Double Bill: L’oracolo and Mala vita

Franco Leoni/Umberto Giordano

L’oracolo

Opera in One Act

Franco Leoni (1864–1949) 

__________________________

Mala vita

Opera in Three Acts

Umberto Giordano (1867–1948)

L’oracolo

Opera in One Act

Franco Leoni (1864–1949) 

Libretto by Camillo Zanoni, based on the Cat and the Cherub by C. B. Fernald

First performance Covent Garden, London, 28 June 1905

Set in San Francisco, the opera opens upon the fifth hour of the Chinese new year's day. Chim-Fen, owner of an opium den, wants to marry Ah-Joe, the daughter of the merchant Hu-Tsin, but she only has eyes for San-Lui. During the procession of the dragon when everyone is distracted, Chim-Fen kidnaps Hu-Tsin’s son Hu-Chi, hoping that his father will offer Ah-Joe’s hand in marriage to whomever finds his boy. But San-Lui discovers the child before Chim-Fen can return him, so Chim-Fen murders the man with a hatchet. Ah-Joe is driven literally insane with grief over the death of her lover. San-Lui’s father, the distinguished doctor Win-Shee, finds the little boy and returns him to Hu-Tsin. Quietly speaking to Chim-Fen, who feigns indignation over San-Lui’s murder, as they sit on a bench, Win-Shee first stabs, then strangles, the horrible man who murdered his son. A policeman walking by thinks the two men, one of whom is dead, are engrossed in conversation. When he turns the corner, the body drops to the ground. San-Lui is dead, Ah-Joe is insane, and a good and decent man has been driven to murder.

 


 

Mala vita

Opera in Three Acts

Umberto Giordano (1867–1948)

Libretto by Nicola Daspuro adapted from a verismo play of the same name by Salvatore di Giacomo  and Goffredo Cognetti

First performance Teatro Argentina, Rome, 21 February 1892

The opera's story revolves around a love triangle between Vito, a dyer afflicted with tuberculosis; Cristina, a prostitute whom Vito has vowed to marry in return for God curing him of his disease; and Amalia, Vito's mistress but married to Annetiello, a hard-drinking habitué of the brothel where Cristina worked. The action unfolds amidst the neighbourhood's preparations for the Piedigrotta festival.

Previous Wexford performances of operas by Giordano:

La cena delle beffe, 1987 / Siberia, 1999

 

19 October, 8 p.m.
25 October, 8 p.m.
28 October, 3 p.m.
31 October, 8 p.m.
3 November, 8 p.m.

 

Tickets €20 – €150

Creative Team

Conductor
Francesco Cilluffo

Italy

Previously at WFO: Conductor (Risurrezione, Alfano, 2017; Guglielmo Ratcliff, Mascagni, 2015).

Previous engagements: Conductor (Isabeau, Mascagni, Opera Holland Park; L’italiana in Algeri, Rossini, Opéra de Toulon; Miseria e nobiltà, Tutino, Teatro Carlo Felice, Genoa).

Forthcoming engagements: Conductor (La Voix Humaine/Cavalleria Rusticana, Poulenc/Mascagni, Opera Lombardia; Isabeau, Mascagni, New York City Opera; Falstaff, Verdi, Grange Park Festival).

Director
Rodula Gaitanou

Greece

Previously at WFO: Director (Vanessa, Barber, 2016), Associate Director (A Village Romeo and Juliet, Delius, 2012).

Previous engagements: Director (William Tell, Rossini, Victorian Opera, Melbourne, Australia; La traviata, Verdi, Opera Holland Park; Ariadne auf Naxos, Strauss, Göteborgsoperan, Gothenburg, Sweden).

Forthcoming engagements: Director (Lucia di Lammermoor, Donizetti, Opera Hedeland, Denmark; Un ballo in maschera, Verdi, Opera Holland Park; La Clemenza di Tito, Mozart, Bergen National Opera, Bergen, Norway).

Set and Costume Designer
Cordelia Chisholm

UK

Previously at WFO: Set and Costume Designer (Vanessa, Barber, 2016).

Previous engagements: Set and Costume Designer (La traviata, Verdi, Opera Holland Park; Giulio Cesare, Handel, English Touring Opera), Costume Designer (Inés de Castro, James MacMillan, Scottish Opera).

Forthcoming engagements: Set and Costume Designer (Agreed, Howard Moody, Glyndebourne Festival; Un ballo in maschera, Verdi, Opera Holland Park; La clemenza di Tito, Mozart, Bergen National Opera).

Lighting Designer
Paul Hackenmueller

USA

Previous engagements: Lighting Designer (Carmen, Bizet, Opera Philadelphia; The Golden Cockerel, Rimsky-Korsakov, Santa Fe Opera; Tosca, Puccini, Boston Lyric Opera).

Forthcoming engagements: Lighting Designer (Così fan tutte, Mozart, Lyric Opera of Kansas City; Carmen, Bizet, Seattle Opera; Carmen, Bizet, Irish National Opera).

Assistant Director, Movement Director
Rebecca Meltzer

UK

Previous engagements: Director (Mansfield Park, Jonathan Dove, Waterperry Opera Festival), Assistant Director (Candide, Bernstein, Iford Arts), Movement Director (Noye's Fludde, Britten, Blackheath Halls).

Cast

Cim-Fen (L’oracolo)
Joo Won Kang

Baritone, South Korea

Previously at WFO: Corrado (Maria de Rudenz, Donizetti, 2016).

Previous engagements: Figaro (Il barbiere di Siviglia, Rossini, Arizona Opera, Manfredo (L’amore dei tre re, Montemezzi, New York City Opera), Germont (La traviata, Verdi, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis).

Forthcoming engagements: Papageno (The Magic Flute, Mozart, Utah Opera), Germont (La traviata, Verdi, Minnesota Opera).

San-Lui (L'oracolo)
Vito (Mala vita)
Sergio Escobar

Tenor, Spain

Previous engagements: Don Carlo (Don Carlo, Verdi, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino), Radames (Aida, Verdi, Teatro Comunale di Bologna), Don José (Carmen, Bizet, Opera di Firenze).

Forthcoming engagements: Don Carlo (Don Carlo, Verdi, Ópera de Las Palmas), Arvino (I lombardi alla prima crociata, Verdi, Ópera de Bilbao).

Uin-Sci (L'oracolo)
Annetiello (Mala vita)
Leon Kim

Baritone, Korea

Previous engagements: Francesco (I Masnadieri, Verdi, Festival Verdi Parma), Lord Enrico Ashton (Lucia di Lammermoor, Donizetti, Teatro Verdi Trieste), Paolo Albiani (Simon Boccanegra, Verdi, Teatro Comunale di Bologna).

Forthcoming engagements: Renato (Un ballo in Maschera, Verdi, Teatro Verdi Parma), Paolo Albiani (Simon Boccanegra, Verdi, Teatro Carlo Felice Genoa), Paolo Albiani (Simon Boccanegra, Verdi, Opéra de Montpellier).

Hu-Tsin (L'oracolo)
Marco (Mala vita)
Benjamin Cho

Baritone, South Korea

Previous engagements: Valentin (Faust, Gounod, Teatro Luciano Pavarotti Modena), Marcello/Schaunard (La bohème, Puccini, Opera di Firenze, Edinburgh Opera Festival), Blasio (La scuola de’ gelosi, Salieri, Opera di Firenze, Teatro Salieri Legnago).

Forthcoming engagements: Giorgio Germont (La traviata, Verdi, Teatro Municipale Piacenza).

Ah-Joe (L'oracolo)
Elisabetta Farris

Soprano, Italy

Previous engagements: Mimì (La bohème, Puccini, Teatro Verdi – Trieste), Tosca (Tosca, Puccini, Maribor Slovene National Theatre), Margherita (Mefistofele, Boito, Teatro Verdi – Pisa)

Forthcoming engagements: Liù (Turandot, Puccini, Osaka Festival Hall), Leonora (Il trovatore, Verdi, Opera in Piazza Festival).

Haua-Qui (L'oracolo)
Louise Innes

Mezzo-soprano, UK

Previously at WFO: Sofia Ivanovna (Risurrezione, Alfano, 2017).

Previous engagements: Mercedes (Carmen, Bizet, Royal Opera Covent Garden), Javotte (Manon, Massenet, Royal Opera Covent Garden), Juno (Semele, Handel, London Handel Festival).

Cristina (Mala vita)
Francesca Tiburzi

Soprano, Italy

Previous engagements: Tosca (Tosca, Puccini, Teatro Verdi di Trieste, Teatro del Maggio Fiorentino); Norma (Norma, Bellini, Teatro del Popolo di Castelfiorentino); Pia (Pia de’Tolomei, Donizetti, Teatro Verdi di Pisa, Teatro Goldoni di Livorno).

Forthcoming engagements: Manon Lescaut (Manon Lescaut, Puccini, Teatro Filarmonico di Verona); Pia (Pia de’Tolomei, Donizetti, Teatro del Giglio di Lucca); Maddalena di Coigny (Andrea Chénier, Giordano, Teatro Massimo Bellini di Catania).

Amalia (Mala vita)
Dorothea Spilger

Mezzo-soprano, Germany

Previous engagements: Tisbe (La Cenerentola, Rossini, Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz Munich); Hänsel (Hänsel und Gretel, Humperdinck, Teatro alla Scala); Siébel (Faust, Gounod, Theater Erfurt).

Forthcoming engagements: Lisa (Die Passagierin, Weinberg, Danish National Opera).

Nunzia (Mala vita)
Anna Jeffers

Mezzo-soprano, UK

 

Previously at WFO: Mother/Weathers (Dubliners ShortWork, Synnott, 2017), Hansel (Hansel & Gretel ShortWork, Humperdinck, 2015), Third Boy (The Magic Flute ShortWork, Mozart, 2012).

 

Previous engagements: Cretan Woman (Idomeneo, Mozart, Buxton Festival Opera), Mother/Weathers (Dubliners, Synnott, Opera Theatre Company), Mrs Herring cover (Albert Herring, Britten, Buxton Festival Opera).

Forthcoming engagements: Chorus (The Second Violinist, Dennehy, Irish National Opera).