Italy's Grand Operas in Britain's Cinemas from February 2009

Italian productions of Il barbiere di Siviglia, Norma and Rigoletto come to Britain's big screens

28 January 2009

Barbiere di Siviglia

Cinema-goers in London are given the opportunity to attend some of the most prestigious productions from Italy's 2007-08 operatic season. These events are presented by alternative content distributor More2Screen in partnership with Emerging Pictures, both leading companies in providing a great audience with the best classical music productions worldwide.

The cinemas involved in this project are Odeon Covent Garden, Curzon Chelsea and Curzon Richmond. The operas in programme are three cornerstones of the Italian tradition, namely Il barbiere di Siviglia, Norma and Rigoletto.

Il Barbiere di Siviglia will be on screen on 15 and 24 February, and on 16 March. This performance opened at Venice's Teatro La Fenice in Spring 2008 under Antonino Fogliani's baton.

It will be possible to attend Norma screenings on 8 and 17 March, and on 20 April. Evelino Pidò conducts an exceptional production from Teatro Comunale di Bologna. The line-up includes Fabio Armiliato as Pollione, Kate Aldrich as Adalgisa and the superb Daniela Dessì in the title role. Dessì's acclaimed interpretation made this Norma an important milestone in the history of Italian productions.

Finally, Rigoletto is a particularly appealing choice. Massimo Zanetti, recipient of Best Young Conductor awards in 1997 and 1998, conducts the Teatro Regio di Parma's artists within the context of Festival Verdi 2008. This celebrated production features important Verdian interpreters: Leo Nucci, one of Italy's most renowned baritones, performs the title role, with Désirée Rancatore as his daughter Gilda. Young and acclaimed tenor Francesco Demuro sings the Duca. The mise en scène is by Pierluigi Samaritani, who distinguished himself for his works at the Met and La Scala, before his premature death in 1994.

Rigoletto will be screened at Odeon Covent Garden on 1 June. Two additional dates are to be confirmed.

This selection of Italian operas is certainly remarkable. These notable productions presented along the months and their availability in some of the most popular London cinemas make this a great opportunity to enjoy performances that would otherwise be difficult to discover.

By Marina Romani

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Photo: Il barbiere di Siviglia from Venice


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