OBERTO. NASCITA DI UN’OPERA - Giancarlo Rizzi
GIANCARLO RIZZI: OBERTO. NASCITA DI UN’OPERA
The evening of November 17, 1839 La Scala raised the curtain on the work of a young composer from the province of Parma; Oberto, Count of San Bonifacio was the title, a certain Giuseppe Verdi the composer, Temistocle Solera the poet; but further details were not given to know. Even today, after more than 150 years, we know little about the origin of the libretto, very little of the story that led the maestro to put it to music, almost nothing of the rehearsals, and on the first we have few reviews and very contradictory. It is no better about the role played by some well-known characters of the theatrical environment of the time: Bartolomeo Merelli, for example, professional impresario and former poet, and Pietro Massini, who hurries so much to bring the opera to the stage. The librettists, then. Oberto’s verses bear the signature of Temistocle Solera, but at a glance another name had preceded him: he is a poet for pleasure, chancellor at the Court of Milan, lover of the historical novel and author of that story that claimed expressly as his: Lord Hamilton, of Antonio Piazza. What about those headlines?: Lord Hamilton, Rochester, Oberto, who appear and disappear in the correspondence of the master and change with the change in score of the names of the characters, which are replaced at the last minute with a stroke of pen.
The investigation of this first period of the artistic career of Giuseppe Verdi is so problematic for musicologists and biographers as to make some scholars say that in the absence of certain data even legends can go well. We have tried to do better, and starting from the comparison of the documentary sources we have given a plausible reconstruction on the birth of this first, troubled and still little known work, that for all fans, and in spite of any research and proof of paternity, evokes only one name: that of Giuseppe Verdi.
GIANCARLO RIZZI was born in Verona in 1982. After studying piano and composition at the Conservatory of Verona and Milan, he began conducting at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and studied with Lorin Maazel in the United States. He has conducted and collaborated with the main European opera companies, among others the Theater an der Wien in Vienna and the Rossini Opera Festival. In 2021 he founded the Profumo d'Opera Festival, bringing the works of Giuseppe Verdi to the places where the protagonists of his first opera, Oberto, Count of San Bonifacio, lived. He graduated in ancient literature at the University of Verona and is a professor of conducting at the Conservatory of Cosenza.
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