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Interview with the Producer Rareș Zaharia
On 19th, 21st and 23rd March, Leonardo Vinci̕ s ARTASERSE will be performed at the Versailles Royal Opera, staged by Silviu Purcărete and reprised by Rares Zaharia.
Mister Rareș Zaharia, we understand that you are now in France to partake in the staging of an extremely interesting opera, Leonardo Vinci̕ s Artaserse. Initially, this opera has been staged by Silviu Purcărete and you, as his assistant. During these days, the opera is being performed at Versailles in France.
I have had the great pleasure of working with Silviu Purcărete for over 7 year in opera staging. I had the privilege to revive some of Silviu Purcărete̕ s staginges, which were produced by international opera companies or during important festivals. This year̕ s performance is Artaserse, which is one of last year̕ s discovery. The first performance took place at the Opéra National de Lorraine in Nancy in November 2012, together with the release of its first album ever being produced. It was believed that Leonardo Vinci̕ s opera was somehow cursed because at the premiere in Rome the Pope died, then at the second attempt to stage it the composer was killed and when Metastasio Libretto wished to perform this opera in Venice, dedicating it to Maria Teresa̕ s mother, she died several weeks before the event, therefore a legend was created that this extraordinary opera was cursed. The performance was a great success. The audience added this opera to last year̕ s top operas and its audio recording was nominated for the Grammy Awards. Therefore, we can say that there are prestigious pieces of work in the music industry and that the cast is simply marvelous, turning Franco Fagioli into a superstar because of the extremely difficult part he had to sing, a part that was written for one of the biggest castrati counter-tenor singers of the time. At the first performance, the main voice was Philippe Jaroussky’s, but because he is not available for this event, we have another counter-tenor, Vince Vi, who is an excellent counter-tenor among others, like Max Emanuel Cencic and our new Romanian counter-tenor star, Valer Barna Sabadus, who has a sensational voice and the audience is moved at each of his stage performances. The performance will take place at the Versailles Royal Opera, in the French castle. It is a famous opera house that was built exclusively for kings. The opera house, designed for Louis XIV by the architect Gabriel, has only 400 seats and it was built so that the royalties could watch the operas and the French lyric tragedies of those days. It is the perfect setting for this opera and I can̕ t imagine a more suitable or spectacular place for it.
the director Rareș Zaharia have other projects?
I am currently preparing a competition for the Aix-en-Provence Festival where I have been nominated for 2 years and after last year̕ s first performance of Othello at the Opera in Craiova, the managers offered me the chance to stage the productions of the following seasons. Now we wait and see what comes next. Our plan is to stage a new first performance in Craiova, hopefully for the opening of the very next season.
Translated by Ana-Maria Florea and Elena Daniela Radu
MTTLC, The University of Bucharest