The Rossini Opera Festival Suffers Major Losses

By Francisco Salazar

The Teatro Communale di Bologna has cut ties with the Rossini Opera Festival after 30 years.

The company announced the news noting that the ROF has refused to credit Bologna as co-producer. That means that it is not entitled to state subsidy from the Cultural Ministry. It added that since it did not have credit the Bologna Opera will be inactive in August, the period of the Festival. Additionally, this will prevent theTeatro Communale di Bologna from applying for funds from FUS, the Fondo Unico dello Spettacolo, which provides theater subsidy for its work over this period.

The ROF’s ‘hiring’ fee for the orchestra and chorus doesn’t cover the costs of the festival’s length and as a result, the Bologna company has decided that it can no longer justify such expense when it is struggling to balance its books.

The split comes after a 30-year relationship. The company first performed at the festival in 1987 when it played Rossini’s  “Petite Messe Solennelle.” Since then the orchestra and chorus have appeared in over 50 video and audio recordings of some of the most important Rossini productions.

The Teatro Comunale di Bologna was originally scheduled to perform in a new production of “Le siège de Corinthe” with Alex Esposito, Nino Machaidze, Sergey Romanovsky and John Irvin and Roberto Abbado conducting. It was also expected to play in Pier Luigi Pizzi’s production of “La pietra del paragone” with Luca Pisaroni, Aya Wakizono, Maxim Mironov and Paolo Bordogna. Daniele Rustioni is conducting.

The Teatro di Bologna is now expected to be a co-producer for the Festival Verdi di Parma e Busseto’s upcoming projects.