everyone’s collaboration in this difficult period ”.

Director Valerio Binasco said: “I am enthusiastic about what we are doing here in May, and I am honored to be part of this artistic enterprise and I consider this one of the strongest and most profound experiences of my life also because it is realized in this period in which “doing” things seems impossible. We are all aware of the incredibly complex and tragic situation around us and despite everything we have gathered in a theater to sing; in fact, I would like to dedicate this enterprise of ours to the character of Desdemona who, when she is taken from the most other moment of her personal tragedy, remembers one of an old song whose refrain is “let’s sing, sing, ..” what we are doing is the affirmation important of what art and poetry can give to the world. Regarding the show and the directing project, I must say that I concentrated on the family drama between Otello and Desdemona; it is a heartbreaking love drama that takes place in a war zone. There is a continuous oscillation between a great story: Venice, Cyprus, Otello as archetype and then the smaller one of a husband and wife who both suffer from one of the strangest and most atrocious evils that can affect a couple “too much love ”, the wrong love, victims of the worst demon that exists which is love. Otello is a man who knows how to win wars but cannot overcome the power of love in the home “.

To interpret the role of Otello, is the tenor Fabio Sartori: a great anticipated debut and which saw the artist, during the performances of the Nabucco, work for a long time, confront and receive advice from Plácido Domingo. Together with him, at his debut as Desdemona, the famous soprano Marina Rebeka guest on the most important international stages, for the first time in Florence. And, in the role of the perfidious Iago, the baritone Luca Salsi who has never played the Verdi character in stage form.

“Debuting Otello for a tenor is really a great challenge” – said Fabio Sartori“I thought about it a lot before accepting. But the good fortune to debut such a complex role with Master Mehta is like a huge gift for me. In October, during the performances of Nabucco, I also had the good fortune to work frequently with Plácido Domingo on the role. It was very useful for my preparation and also exciting to feel the passion that a great artist like him puts into this role. Plácido is a truly generous colleague. I have to say that I realized even more how extraordinary this part is. I really hope to be able to play Otello well. I would like to dedicate this debut of mine – continued Sartori – to an extraordinary interpreter of Otello who by the way is really Florentine: the great Mario del Monaco. I think he sang a few Otello performances here in Florence but his name cannot fail to be remembered when it comes to this opera and in any case for me who am from Treviso it is essential to remember him. “

“I want to thank everyone for the wonderful work. Working on Desdemona together with Fabio Sartori, the director Binasco and Maestro Zubin Mehta – said soprano Marina Rebeka – we found many nuances: she is an incredibly sweet and strong woman at the same time because she not only gives many proofs of love to her husband but even prefers to die from his hands rather than not live without him. Staging Otello is always an undertaking and, in times like these, it is even more so, so I hope that thanks to the television broadcast many will see it and that, once all this situation is over, the public will return to the theater without fear. . “

“I was very happy that Alexander Pereira and Maestro Mehta called me to participate in this project” said the baritone Luca Salsi“going back to singing Otello with Maestro Zubin Mehta is an incredible emotion, also because I am a fan of his. historical, as well as a great honor to be part of a wonderful cast: we have a great Othello, a talented Desdemona and many splendid singers in the other roles. Regarding my role, with Valerio Binasco we worked a lot on building the character first and then with the voice to create a Jago as convincing as possible on the stage.

Otello, together with the subsequent opera Falstaff, the composer’s last two, marks a new, albeit brief, beginning in Giuseppe Verdi’s compositional wake. Thanks to the meeting with the librettist Arrigo Boito, their immediate understanding for the texts of Shakespeare and the immense work on the libretto, the composer from Busseto changes his way of composing, abandoning the safety of closed numbers in the work for a melodic flow mobile and continuous reaching out towards Wagner’s innovations and in any case linked to the Italian theatrical tradition. With Othello, one of his greatest masterpieces, Verdi thus reaches the highest point of his exceptional creative parable.