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Donizetti at Summer Vienna 2009

Thursday, 23 July 2009 , ora 11.39
On Tuesday, July 21st, I witnessed the representation of a less known work of art, namely, the theatrical drama Maria di Rohan, finished in 1843 by Gaetano Donizetti. That very year, Donizetti was in Vienna, invited by Austrian chancellor Metternich to work for the opera house of the imperial court.

Taking into account the historical circumstances in which the play was written, the independent opera band Opernwerkstatt restaged it in an adequate architectonic setting: in a barrack built on the Danube riverbank at the Austrian Emperor's order, approximately on the same date, namely, around the year 1850. This way, tourists from all over the world, spending their holidays in Vienna this summer, can become acquainted with the musical theatre of the 19th century in a less known historical site of the city. The staging was intended to give a hint of modernity to the topic, limiting the theatrical image to only two basic colors, red and black. In the willingly static space of the stage, only a few video projections bring movement and animation to the nocturne.

The play is being staged for the fifth time this summer, and it has already registered numerous favorable musical reviews. Ingrid Kaiserfeld, born in Graz, Austria, Turkish tenor Taylan Memioglu and Spanish baritone Javier Franco are starring in the play. The three of them have experience being on stage and their powerful voices, which reverberate in the inner court of the castle, prolong themselves with a short echo. Thus, the savor of the performance is, perhaps, more special than in a normal theatre hall. In conclusion, I witnessed a balanced summer performance, which, directed by Wolfgang Schilly, presented a modern staging. Its overall success was due to, last, but not least, conductor Tiziano Duca's firm management, a good connoisseur both of theatre and of Gaetano Donizetti's world, from what I could tell.
Haiganus Preda-Schimek
Translated by Florentina Yvonne Penciu and Mircea Filimon
MA students, MTTLC, Bucharest University