Days of Donizetti: Gianni di Parigi 2011: The Wexford Angle.
This Donizetti opera (and Wexford's 16th Donizetti production) was unappreciated in its day and neglected until 1988, when musicologist Anders Wiklund (also responsible for unearthing Cristina, regina di Svezia by Foroni), began studying and editing the score in preparation for its first modern-day revival in Bergamo in September 1988. In it he found a score which contained some unexpected riches and rewards. It was thought the opera was written in 1831, but on closer examination, it is more indicative of Donizetti’s work from the 1820s. An autographed score of the opera, clearly places the overture in the year 1828. Though written in the Neapolitan style, there is no evidence that it was ever performed there. Like many of his operas, Donizetti made several revisions to the score during his lifetime.
Wexford’s production of Gianni di Parigi was conducted by Giacomo Sagripanti, who knew the opera by heart and conducted it without using a score. Meastro Sagripanti was named ‘Best Conductor’ at the 2016 International Opera Awards. Artistic Director David Agler was honoured to present him with this very prestigious award at the gala ceremony in London last May. Incidentally, the lead soprano, Zuzana Markova and Giacoma Sagripanti are now married! Many romances have emerged in Wexford – but that is a different blog!
Gianni di Parigi had four performances in the Wexford Opera House on 23, 29, and 2 and 5 November and included the following cast:
La Principessa di Navarra Zuzana Markova
Il Gran Siniscalco Alessandro Luongo
Gianni di Parigi Edgardo Rocha
Pedrigo Alessandro Spina
Lorezza Fiona Murphy
Oliviero Lucia Cirillo
Wexford Festival Opera Chorus
Orchestra of Wexford Festival Opera
Conductor Giacomo Sagripanti
Director Federico Grazzini
Set Designer Tiziano Santi
Costume Designer Valeria Donata Bettella
Lighting Designer Declan Randall
Other than The Donizetti Festival in Bergamo, Italy, Wexford Festival Opera has produced more operas by Gaetano Donizetti, than any other festival in the world. This year we prepare to produce our 17th full-scale Donizetti opera, Maria de Rudenz.
References courtesy of Wexford County Archives, photo courtesy of Clive Barda/ArenaPAL.