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Interview with Franco Moretti, General Manager of the Puccini Festival in Torre Del Lago

Friday, 16 July 2010 , ora 16.56
A magical place between the Tyrrhenian Sea and Massaciuccoli's lake, guarded by mountains... a place that put a spell on its young, yet famous 33-year old visitor, whose two passions are music and... hunting! While the old tower, that had once given this city its name, has become the artist's home (he purchased a house on the lake's bank), the composer's name, his prestige added a new identity to the city that is now known as: Torre del Lago Puccini.
At the initiative of a few enthusiastic artists, Puccini's dream, written in a letter, came true. Opera performances started near the Puccini Villa, and every year new personalities joined the project. This is how the lake theatre was built, and how - in 2008 - it was replaced by a new and modern building that includes an outdoor amphitheatre of 3.370 seats, with special sound system, and two more halls for concerts and recitals, a small park "decorated" with modern sculptures, due to some of the artists that collaborated with the "Puccini Festival" Foundation for the stage design of some spectacles.
And talking about the festival's 56th edition in Tuscany, that takes place between July 16th and August 22nd, is mister Franco Moretti, the general manager for "Puccini" Festival.

How does the Puccini Festival's 56th edition in Torre del Lago stand out?

First of all, we focus on celebrating La Fanciulla del West centenary, a opera title not very popular to the large public, but, yet, one of the most beautiful compositions belonging to Puccini's repertoire, that was played 100 years ago at the Metropolitan Opera in New York with the famous Enrico Caruso - who had a fulminating career there. For us, the event is even more meaningful as it is one of those works that Puccini had created right here, a few steps from us - as you know, the great composer had lived here, at Torre del Lago, near Viareggio for over three decades and had written here many of his masterpieces. We feel that it is our great responsibility to render this repertoire and to show these operas to the public that came from all over the world to attend them here, home at Giaccomo Puccini.

The festival's poster shows more then just opera performances...

This time too (as every year), besides the lyric theatre program (including 4 titles as always: La Fanciulla del West, Madame Butterfly, Tosca and Turandot) we tried to organize other quality shows as well: after the fantastic recital of Angela Gheorghiu, who was also present last year, the famous Renée Fleming will hold a concert. Our program also includes a great ballet show: Romeo and Juliet by Prokofiev performed by the Moscow Theatre.

Puccini and the ballet world?

An aspect we tried to blend in, to take into consideration for satisfying all artistic tastes of people coming from all over the world, not only from Italy, Tuscany. We are always open for new suggestions; however it is mandatory that they are of the highest quality. We are very interested in adding great names to our list of lyrical art and ballet, but we also strive to bring young talented people to our public's attention, people we find and chose among those that study at our Music Academy. This year, there are 11 students included in the festival.
But here are some of this edition's great names: Daniela Dessi, Fabio Armiliato, Maria Guleghina, Walter Fraccaro, Martina Serafin or Jan Storey. Again, this year, we focus on blending acoustic and visual emotions, because we alternate traditional staging (like in Tosca or Turandot) with more modern approaches. A good example would be Fanciulla del West that is part of our "collection" entitled Scolpire l'opera, with staging signed by contemporary artists. The decor here is signed by Franco Adami, an Italian who has been living in Paris for many years, and for Madame Butterfly there is a very special staging by Japanese Kan Yasuda.
Anca Ioana Andriescu
Translated by Andra Stroe and Andreea Velicu
MA Students, MTTLC, Bucharest University