Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco: "The Importance of Being Franco"
Opera for 8 singers, 2 pianos and percussion
2 and 3 March 2019 (4.30 pm) at the Goldoni Theater
(via Santa Maria 15, Florence)
A project of the Cherubini Conservatory of Florence that puts teachers and students of the Higher Education in collaboration with the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
Who knows "The Importance of being Franco" by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco knows that fun is not lacking: because, if already the Oscar Wilde comedy is - for those who know it - a source of continuous and witty, in the musical version of the composer Florentine transplanted - by force - in the United States starting from 1938, the fun rises to the square.
The work, which will be shown on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 March at the Goldoni Theater in Florence in an event curated by the Cherubini Conservatory of Florence for the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, is built in Wagnerian style (to use the words of Wilde): Castelnuovo-Tedesco assigns to each character, to every situation, to every idea, a theme conductor, and does so with an incomparable sense cultured and musical humor, alternating musical themes or even very short incisions of their own creation with countless quotes (also more or less extensive) from works by Verdi, Wagner, Mozart, Rossini, Donizetti, Massenet, but also from pieces by Bach, Rimsky-Korsakov, Schumann, Schubert, Chopin, Debussy and others until the song "It's a long way to Tipperary "... And it does so with an appealing, refined and, indeed, amusing relevance. For example, the idea of love associates a theme of its own creation in a romantic style, obviously, but without any banality and melodically very effective; to the character of the eager, greedy, and annoying aunt Augusta, who always appears suddenly to spoil idylls, often entrusts the terrifying theme of the "Flying Dutchman", while to the housekeeper Miss Prism, author of a tragicomic exchange between a child in a suitcase and a novel in a wheelchair (sic!) is given "Il Trovatore"! And what about Reverend Chasuble, nice but not too bright Protestant Pastor, who always moves on the notes of the Bach Chorale "Wachet auf ruft uns die stimme" ("Listen up, he calls you the voice") ... Even the food and the servants have their own motto! As musically characterized is naturally each component of the double pair of young protagonists: the almost honest John, who however calls himself Jack at home in the country and Franco when he comes from his friend Algernon in the city, to move in disguise and be a bit freer from the responsibility of protecting the young Cecilia (who lives with him, in fact, in the country); the sweet and a bit 'dumb Guendalina, in love - reciprocated - of him (although opposed by his mother Augusta), who loves him above all because his name is Franco, with great embarrassment of him ... And the clever Algernon, cousin of Guendalina, friend of Franco, who discovers from him the existence of Cecilia believing her lover, but as soon as she realizes who she really is, she rushes from her to the country to seduce her and does not hesitate to be called Franco in turn when she realizes that too she is very ... sensitive to that name, on which she has idealized and fantasized writing about her diary. And so on, then, between truffle sandwiches, Chopin nocturni crippled
(Algernon is an idle amateur pianist ...) and lies, between declared loves, or to declare, or to prevent, between real and false names, misunderstandings, diaries, rivalries, with final statement and therefore hymn sung in chorus by all importance of being both Franco and Franco! All underlined by dozens of explicit, hidden, overlapping, varied musical themes, including surprises and twists. In addition to the 8 main characters (two tenors, two sopranos, a mezzo-soprano, a contralto, a baritone and a bass), only two pianos and percussion instruments are also original.
The staging of Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 March at the Goldoni Theater in Florence (both performances are at 4.30 pm) is the result of a long and complex project of the Cherubini Conservatory of Florence that puts in the field Lecturers and students of the High Training in collaboration, for these performances, with the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino: the creator and coordinator of the project, Giovanni Del Vecchio, teacher of Reading of the Partitura del Cherubini, will also be one of the pianists and will be joined by his colleague Prof. Antonella Bellettini another piano. Director Francesco Torrigiani, assistant director Anna Tereshchenko, set designer Gabriele Vanzini del Maggio. Director the student graduating Gabriele Centorbi, of the class of Prof. Pinzauti while the double cast of singers will be formed by Alessandro Agostinacchio, Gonzalo Godoy Sepulveda, Idil Karabulut, Vittoria Licostini, Francesco Lucii, Francesca Mercuriali, Claudio Mugnaini, Eleonora Ronconi, Eva Maria Ruggieri , Silvia Spessot, Magdalena Urbanowicz, Ming Yu Zhang, Claudio Zazzaro, students of the singing classes of Prof. Castriota, Debolini, De Lisi, Di Gennaro, Fabbrini and Taddei. Pianist collaborator Lorenzo Masoni, of the class of Prof. Bargagna. Percussionists Niccolò Crulli and Alberto Marcantonio of the class of Prof. Fontana. For the costumes we used the collaboration of the "Sacco" Theater of Savona.
For information and reservations:
055 200 1278
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