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Critical | Riccardo Muti makes the dream of Mozart in Naples

“it All started with a phone call: ‘I'm Karajan’. And I thought that was one that I wanted to spend a joke,” he recalled last night Riccardo Muti on the beginn

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Critical | Riccardo Muti makes the dream of Mozart in Naples

“it All started with a phone call: ‘I'm Karajan’. And I thought that was one that I wanted to spend a joke,” he recalled last night Riccardo Muti on the beginning of his relationship with Così fan tutte. The teacher of Italian (Naples), 78 years) had to direct this opera of Mozart at the Teatro di San Carlo in his native city, a long-awaited return to the historic moat, after 34 years of absence. The event was the start of the new season in the theater that directs Paolo Pinamonti, but it will also be the only opera given under the musical direction of Muti this season. A coproduction with the Vienna Staatsoper, where it will arrive in 2020, signing his daughter, the actress and director Chiara Muti, and where they claim the essences drama of this dramma giocoso, libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte, usually so harassed by the modernism stage current.

There was no proposal historicist. The revolution of Muti with this opera of Mozart, which began at the Salzburg Festival, 1982, then controlled by the almighty Karajan, has not lost its relevance after almost four decades. The Italian director was faced with the German tradition of Karl Böhm and Josef Krips, which was limited to "shine" to the notes written by Mozart, and revealed the importance of the libretto by Da Ponte to get to the music of the salzburgués. What we hear, last night, in every recitative, accompanied admirably on the pianoforte by Luisella German, where the freedom of the singers has always been closely linked to the strict adherence to the text. And that fluidity, that comes from the symbiosis between word and music, passed a version memorable of this opera. Else, such as Muti has the largest and most prominent crop in the DVD of Così fan tutte: Salzburg Festival, in 1983 (Arthaus/TDK), Teatro alla Scala, in 1989 (Opus Arte) and Staatsoper, Vienna, (1996) (Medici).

The great symbiosis of Da Ponte and Mozart in Così fan tutte, including a booklet filled with double meanings and a music of captivating sincerity, continued to give rise to the discussion. Starting with its setting, which has always been located in Naples. Muti remember a single reference in the libretto to the city of partenope written, when Dorabella appointment to the Vesuvius as a metaphor of his burning love. But it also recognizes that it might be a game to refer to the town of Wiener Neustadt, a resident of the austrian capital and where, as it seems, it may have been the real story that inspired this far-fetched comedy of young lovers who learn life lessons. The Italian director, always very fond of semantics, it's clear: Neustadt (“Neu Stadt”) means in German the same as Naples (“Nea-polis”) in Greek, meaning “new city”. It also defends the sincerity of Mozart that always dreamed of success in Naples. “Notice that she would write to her father, an opera Pinbahis in Naples had more credit and honor than a hundred concerts in Germany,” he remembered last night in his brief encounter with THE Country, citing the famous letter of 1777.


the Music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte. The cast: Maria Bengtsson, Paola Gardina, Alessio Arduini, Pavel Kolgatin, Emmanuelle de Negri, Marco Filippo Romano. Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro di San Carlo. Musical direction: Riccardo Muti. Stage direction: Chiara Muti. Season of Opera and Dance 2018/19. Teatro di San Carlo of Naples, until 2 December.

Muti not only believes exactly the same as Mozart but who has made her dream a reality. Already in his autobiography we read a juicy chapter about his relationship with the historic Teatro di San Carlo of Naples, where Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini premiered many of his operas. Apart from their first experiences of orchestral, in the seventies and symphonic repertoire, and their visits with other orchestras, such as the Concert of Europe of the Berlin Philharmonic, in 2009, his most vivid memory here was the production of Macbeth that he directed in 1984. Now, 34 years later, it seems more convinced than ever not only of their efficiency, acoustics, and submitted to moments of magical intimacy, but to be directing in one of the rooms of opera's most beautiful in the world. Muti was recreated yesterday, more than ever, in the exquisiteness of the music of Mozart, made to float with a weightlessness at some points, as, for example, in the plañidero recitative with orchestral accompaniment, “Di scrivermi ogni giorno”, with those violas that sang as a character, or, shortly after, in the famous terzettino “Soave sia il vento,” which Muti became the best of the night. His version of the opera materializes, now more clear than ever, that claim to everyday life on the stage, where we smile to endure the tears of life.

One of the most disturbing of this new production was, without doubt, the stage direction by Chiara Muti. It is clear that there are last names in the world of opera can weigh like a stone. But also this young actress, who in 2012 began a career as a director, has a personal baggage linked to Giorgio Strehler, one of the most conspicuous collaborators scenic of his father; his influence was evident in many aspects, as in the symmetries or the games are so characteristic of lights and shadows. But also has ideas of her own, as that scenery only, performed by Leila Fleta and inspired by The Oath of the Play of the ball, Jacques-Louis David, that filled with extras to make nerve and dynamism; the first scene has, for example, a game of tennis between the two officers, Ferrando and Guglielmo, with the philosopher Don Alfonso as referee. The space ends up combining reality and illusion, and represents this disillusionment that involves learning about life and becoming an adult. There are also moments of wit of the theatre, as that magnet to extract venom converted in a simple tape rolling. And in addition stand out showy scenes, like the party in the garden at the edge of the sea, with Despina on a balloon turned into a cupid.

The orchestra and chorus of the Teatro di San Carlo responded admirably to the demands of Muti. But also a cast of vocal, young and compact, that was more during the function. What led the young Swedish soprano Maria Bengtsson, a brilliant Fiordiligi, which had its peak moment in the rondo “Per pietà”, with exquisite, dynamic and a beautiful use of the filato. The mezzo Italian Paola Gardina, as Dorabella, has combined her gifts as an actress with great self-confidence in his aria in the second act “And Amore a ladroncello”. And still more complete was the soprano Emmanuelle de Negri, as Despina, and took all his versatility as a singer of ancient music to give life to all and each one of the vocal folds of the character. The delivery men was one point lower. Pavel Kolgatin, as Guiglielmo, exhibió a exquisite record in the aria, “An aura loving”, although the Ferrando of Alessio Arduini was delivered more in the cavatina “Tradito, schernito”. Finally, Marco Filippo Romano was a great Don Alfonso. At the departure, after midnight, still we close the day with a sfogliatella at the historic Caffé Gambrinus.

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