Il turco in Italia (“The Turk in Italy”)

Opera by Gioacchino Rossini

The production of the Pärnu International Opera Music Festival PromFest, where the main parts are the winners of the Klaudia Taev International Competition for Young Opera Singers.

It all starts with the poet Prosdocimo looking for a plot for a comic play, while his slightly opaque 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 sequence of events triggers the activities of Rossini’s opera “Il Turco in Italia”. Sounds like a silly soap opera? This is exactly what it seemed to director Andrus Vaarik, a five-star man in comic genres, who decided to bring this opera to the stage in a completely original, in his opinion unique and only possible key, where the poet becomes a producer and others become characters in the crazy reality series he directs and manipulating with.

Andrus Vaarik: “By putting this buggy farce on which Rossini’s opera is based in an even more silly format of modern mass entertainment, we surprisingly found a very lively, witty and even moving story.”

The stage version of the director Vaarik is amplified by the scenography of the artist Madis Nurms. In the visual of “Turk”, there is probably a joy of recognition especially for those who remember their youth in the early nineties. Compared to the artist’s previous works, this production looks more colorful, softer, cheerful, but otherwise, like PromFest’s productions, it is still – shamelessly sexy, not decorative, but still rather constructivist.

Despite the original production concept, the musical director Erki Pehk has not had to change any notes or words in Rossini’s score, everything fits perfectly! Thus, opera gourmands who respect authenticity can imagine themselves two hundred and seven years ago, when this opera premiered at La Scala, and allow themselves to be freely brought along by Rossini’s brilliant music.

Looking at the light plot, Rossini’s bel canto-style opera 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 recognized Klaudia Taev competition. This production is a reward for their successful performance in the competition. Namely, this is a unique competition in the world, where the main prize is for the winners to choose the role of their dreams in the opera performance that PromFest will present to the audience at the next festival.
This is already the tenth production in a row!

 

PromFest’s co-production with The Kaunas State Musical Theatre

 

Musical Director and Conductor – Erki Pehk
Stage Director – Andrus Vaarik
Set and Costume designer – Madis Nurms
Choreographer – Dainius Bervingis
Lighting designer – Margus Vaigur
Video designer – Argo Valdmaa

Selim – Sargis Bazhbeuk-Melikyan (Armenia)
Donna Fiorilla – Hanna Tverdova (Ukraine)
Don Geronio – Taras Berezhansky (Ukraine)
Don Narciso – Yury Rostotsky (Russia)
Prosdocimo – Vladyslav Tlushch (Ukraine)
Zaida – Kamile Bonté (Lithuania)

The orchestra and chorus of the Kaunas State Music Theatre
Chorus master – Rasa Vaitkevičiūtė
Concertmaster of the orchestra – Povilas Grigas

Performed in Italian
Subtitles in English and Estonian

Premiere on 8th September 2021 Kaunas State Musical Theatre, Lithuania