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I Quatro Rusteghi made its premiere on the stage of National Opera of Bucharest

Thursday, 28 April 2011 , ora 15.08

I Quatro Rusteghi, a comic opera written by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, a composer from the first half of the 20th century, and based on Carlo Goldoni’s play I Rusteghi, is the new performance offered by the National Opera of Bucharest. Its premiere took place on April16th, 2011, and brought together bass Mihnea Lamatic, baritone Vicențiu Țăranu, tenore Lucian Corchiș and bass Ștefan Schuller. Taking into account that fact that the performance was put on by Peter Pawlik, with whom the public has been well familiar since 2008, the Austrian director has been invited to give an interview.

Mr. Peter Pawlik, this is not the first show you put on at the Bucharest Opera. You did that first in 2008, when you put on the performance of La Cenerentola by Gioachino Rossini. How has your collaboration with the team been this time?

Our collaboration has been even more fruitful than it was three years ago because I have gained more experience in working with the artists of the institution, and I was extremely happy when Mr. Cătălin Ionescu-Arbore suggested a new collaboration to me, also telling me that he was going to be in charge with the scenery of the show. I love Ermanno Wolf because even if he sometimes might appear rather outdated, which explains why his music is so rarely performed, he is actually an innovator, he explores themes such as the competition between men and women in contemporary society in a direct manner. In fewer words, what people can see in this show is a fight for power gained by women, which is, after all, a good thing.

This is not the first work composed by Wolf-Ferarri that you direct. How would you describe the music of this composer and what sources of inspiration did you find in the score of the performance of I Quatro Rusteghi?

I think it is a very cleverly written and at the same time a very touching music. Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari is a half German half Italian composer and has the rationality of North-Europeans and the passion of the Southern Europeans; he is both well organised and creative, and his music stands as proof. It persuades you to take part in what is happening on stage, it makes you want to move and even dance. This turns Wolf-Ferrari into a unique personality among composers.

Alexandra Cebuc
Translated by Raluca Mizdrea and Elena Daniela Radu
MA Students, MTTLC, Bucharest University