Gioacchino Rossini’s comic opera in two acts
Performed in Italian; Surtitles in English and Estonian
Duration 2 hours 30 minutes
The opera production of the Pärnu International Opera Music Festival PromFest, where the main roles are performed by the winners of the Klaudia Taev International Competition for Young Opera Singers.
The production is completed in cooperation with Kaunas State Music Theater.
Musical director and conductor – Erki Pehk
Stage director – Andrus Vaarik (Endla Theatre)
Set and costume designer – Madis Nurms
Choreographer – Dainius Bervingis (Kaunas Musical Theatre)
Chorus master – Rasa Vaitkevičiūtė (Kaunas Musical Theatre)
Lighting Designer –
Kornelija Kondratavičiūtė (Kaunas Musical Theatre)
Video designer – Katre Sulane
Selim – Sargis Bazhbeuk-Melikyan (bass, Armenia)
Donna Fiorilla – Hanna Tverdova (soprano, Ukraine)
Don Geronio – Taras Berezhansky (bass, Ukraine)
Don Narciso – Yuri Rostotsky (tenor, Russia)
Prosdocimo – Vladislav Tlushch (baritone, Ukraine)
Zaida – Kamile Bonté (soprano, Lithuania)
The choir and orchestra of the Kaunas State Musical Theater
Premiere of the production on September 8, 2021, in Kaunas State Musical Theatre
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
It all starts with poet Prosdocimo looking for a plot for a comedy, while his slightly dim-witted friend Geronio is looking for a fortune teller to advise him on marital issues. Coincidentally, they meet gypsies, among whom is the wonderful but unhappy Zaida, who is said to have come from a Turkish harem…
This event triggers the plot of Rossini’s opera “Il Turco in Italia”. Sounds like a silly soap opera? This is exactly what it seemed like to director Andrus Vaarik, a comic actor himself, who decided to bring this opera to the stage in a completely original, in his opinion only possible interpretation, where the poet becomes an overbearing TV producer and others are characters in his crazy reality show.
Andrus Vaarik: “By putting this frivolous farce on which Rossini’s opera is based in an even sillier format of modern mass entertainment, we surprisingly found a story that’s very lively, witty, and even moving.”
The concept of director Vaarik is amplified by the scenography of designer Madis Nurms. In the visual of “Il Turco”, there is probably an element of nostalgia for those who had their childhood in the early nineties. Compared to the designer’s previous works, this production looks more colorful and cheerful, but otherwise, it continues the line of previous PromFest productions – shamelessly sexy, not decorative, but rather constructivist. “It’s like Meyerhold under acid,” as the designer himself puts it.
In spite of the raunchy production concept, musical director Erki Pehk has not had to change any note or word in Rossini’s score. Everything fits the staging concept perfectly! Thus, opera aficionados who love authenticity can imagine themselves back in time two hundred and seven years ago, when this opera premiered at La Scala, and allow themselves to be carried away by Rossini’s brilliant music. Though the plot of the opera might be quite trivial, Rossini’s bel canto-style requires great mastery from the singers. Maestro Pehk has not had to make any concessions in this respect either, because the production of PromFest stars young talented singers, who are all laureates of the internationally acknowledged Klaudia Taev Competition for young opera singers. This production is a reward for their successful performance in the competition.
Performances at the Endla Theatre:
Sunday, September 12, at 5 p.m.
Monday, September 13, at 7 p.m. (booked performance)
Tuesday, September 14, at 7 p.m.
The production will remain in the repertoire of Kaunas State Musical Theater after the PromFest.