April 15, 2018
On April 15, 2018 María José Siri will debut the role of Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini at the Teatro alla Scala, in a new production by David Pountney and under the musical direction of Maestro Fabio Luisi. She will share the stage with Marcelo Puente as Paolo il Bello, Gabriele Viviani as Giovanni lo Sciancato, Luciano Ganci as Malatestino dall’Occhio and Alisa Kolosova as Samaritana. It will be the first of a series of nine performances running through May 13, 2018.
Francesca da Rimini has not been performed at the Teatro alla Scala since the 1958/59 season, where the legendary Magda Olivero interpreted the role of the doomed heroine. “Francesca was a pleasant surprise for me”, says the Uruguayan born soprano, “though I must confess it did not overwhelm me at a first listening. After playing it on the piano, which is my favorite way to get acquainted with a role, I totally changed my mind: I found many touching parts, such as the female chorus “Ohimè, ohimè che doglia acerba” right before my entrance, an almost Celtic music I found magic, and then Francesca’s very first word: ‘Amor!’. I fell in love with this role, which is sweet, magic, passional fiery, rebellious and seducing at the same time. Her singing covers a wide range of nuances, from the “ppp” of the first act, to the fortissimos of the violent act II. The singing is lavish, the range very wide, with highly effective dynamics: it’s a great job for Maestro Luisi and the orchestra, not to mention the chorus who gives truly impressive contributions, particularly at the end of the second act. I was so lucky to work with such an exceptional cast, and we’ve been working in total harmony. The direction is about the masculine and feminine elements considered as a unique force when one predominates over the other as if they were at war. Francesca is a victim of her brother’s intrigues, but even more so of a passion, a love she will never be able to run from except through her death.”
María José Siri made her Teatro alla Scala debut as Aida in 2009 in Franco Zeffirelli’s historic production, a role she reprised at La Scala in 2015 in the new Peter Stein staging. Other performances on this stage include the highly acclaimed inauguration of the 2016/17 season as Madama Butterfly and just a few months ago Messa per Rossini.
Information about Francesca da Rimini at the Teatro alla Scala:
Francesca: María José Siri; Paolo il Bello: Marcelo Puente; Giovanni lo Sciancato: Gabriele Viviani; Malatestino dall’Occhio: Luciano Ganci; Samaritana: Alisa Kolosova; Ostasio: Costantino Finucci; Biancofiore: Sara Rossini; Garsenda: Valentina Boi; Altichiara: Diana Haller, Adonella: Alessia Nadin; Smaragdi: Idunnu Münch; Ser Toldo: Matteo Desole; Il giullare: Elia Fabbian; Il balestriere/un prigioniero: Hun Kim; Il torrigiano:Lasha Sesitashvili
Fabio Luisi, conductor; David Pountney, stage director
Performances; April 15, 18, 21, 26, 29; May 2, 6, 10, 13, 2018
[Photo: Brescia e Amisano / Teatro alla Scala]