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Aldo TarabellaAldo TarabellaAt this year’s Miskolc Opera Festival in June Nino Rota’s opera Napoli milionaria was performed for the first time in Hungary by the company of the Teatro del Giglio from Lucca, Italy. This interview was made before the performance with composer, stage director Aldo Tarabella, who is also the artistic director of the theatre of Lucca.




How often is Napoli milionaria performed in Italy?

The opera was premiered in 1979, and the audience has always loved it. However, there was a movement in those days, the followers of which only believed in contemporary art, and most critics did not find Rota’s opera modern enough. Fortunately since then they have completely changed their opinion, and the piece is very popular among young people, too. Besides Rota’s other opera Il cappello di paglia di Firenze this is the one performed most often. Napoli milionaria is an ironic but bitter piece with Eduardo de Filippo’s brilliant libretto. And of course it has several melodies reminding the audience of the films set to music by Rota.
This production of us was part of a project specifically made for young people. We selected singers from several European countries who were learning their parts for six months. Altogether more than forty young singers have worked in this production until now, with different casts, of course. But to Miskolc we have brought the best ones!

On other occasions do you work with a permanent company? Do you often invite guest singers?

fesztnap 14 tarabella 1Aldo TarabellaWe make contracts with the singers, mainly young ones for one season. Sometimes we have guest stars, for example La Scala’s Philharmonic Orchestra will soon perform in our theatre under the baton of Daniel Harding. Another world-famous conductor, Riccardo Muti will also come, he is an ideal for the young musicians in Lucca.

Teatro del Giglio is a more than 300 year-old theatre. As I know it is one of the most prestigious theatres in Italy, which performs prose works and operas, as well.

That’s right and it was also awarded the title „Teatro di tradizione”, which is one of the most important recognotions. Though the theatre is more than 300 years old, today we mainly regard it as ’Giacomo Puccini’s theatre’. Puccini often worked in this building and he saw the first operas in his life here.
Of course, there are many opera houses in Italy, but our theatre comes right after the most famous ones – La Scala in Milan, Teatro Reggio in Torino etc. – at the same level with the theatre of Parma. It is Lucca which gave the world proportionally the most composers: Puccini, Catalani, Boccherini, Francesco Geminiani and many others. We are glad to play classical pieces and modern operas, as well. I love dealing with traditional works but also consider it important to present new compositions.

You are also known as a composer and a stage director.

I began my studies as a composer but was always in love with the theatre. My dream was to work at the Piccolo Teatro in Milano with Giorgo Strehler, the great Italian stage director and theatre director. Finally my dream came true as I could work with him for six years, in the production of Faust, among other things. [Note: It was Goethe’s Faust directed by Giorgo Strehler, for the 2nd part of which Aldo Tarabella wrote music – Ed.] Meanwhile I began to write film music, and was a music consultant in Black eyes, directed by the Russian Nikita Mihalkov, where I could work with actors like Marcello Mastroianni. It was only then that I wrote my first operas. My experience as a stage director helped me a lot in this. When I write an opera I can already ’see it’ in its directed version. Currently I have two operas on in Italy, both had a great success in recent years. One of them called The clown will be performed at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples next season. I love circus, and the music of this opera is based on musical clown numbers. The title of my other opera is Il servo padrone, which is the ’continuation’ of Pergolesi’ La serva padrona. This one will soon be performed at the Teatro Communale in Florence.
Many composers had a great influence on me but here in Miskolc I find it especially important to emphasize Béla Bartók, whose music is very close to my heart.

Balázs Csák



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