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Interview with Teodor Niță, director of the "Nae Leonard" National Opera and Operetta Theatre in Galați

Monday, 17 June 2024 , ora 10.50

On Saturday June 15th, the artists of the National Opera Theatre "Nae Leonard" in Galați will present Boema as part of the Bucharest Opera Festival - All Puccini Edition, a major event marking the 100th anniversary of the death of the great composer Giacomo Puccini. On this occasion Teodor Niță, the director of the Galician institution spoke to our colleague Ioana Țintea.

Mr. Teodor Niță, how do you appreciate this festival that brings together the most important opera institutions in the country, but also institutions from abroad, in which the National Opera and Operetta Theatre "Nae Leonard" of Galați was invited to participate for the first time?

This festival, although it is only at its third edition, we can say that it has become a festival of tradition. It will certainly become one of the most important opera festivals in Europe in the future. There are very enthusiastic, professional, willing and art-loving people involved, they also have the necessary finances (because such a festival is not easy to organise without financial support) but the most important is the human resource.

I believe we will participate in a festival that will write history.

As part of the Bucharest Opera Festival - All Puccini Edition, the artists of the "Nae Leonard" National Opera and Operetta Theatre in Galați will present the opera "Boema" in the capital - a performance scheduled for Saturday, June 15th, the day before the gala evening reserved for the hosts. What can you tell us about this production?

We'll be performing exclusively with the artists of our opera. They are all young and it's very important because they will almost be playing their lives live on stage, showing off their skills and all their professionalism. The average age is somewhere around 25. We are a bit brave, especially me, to come up with this production, but I really want to go with young people who have an undeniable value. It's going to be a test - for us, for them... but we hope the audience will like what we have to offer.

Our premiere is directed by Paolo Bosisio, an Italian director, but none of the cast from 6-7 years ago remains. We had the ambition to revive it with young interpreters of our opera, some of whom have only been with us for a year, who are very talented and can interpret the Puccini repertoire well.

It will be an absolutely new and young, youthful and enthusiastic performance.

Whose musical leadership is secure?

Because the last Bohemian we did in this cast was conducted by Maestro Traian Ichim of the Brasov Opera, we were keen not to change that. And besides, why not admit it, Maestro Traian Ichim is one of the most important conductors - who understands us, whom we understand - and we take advantage of his talent and kindness.

Can you give us a brief summary of the season for the National Opera and Operetta Theatre "Nae Leonard" in Galați, which is coming to an end?

As we are at the end of the season and the beginning of the new season and in the International Puccini Year, we have already had Puccini's Gloria Messa, a piece of music that is not often performed in our country. And this year we had the opportunity and the motivation to perform it. And, as we traditionally had "Cavalleria Rusticana" and "Paiațe" before Easter, this year we staged Puccini's Gloria with the help of Maestro Dumănescu.

Next up is our theatre's traditional opera festival, now in its 20th year. The festival will be exclusively Puccini.

We will also have an absolute novelty! We'll present a Puccini opera not yet written... it will be called "Un bel di vedremo". It is the idea of Paolo Bosisio, who also directed "Boema", and it is an opera made of musical fragments and images, reflecting the whole artistic life of Puccini. We started with the idea of a Puccini concert as the opening of our festival, but I think that was too little. So Bosisio came up with this generous idea from our point of view, to rewrite Puccini's whole life in musical scores. It starts with Puccini's end, in a hospital in Brussels, where he also died, remembering or thinking that he only had a little bit left to finish his opera "Turandot". And starting from there, it goes back to his younger years and we move into images, as in a live-action film, with a Puccini character on stage narrating all this action. So we're going to open with an absolute premiere. The idea is generous, we've decided on the set design, the sets, the performers and we hope it will be a good show.

After that, we will continue with "Turandot", "Madama Butterfly", "Tosca" and we will end with "Boema".

Interview by Ioana Țintea
Translated by Andrei Mădălin Catană,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu