Teatro Regio di Torino to Celebrate 50th Anniversary with ‘I Vespri Siciliani’

By Francisco Salazar
(Credit: Simone-Falcetta)

The Teatro Regio di Torino is set to celebrate its 50th anniversary with a gala performance of “I Vespri Siciliani” on July 6, 2023.

The gala will see Riccardo Frizza conduct the Verdi work with soloists Roberta Mantegna, Piero Pretti, Vladimir Stoyanov, and Michele Pertusi.

In a statement, Frizza noted, “It’s an honor to be conducting the Gala Concert, a tribute by the Teatro Regio to its own memorable inauguration, which took place in 1973 with I Vespri siciliani by Verdi, staged by Maria Callas: the first 50 years in the history of this theatre, long-awaited by the citizens of Turin, and the emblem of an artistic and entrepreneurial vision in a remarkable city that had for so long been living in expectation of the reconstruction of the former Teatro Regio, burnt to the ground in the 1936 fire. The new Teatro Regio, designed by Carlo Mollino and inaugurated on 10th April 1973 to the surprise and delight of the audience of this unique theatre, was the result of a futuristic project that bore testimony to its creator, an eclectic protagonist in the history of Italian architecture and design.”

He added, “The fortunate choice of inaugurating the ‘spaceship’ in 1973 with ‘I Vespri siciliani’ entrusted to Maria Callas for her first and only experience as stage director, and to the voices of Raina Kabaivanska, Gianni Raimondi and Bonaldo Giaiotti, called for a revival of the emotions of that time.”

Pretti added, “I’ve been familiar with Arrigo and with ‘I Vespri siciliani’ for a long, continuous period of time. I debuted this role here at the Teatro Regio in Turin, then sang it in Naples at the Teatro San Carlo, in Madrid at the Teatro Real, at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and, at the beginning of this year, at La Scala in Milan. To be singing once again as Arrigo at the Teatro Regio in Turin, twelve years after that first time, with the role’s natural vocal and artistic progression, fills me with joy. but also with pride. In 2011 I sang for the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy, and this time I’m singing to celebrate the first 50 years of Turin’s ‘new’ Teatro Regio, that masterpiece of architecture, modernity, design, and originality that resulted from the creativity of one of Turin’s great citizens, Carlo Mollino.”