Like his contemporaries, Gioacchino Rossini seemed to enjoy exoticism and travel, since after ‘taking’ an Italian girl to Algiers in 1813 at the request of Venice, he ‘invited’ a Turk to Italy in an opera buffa composed the following year for the Teatro alla Scala! But unlike his first Venetian successes (apart from L’italiana in Algeri: Il signor Bruschino, La scala di seta and above all Tancredi), it garnered scant applause. It was not until almost a century later that Italy took an interest in the work again, after the last performances in 1855: during a memorable reunion 1950 reuninon in Rome, marked by the presence of a certain… Maria Callas as Fiorilla. No matter! The work, which like Mozart’s Cosìfan tutte (performed shortly before the premiere on the same Milanese stage) “dances on a volcano” – both literally and figuratively, as librettist Felice Romani set the story near Naples, at the foot of Mount Vesuvius – is now appreciated at its true value: as one of the nuggets of the “new” buffa style, paving the way for masterpieces such as Il barbiere di Siviglia; just as Tancredi, freed from the lengthy recitatives of the seria tradition, heralded Cenerentola and Semiramide.
First performance on 14 August 1814 at La Scala in Milan.
G. Ricordi & Co. Bühnen – und Musikverlag GmbH Publishers, Berlin – revision by Margaret Bent
A native of Galicia, Luis Cansino began his musical training in Vigo. He studied singing at the Royal Superior Conservatory of Madrid, then completed his training with tenor Pedro Lavirgen. In 1990, he won the first edition of the Francisco Alonso Singing Competition held in Madrid. In 1993, he was named lyrical revelation by the Mexican magazine Proceso and appointed cultural ambassador for peace in Chiapas. He made his stage debut in 1987 with the Anthology Tribute to Maestro Alonso at Madrid’s Fernán Gómez Theatre. Since then, he has collaborated with the greatest conductors (Marco Armiliato, James Conlon, Evelino Pidò, Vassily Petrenko…) and directors (Laurent Pelly, Robert Carsen, Emilio Sagi, Giancarlo del Monaco…). Over the course of his career, he has stood out in Don Giovanni, Lucia di Lammermoor, Roberto Devereux, Il trovatore, Otello, Faust, Pagliacci, Cavalleria rusticana, Turandot, La bohème and El gato montés. Accustomed to performing during major opera seasons throughout the world, he has recently enjoyed great success in works such as La Fille du régiment, L’elisir d’amore, Viva la mamma! La traviata, Les Vêpres siciliennes, La forza del destino, Aida, La Gioconda, Madama Butterfly, Tosca, La Wally, Adriana Lecouvreur, Marina and La Maison de Bernarda Alba, as well as the leading roles in Macbeth, Nabucco, Rigoletto, Simon Boccanegra and Falstaff. The first baritone in José Tamayo’s celebrated Anthology of Zarzuela, he is a renowned interpreter of the genre, with almost forty titles to his credit. His world premiere recordings include Carreño’s Salmo, Muhammad’s The March of Victory, Ruíz’s Cantata Asturiana and several works by Mexican composer Álvarez del Toro. He took part in the world premiere of Muñíz’s opera Fuenteovejuna.
Born in Georgia in 1986, Salome Jicia initially dedicated herself to the piano, before branching out into singing, which she studied in her native country and then at the Santa Cecilia Academy in Rome. Winner of numerous prizes, she can be seen in productions all over Europe: she is Aspasia (Mitridate re di Ponto) in Tbilissi and Budapest, Rosina (La finta semplice) in an AsLiCo production in Como, Cremona and Pavia, the Contessa di Foleville (Il viaggio a Reims) in Pesaro, where she also appears in La donna del lago; she appeared in Semiramide at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, as part of Alejandro Granda’s opera festival in Lima, Peru, and in Koutaïssi, Georgia, where she shared the stage with José Carreras. Future projects include Don Giovanni in Liège and Così fan tutte at Covent Garden. She will shortly be taking part in productions of Guillaume Tell in Munich, Maria Stuarda in Zurich and Otello in Liège.
At the Opéra de Lausanne: La clemenza di Tito (2018).
Born in 1993, Michele Spotti is Music Director of the Opéra and Orchestre Philharmonique de Marseille, as well as the Orchestra Filharmonica di Benevento. Recent engagements include his debut at the Vienna Staatsoper in Fille du régiment, directed by Laurent Pelly, and at the Palais des Arts de Valence in Ernani, at the Stuttgart Staatsoper with a new production of L’elisir d’amore directed by Anika Rutkofsky, in Dresden in La bohème and in Tokyo at the helm of the City Philharmonic with Juan Diego Flórez as soloist, as well as at the helm of the Accademia Teatro alla Scala Orchestra in 2021. He has also taken part in new productions of Don Carlos and Rigoletto at Theater Basel, Guillaume Tell in Marseille (opening the 2021/22 season) and La Fille du régiment at the Festival Donizetti 2021. His young career has also seen him direct La Cenerentola in Jean-Pierre Ponnelle’s historic staging at the Bayerische Staatsoper, and La traviata in Palermo with Pretty Yende in the title role. Highlights of his 2023/24 season include Le nozze di Figaro in Marseille and debuts at the Paris Opéra with Turandot, the Deutsche Oper in Berlin with Il viaggio a Reims, the Rome Opéra with Die Zauberflöte and the San Carol in Naples with Simon Boccanegra.
Born in Oviedo, Spain, Emilio Sagi holds a doctorate in philosophy and humanities from the university of his native city. He also studied musicology at the University of London. As a director, he made his debut in Oviedo in 1980 with La traviata. Ten years later he was appointed director of the Teatro de la Zarzuela, a position he held until December 1999. He made his directorial debut in 1982 with Don Pasquale, followed by more than 20 opera and zarzuela productions. He was artistic director of the Teatro Real in Madrid from June 2001 to August 2005 and of the Teatro Arriaga in Bilbao from January 2008 to December 2015. His stage experience ranges from baroque zarzuela to contemporary opera, which he has performed in some of the world’s greatest theatres and festivals: La Scala in Milan, Châtelet, opera houses in Rome, San Francisco, Houston, Seattle, Philadelphia, Nice, Monte Carlo, Teatro Colón in Madrid, Buenos Aires, Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse, Liceu in Barcelona, Mariinsky in Saint Petersburg, Volksoper and Theater an der Wien, Salzburg Festival, Rossini Festival Pesaro, Savolinna Festival… In June 2006, he received the Lírico Teatro Campoamor award for the best direction for his production of Il barbiere di Siviglia given in January 2005 at the Teatro Real, in May 2010 the award for the best Spanish artist from the magazine Ópera Actual, as well as the Argentinian music critic’s award for the best show of the year 2012 for his direction of Mercadante’s I due Figaro at Teatro Colón. In December 2020, the Spanish government awarded him the Gold Medal for Fine Arts. At the Opéra de Lausanne: Giulio Cesare in Egitto (2008), Le Chat botté (2009), L’italiana in Algeri (2010), Tancredi (2015), Les mamelles de Tirésias (2016) and Le Chanteur de Mexico (2017).
Born in Riva del Garda, Italy, Giulio Mastrototaro trained with Vito Brunetti at the “Claudio Monteverdi” Conservatory in Bolzano, from which he graduated with honors in 2002. Revealed at the AsLiCo competition and by his performance in Donizetti’s Pietro il Grande at the Martina Franca Festival (immortalized by Dynamic), he has since performed on the world’s greatest stages: Milan’s Scala, Rome’s Opera, Naples’ San Carlo, Florence’s Teatro del Maggio, Bologna’s Teatro Communale, Brussels’ La Monnaie, Theater an der Wien, Pesaro’s Rossini Festival, Salzburg Festival, Bregenzer Festspiele… Under the baton of conductors such as Rinaldo Alessandrini, Giovanni Antonini, Riccardo Chailly, Ottavio Dantone, Diego Fasolis, Riccardo Muti, Vladimir Jurowski and Alberto Zedda, he embraces a vast repertoire ranging from Paisiello and Mozart to Puccini and Giordano. After opening the 2019/20 season in Tosca, La Scala audiences recently heard him in Il turco in Italia, L’italiana in Algeri and L’elisir d’amore; he will soon appear in Giordano’s Andrea Chénier under the direction of Marco Armilliato. Projects for 2023 include Turco in Italia in Martina Franca, Barbiere di Siviglia in Tokyo and Nozze di Figaro at the Teatro Filharmonico. Giulio Mastrototaro records for the Dynamic, Naxos, Sony/RCA and Bongiovanni labels.
An Argentinian tenor, Francisco Brito made his debut in Pesaro under the baton of Alberto Zedda, and established himself above all as a Rossinian singer. He sang L’italiana in Algeri in Piacenza, Modena, Trieste, Venice, Verona and Madrid, ll viaggio a Reims in Zurich, Muscat and Pesaro, Zelmira, Il signor Bruschino and La donna del lago in Pesaro and Venice, Il barbiere di Siviglia in Wiesbaden, Erl, Venice, Palma de Mallorca and Verona, La scala di seta in Mannheim and Venice, La gazza ladra in Frankfurt and Bari, La Cenerentola in Dresden, Palermo, Bonn and Frankfurt, Otello in Naples, Matilde di Shabran at the Rossini Festival in Wildbad, Le Comte Ory in Toulon, Il turco in Italia at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. He completes his repertoire with Don Pasquale in Darmstadt, Frankfurt and Moscow, Falstaff in Frankfurt, Ariodante in Dublin, I puritani in Stuttgart, Così fan tutte in Dubai, Carmina Burana in Bari, La Juive in Constance, Il castello di Kenilworth, Pietro il Grande at the Bergamo Donizetti Festival and Anna Bolena at the Manaus Festival.
At the Opéra de Lausanne: Semiramide (2022).
Born in Russia, Mikhail Timoshenko began his musical and theatrical training in Mednogorsk, before going to perfect his skills at the Franz Liszt Hochschule in Weimar and the Hanns Eisler Hochschule in Berlin under the direction of Michail Lanskoi. From 2015 to 2017, he was a member of the Académie de l’Opéra de Paris. In 2017, he won the Maria Callas International Grand Prix in Athens. In 2018, as part of a duet with the pianist Elitsa Desseva, he won First Prize at the International Chamber Music Competition “Franz Schubert and Modern Music” in Graz, as well as First Prize at the Hugo Wolf Academy’s International Art Song Competition Stuttgart. He was also awarded First Prize at the Wigmore Hall International Song Competition in London. Highlights of his first seasons include the world premiere of Alexandre Desplat’s chamber opera En Silence in Luxembourg and Paris (Bouffes du Nord), Masetto in Don Giovanni at the Opéra de Paris and in Düsseldorf, Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro at the Opéra national de Lorraine, Ottokar in Freischütz at the Berlin Konzerthaus, Mozart’s Mass in C at the Salzburg Festival, Albert (Werther) in Tours, Marcello (La bohème) in Toulouse, Papageno (Die Zauber- flöte) in Montpellier, Frank Martin’s Golgotha in Linz. His projects include Leporello (Don Giovanni) at the Glyndebourne Festival, Shchelkalov (Boris Godunov) in Toulouse and at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Marcello at Covent Garden and Gounod’s Le Tribut de Zamora in Saint-Etienne. At the Opéra de Lausanne: Werther (2022).
From an early age, French mezzo-soprano Marion Jacquemet was drawn to the world of art and the stage. She obtained a CFEC in dance at the Conservatoire de Chambéry and a DEM in saxophone at the Conservatoire de Lyon. It was during her instrumental studies that she discovered singing and opera. She subsequently entered the Haute école de musique de Genève. She continued her vocal training with Isabelle Henriquez and Nicolas Domingues. Her warm, round mezzo timbre, great musical qualities and acting talents soon brought her to the stage. She successfully defended Dorabella (Così fan tutte), Ms. Grose (The Turn of the Screw), and had her first experiences on the stage of the Grand Théâtre de Genève (Ida in Strauss’s Die Fledermaus, Amélie in La Grande-duchesse de Gérolstein directed by Laurent Pelly and Maria Bellacanta in Peter Lund’s children’s show La Sorcière Hillary). She has since taken on numerous roles: Hélène in La Belle Hélène at the Opéra de Dijon, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with the Opéra-Studio de Genève, and Feklusha in Katia Kabanova at the Opéra national de Lorraine. After a first contemporary experience in Gérard Massini’s Salomé, performed in Lausanne, Vevey and Geneva, she will collaborate again with the Vaud composer on the premiere of Eden Park in spring 2024. Marion co-directs Mobilo-Lyricus, a company whose aim is to promote the lyric art everywhere; performances are produced in a stage truck. She recently joined the Variétés Lyriques troupe, with whom she performs at the Opéra de Vichy, Saint-Etienne, Compiègne, Roanne…
Spanish tenor Pablo Plaza began his career in musical theater. Specializing in singing, classical and contemporary dance, tap and acting, he eventually decided to concentrate on opera, joining various zarzuela and opera choirs in Madrid, Valencia, Barcelona and San Sebastian, as well as performing in theaters around the world such as New York’s Carnegie Hall and the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center. A few years ago, Pablo Plaza undertook lyric music training at the Haute école de musique de Genève, under the direction of Clémence Tilquin. His passion for lyrical music has also led him to work as a chorister at the Opéra de Lausanne and the Grand Théâtre de Genève.
The Opéra de Lausanne Choir is young, made up of students of singing from Lausanne’s University of Music and the Geneva HEM, and professional singers. Its members are selected by audition and periodically reheard. For each opera, they are distributed depending on their voice and/or aptitudes. Thanks mainly to their talent on stage, supported by an infectious enthusiasm, they are highly appreciated by all the theatre directors invited. For a few years the choir has benefitted from preparation by several experienced choir masters from different backgrounds, chosen depending on the works being sung and their specific interest.
Antonio Greco holds a diploma in piano, choral music and choral conducting, as well as a diploma in Renaissance polyphony, and teaches choral practice at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Ravenna. In 1993, he founded the Coro Costanzo Porta and, in 2004, the Orchestra Cremona Antiqua, an ensemble playing on original instruments. He has been assistant conductor to Sir John Eliot Gardiner and harpsichordist with the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists on numerous world tours. Since 2018, he has collaborated as choral conductor with Riccardo Muti, with whom he has performed Macbeth, Nabucco, Stabat Mater, Te Deum and Verdi’s Messa da Requiem, as well as Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. In the same year, he was appointed Music Director of the Monteverdi Festival in Cremona, of which his two ensembles became the resident groups. This has led him to conduct, year after year, the great masterpieces of the Mantuan composer. This year, he will conduct L’incoronazione di Poppea, directed by Pierluigi Pizzi, which will be performed in theaters in Cremona, Como, Pavia, Pisa and Ravenna.
At the Opéra de Lausanne: Tancredi (2015), L’Orfeo (2016) and La sonnambula (2018).
Trained at the “Ernesto de la Cárcova” Higher School of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires, Daniel Bianco moved to Spain in 1984, where he combined his work as a stage designer with technical and production management tasks at the National Drama Centre, the National Classical Theatre Company and the Teatro Real. In 2008 he was appointed Deputy Artistic Director of Teatro Arriaga in Bilbao and since 2015 he has been Director of the Teatro de la Zarzuela. As a set designer, his extensive activity has led him to participate in numerous opera, zarzuela, ballet and prose theatre productions staged in theatres and festivals in Spain, Europe and America. He enjoys close collaboration with director Emilio Sagi, which began with Le Chanteur de Mexico at the Théâtre du Châtelet and La generala at the same venue – where they also gave the first performance of The Sound of Music – and at the Teatro de la Zarzuela. They presented Il pirata at La Scala in Milan, Carmen at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, the Rome Opera House and the Santiago Opera in Chile, Wagner’s Die Feen in Paris, I puritani and Linda di Chamounix at the Liceu in Barcelona, and Mercadante’s I due Figaro at the Ravenna Festival, the Whitsun Festival in Salzburg and the Teatro Real. Daniel Bianco also designed the sets for Le Nozze di Figaro, Il viaggio a Reims, Il mondo della luna, Tancredi and Attila for the Monte-Carlo Opera. Since his arrival at the Teatro de la Zarzuela, his dedication and commitment have been focused on the recovery, preservation, revision and dissemination of heritage Spanish opera, notably zarzuela. At the Opéra de Lausanne: Tosca (2013), Tancredi (2015), and Le Chanteur de Mexico (2017).
Born in Madrid, Eduardo Bravo made his debut in 1983 at the Teatro de la Zarzuela, where he remained until 1990. In 1991, he was in charge of lighting at the Teatro La Maestranza in Seville, for its inauguration and throughout the programming of the 1992 Universal Exhibition. In 1993, he was appointed Assistant Technical Director of the Teatro de la Zarzuela, a post he held until 2002. As a lighting designer, he has taken part in numerous opera and zarzuela productions in Spain and around the world, from the Opéra-Comique in Paris to the Mariinsky in St. Petersburg, from Caracas to Washington, from the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires to the New National Opera in Tokyo. A regular collaborator of Emilio Sagi, he recently designed the lighting for I duo Figaro in Buenos Aires, Carmen in Rome, El Juez at the Theater an der Wien and the Mariinsky, Il turco in Italia in Toulouse, Tancredi in Philadelphia, Il viaggio a Reims at the Liceu in Barcelona, Les Mamelles de Tirésias and L’Heure espagnole in Oviedo.
At the Opéra de Lausanne: L’italiana in Algeri (2010), Tancredi (2015), Les Mamelles de Tirésias (2016) and Le Chanteur de Mexico (2017).