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Interview with Cristina Uruc, Artexim manager

Wednesday, 15 May 2024 , ora 11.13

On the occasion of the "Giacomo Puccini" Centenary, when we celebrate 100 years since his passing, the Italian Cultural Institute, along with Artexim, will organise on Monday, the 13th of May 2024, at the Romanian Athenaeum -The Puccini Gala. More about this event Cristina Uruc, Artexim manager:

Ms. Cristina Uruc, the Romanian Athenaeum will host on Monday evening The Puccini Gala - an event dedicated to the centenary of Giacomo Puccini, celebrated under the patronage of the Italian Embassy and organized by the Italian Cultural Institute in collaboration with Artexim. What can you tell us about the artists invited to honour the memory of the Italian composer?

On Monday, at 19:00, at the Romanian Athenaeum (which hosts us as usual) there will be a concert with the Royal Camerata under the baton of Maestro Tito Ceccherini, an important Italian conductor specializing in the Puccinian operatic repertoire and many more, also with soprano CelliaCostea. The cast is of international level, musicians with special voices that will give the arias and duets they will perform a personal colour and will bring Puccini's creation closer to the hearts of the Romanian audience.

What will the audience at the Romanian Athenaeum listen to?

Arias and duets from famous operas such as Madama Butterfly, Turandot, Manon Lescaut. Obviously, we'll have Nessundorma, Un bel di vedremo... hit arias, so to speak.

I would like to point out the participation of the "Prelude-Voicu Enăchescu" Choir of the National Art Centre "Romanian Youth" which will perform Kyrie and Agnus Dei from Messa di Gloria and the silent choir from Madama Butterfly - three important and rarely performed pieces by this choir.

I would also like to point out that for the first time in Romania the "Symphonic Prelude" will be performed on the stage of the Romanian Athenaeum by the Royal Camerata under the baton of Maestro Tito Ceccherini. According to our research and to our knowledge, this is the first time, it is a Romanian premiere of the "Symphonic Prelude" written by Giacomo Puccini.

What is the main way of marking the "Giacomo Puccini" Centenary in Romania, apart from the intention to promote the works of the veristcomposer?

We very much hope that through these events we will be able to highlight the bilateral relations of cultural diplomacy between Italy and Romania. As you said at the beginning, this event is held under the patronage of the Embassy of the Italian Republic in Bucharest and the events that will take place under the Puccini Year will not only be held in the opera theatres in Bucharest and in the country, but also in some philharmonics that have joined our project and responded positively to the invitation, such as the Philharmonic of RâmnicuVâlcea, the Philharmonic of Ploiești, the Philharmonic of Timișoara and countless other partner philharmonics.

It is important to show the Romanian public that Puccini is an important composer not only in the operatic repertoire, but also in the vocal-symphonic one and that his music creates bridges between the two cultures, Romanian and Italian. And here we know very well that Puccini's first Tosca, the artist for whom Puccini wrote this opera, was Hariclea Darclee.

As part of the Puccini Centenary, are there any other events planned until the end of the year?

Of course. At the beginning of June, in collaboration with the University of Milan and the National University of Music in Bucharest, we will organise the "Hariclea Darclee- Puccini" Symposium, and we invite the public to attend. It will take place at the National University of Music in Bucharest. We will announce all the details on the UNMB website, the Institute's website, the Embassy's website and the Artexim website.

There will be an important masterclass in opera singing held by Barbara Frittoli and hosted by the Bucharest National Opera House. Barbara Frittoli will perform in one of the National Opera House's productions in a role for the Romanian audience, which is incredible, she is a world-class star.

On top of that, there will be premieres at operas around the country, "Bucharest Opera Festival" will be dedicated to Puccini this year.

So, there are plenty of other events and concerts we invite you to attend.

Interview by Ioana Țintea
Translated by Cristina-Paula Grosu,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu