Donizetti Opera Festival Confirms 2021 Edition

By Francisco Salazar

The Donizetti Opera Festival has confirmed its seventh edition.

The festival, organized by the Donizetti Theatre Foundation chaired by Giorgio Berta, with general director Massimo Boffelli, artistic director Francesco Micheli, and musical director Riccardo Frizza, will take place in Bergamo “The City of Gaetano Donizetti” from Nov. 18 to Dec. 5, 2021.

In a statement, the Mayor of Bergamo Giorgio Gori said, “The Donizetti Opera is a young festival compared to others, but it has gained international prestige in just seven years. In 2021 it will take place live again, after last year when we were able to share the whole edition with the audience only through the webTV, thus keeping alive the contact with foreign spectators who have always attended the Donizetti Opera. We will not put the webTV aside, but we will add it to the live performances for the public, with whom we will celebrate the reopening of the restored Donizetti Theatre in a few weeks. With the reopening of our theatre, my thoughts go to all the workers in the entertainment industry, the category that has suffered the most from the shutdowns due to the pandemic.”

This year the Teatro Donizetti will reopen to the public fully restored. The season will open with bass Alex Esposito on Nov. 18 and the students of the Bottega Donizetti he coordinates for an original opera-show entitled “C’erano una volta due bergamaschi.” It will also feature a new production of “L’elisir d’amore” and “La fille du régiment.” There will also a production of “Medea in Corinto” by Giovanni Simone Mayr at the Teatro Sociale.

Regarding the selections for this year’s festival artistic director, Francesco Micheli said, “This year the Festival offers two Donizettian titles that are not as rare as we usually do but renowned masterpieces: ‘L’elisir d’amore’ and ‘La fille du régiment.; We believe that sometimes it is not only useful but also necessary to come back to works that are apparently extremely well-known in order to present them in unusual versions, through directorial readings that restore their relationship with contemporary times and give the audience visual and cultural references they can relate to, through performances that are “historically informed” but not fixed, and that are actually designed to retrieve the humorous side – positive and never coarse – of comic operas.”

He added, “This year, we did not have a title for the #Donizetti200 project, because in 1821 Donizetti had no debuts. We have therefore decided to have Medea in Corinto by his maestro Giovanni Simone Mayr, a great Neapolitan success of 1813. The version that will be staged at the Festival is, however, the one that Mayr radically revised in 1821 specifically for the Teatro Sociale in Bergamo, where it will be performed. There is no documentary evidence that 24-year-old Donizetti participated in the rewriting of the opera or in its staging. But he was in Bergamo at the time, and unemployed: it is hard to imagine that Mayr did not involve his favorite pupil in his work.”

For full details on the operas click here.