Festival della Valle d’Itria Appoints New Artistic Director

By Francisco Salazar

The Festival della Valle d’Itria has named Sebastian Schwarz as its new Artistic Director.

The board of directors of the Fondazione Paolo Grassi, headed by Franco Punzi, voted unanimously for Schwarz to take over and succeed Alberto Triola, who will leave after 12 years as Artistic Director.

In a statement, Punzi said, “By appointing Sebastian Schwarz, we inaugurate a new chapter for the Festival della Valle d’Itria. Our history wishes for uniformity, right from Paolo Grassi’s initial suggestions and Rodolfo Celletti’s music choices. The chapter characterized by Alberto Triola’s artistic direction has been long and has brought on great success. We have the deepest gratitude for his work with us over the years. We are sure that Schwarz will be able to accept the challenge and further project Martina Franca’s events into an international context. His nomination, which takes place only a few days after the end of the 2021 edition, is the sure mark of a strong will: to start preparations immediately for the following editions.”

“I’ve been frequenting the festival for twenty years and I’ve always appreciated it as an example of how to stimulate people’s curiosity and enrich the international opera scene, reminding us that it is typical of opera, a genre born in Italy, to find contaminations with the most diverse cultures, searching for new styles and forms,” Schwarz noted. “I am deeply honored by this nomination and happy to intensify the collaboration with Fabio Luisi, with President Punzi, and the whole Martina Franca team.”

Schwarz is currently the Artistic Director of the Teatro Regio di Torino and has worked at the Wexford Festival Opera, the Theater an der Wien, and Glyndebourne. He will assume his position this year and will meet all the boards of direction and administration of the Festival, to outline the programs of his three-year mandate which will culminate with the 50-year anniversary of the Festival in 2024.