Cucchi loves to lift operatic eyebrows

Director Rosetta Cucchi.

ITALIAN director and pianist Rosetta Cucchi is in Sydney to make her directorial debut for Opera Australia with Francesco Cilea’s “Adriana Lecouvreur”, and he or she’s often known as a real unique.

Celebrated for her radical strategy to staging, she additionally loves to lift eyebrows by declaring her fondness for Mozart’s libidinous Don Giovanni – not for his bed-hopping adventures, however for the complexity of his character, a lot underrated by commentators in her view.

Once I meet up with Cucchi by cellphone to Sydney, she’s deep in manufacturing.

“I’m nonetheless a pianist,” she says, “I play with a variety of singers, however it’s some level I made a decision my excellent place was the stage – in opera, the proper artwork type.

“In 2000 I stepped as much as be a director, and I, however I by no means misplaced the musical facet for the director of an opera music is extraordinarily necessary, teamwork is necessary… conductor Leonardo Sini and I work collectively.”

The opera is a remount of the model staged by Teatro Comunale di Bologna and Fundación Opera de Óviedo in 2021, and whereas not a primary for Australia, is a uncommon occasion, putting monumental calls for on the singer of the title function, Adriana, on this case Albanian dramatic soprano Ermonela Jaho.

“It’s a really stunning opera and Cilea was an excellent composer,” Rosita tells me. So nice in truth that whereas at the very least two units of others are the composers and librettists had a go on the story, solely Cilea’s stays.

“Dramaturgically, it’s a present to a director, as a result of it talks concerning the theatre and the thought beneath it’s the theatre,” she says, noting that Adrienne Lecouvreur was an actual actress within the 1730s on the Comédie-Française in Paris, who died of poison in 1732, though disappointingly, not by kissing poisoned violets, because the opera suggests.

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Aside from the theatrical motif, the theme is of two highly effective ladies opposed to one another, Adriana is the type of lyric soprano who can play Puccini’s Mimi. Her reverse quantity, the Princess, Romanian Carmen Topciu is a mezzo-soprano, vocally constant along with her function as “the imply particular person”.

However lest stereotyping prevail, she notes, Italian baritone Giorgio Caoduro performs the nice man, Michonnet, honourable, although to make certain American tenor Michael Fabiano is the love curiosity, Maurizio.

Cucchi rejects the concept that the plot of “Adriana Lecouvreur” is sophisticated and believes that audiences might be instantly intrigued, as she is, by the opening scene displaying the backstage of a theatre whereas a efficiency is occurring.

The character of Adriana herself, the self- acknowledged slave to artwork, turns into entangled in a reasonably sophisticated love triangle as a result of her paramour Maurizio can be the Princess’s hidden lover, however Rosetta’s seen rather more complicated plots in opera.

You may think that very subtle performing is demand it, however it’s pretty easy for Cucchi, who tells me: “I like to have interaction the singers after which I can obtain what I need from them… they must belief you. In the event that they don’t, they’ll do the job, however with out soul.”

As for her radical vison, she says: “If we wish to have an viewers sooner or later, we have to make the operas inform us one thing, however with out going too removed from the music.”

To this finish, she and her designers, Tiziano Santi and Claudia Pernigotti, have determined to range the setting so that every act takes place in a distinct period, from the 18th century to the Nineteen Sixties.

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Act I is backstage on the Comédie-Française within the historic setting, Act II, in a villa on the Seine, is extra romantic, stuffed with hidden secrets and techniques, Act III is ready in a type of a Weimar-style cabaret, with contact of Garbo, and Act IV in room is ready in in Paris throughout 1968, with a nod to the cinema of Jean-Luc Godard.

It sounds visually spectacular, however to Rosetta, ultimately  the music is on the coronary heart of it.

“Adriana Lecouvreur”, Opera Australia, Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera Home, February 20-March 7.


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Ian Meikle, editor