Composer(s): Giuseppe Verdi
The records having their strength in the most famous Verdi’s arias are countless today as well as the singers who, in the 20th century, faced his overwhelming dramatic force first at conservatory and then on stage. Therefore, it is with a fearful respect that nowadays singers approach one of the most popular and studied repertoire. The VERDIANA project, founded by Sergio Pellegrini of the Opera di Parma with the collaboration of three of the greatest contemporary interpreters, brings together the most important Giuseppe Verdi’s arias for soprano, tenor and bass. This first volume is fully dedicated to the soprano voice and encompasses almost all Verdi’s operatic history from “Un giorno di regno” to “Falstaff”.
Each track of this CD entered deeply the collective imagination. Whether it is the neglected Il Corsaro or the worldwide famous La Traviata, these arias imposed a very precise dramaturgic vision and spread around the world through countless instrumental transcriptions for the private enjoyment of amateurs or for professionals and concert halls.
Verdi is the true continuer of the romantic experience developed in the early 19th century by the first group of opera composers (Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti) and the forerunner of the late romantic climate. His life can be divided into at least four well-defined periods: his artistic development, the first operatic experiences, the attainment of the dramatic unity that partly ended the Italian opera as a succession of closed arias and finally his own stylistic innovation carrying the Italian opera in the 20th century.[…] (Translation by Marco Beccari)
Giuseppe Verdi: (b Roncole, nr Busseto, 9/10 Oct 1813; d Milan, 27 Jan 1901). Italian composer. By common consent he is recognized as the greatest Italian musical dramatist.
Rancatore, Desirée (Soprano)is one of the leading-edge stars of Italian opera in the light lyrical repertoire, and is outstanding for her technique and passion for music. Born in Palermo, she studied violin and piano before beginning, at the age of 16, to extend her study of singing with her mother and, in Rome, with Margaret Baker Genovesi. At the tender age of 19 she debuted as Barbarina in The Marriage of Figaro in Salzburg Festival, singing for the first time in Italy in 1997 at the opening of the season at the Regio di Parma Theatre (L’Arlesiana de Cilèa). Since then, and in spite of her youth, she has become a habitué in the foremost theatres in Europe and Asia, while accumulating prizes such as the Ibla de Ragusa Award (1995) the Vincenzo Bellini de Caltanissetta Prize (1995) and the Maria Caniglia de Sulmona Award (1996).
At the age of 20 she returned to Salzburg Festival to sing in Die entführung aus dem serail, which marked the beginning of a fruitful collaboration with the Austrian event, performing numerous concerts in the Salzburg Mozarteum and singing in operas like Don Carlo (conducted by Lorin Maazel), Jeanne d’Arc au Bûcher (Honegger) and Piramo e Tisbe (with Europa Galante Orchestra conducted by Fabio Biondi). At the age of 21 she debuted in the Massimo di Palermo Theatre (Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier), in the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Mahler’s 2nd Symphony) and sang her first Olympia in Les contes d’Hoffmann (Catania), one of the most gratifying roles that she has sung, having performed it in the Opéra National in Paris, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in London, Zurich Ópera House, Massimo di Palermo Theatre, Rome Opera House, The Regio Theatre in Turin and Parma, The Toulouse Théâtre du Capitole, the Teatro Real in Madrid, la Scala in Milan, the Sferisterio di Macerata and the Orange Opera Festival. She debuted her Olympia in Vienna, returning to the Staatsoper with Rigoletto and Puritani while in Paris she also performed in the operas L’enfant et les sortilèges, Parsifal and The Magic Flute –recorded on DVD (Arthaus Musik), her Nannetta from Falstaff which she debuted in Covent Garden also went down in posterity on DVD (BBC).
Another one of the roles which has elevated Desirée Rancatore to the highest echelons of the international opera scene is Gilda from Rigoletto, which she has performed in Melbourne, San Francisco, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Tokyo, Venice, Mexico, Vienna, Arena di Verona, Parma, Beijing, Florence, Zurich, and this year (2017) in Barcelona, which performance was also live streamed into Europe’s main theatres. She debuted in the lead role in Lucia di Lammermoor in the Donizetti Theatre in Bergamo in the 2005-06 season, later doing a tour of Japan in this role, which included Tokyo, one of her favourite places. She sang the role again in the Oviedo Opera House, in the Zurich Opera House, the Comunale in Bologna, the Cilèa in Reggio Calabria and in the Comunale in Ferrara.
Another of her best-loved roles is Adina from L’elisir d’amor, which she debuted in Laurent Pelly’s production at the Bastille Opera House in Paris and which she performed again in the Lirico Theatre in Cagliari and in La Fenice in Venice in a historic performance in which it was she who had to give an encore of her aria after the clamorous applause of the audience, (not Nemorino, which is usual). After debuting as the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute in Paris, she also sang the role in Rome and Cagliari, and also received warm reviews for Il viaggio a Reims in the Bologna Comunale, in the Carlo Felice in Genoa and in the Théâtre de La Monnaie in Brussels. Another of her great roles is the lead in Delibes’ Lakmé, which she has sung in Palermo, the Campoamor in Oviedo and in the Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo.
The role of Konstanze in Die entführung aus dem serail, which she sang for the first time in the Petruzzelli Theatre in Bari, was also her triumphant calling card at the Teatro Real in Madrid (2006), and in Palermo and Cagliari.
In December 2004, at the reopening of La Scala in Milan, she sang the role of Sémele in Salieri’s L’Europa riconosciuta, conducted by Riccardo Muti, with whom she travelled to Paris to sing Carmina Burana with the National Orchestra of France. She was invited to open the 2005-6 season at the Bologna Comunale in a new production n of Ascanio in Alba and in October 2008 she made her debut as Elvira in Bellini’s I Puritani in Palermo with which she also travelled to the Palacio de la Opera in La Coruña and the Wiener Staatsoper. In 2010 she sang the role of Amina from La Sonnambula for the first time in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
She has performed in festivals in Wiesbaden (Lucia di Lammermoor), and Valle d’Itria de Martina Franca (Les Huguenots), in the Umbria Music Festival (Stabat Mater de Pergolesi), and in the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro (where she debuted in 2006 as Fanny in La cambiale di matrimonio and where she returned in 2010 to perform in the opening concert of a cycle of bel canto), in Cincinnati Festival (Christ on the Mount of Olives, by Beethoven, conducted by James Conlon), the Savonlinna Opera Festival (I Puritani), in the Radio France Festival and Montpellier (Piramo e Tisbe and Stabat Mater).
In 2012 she is once again interpreting Donizetti’s characters singing the role of Marie in La fille du regiment at La Scala in Milano but also Madrid and Paris. In Paris she also debut the role of Norina in Don Pasquale under the direction of Enrique Mazzola at the Theatre des Champs Elysées. She sings in Liverpool directed by Ottavio Dantone alongside with the Liverpool Philarmonic Orchestra. She makes her debut in Bizet’s Les pêcheurs de perles directed by Daniel Oren.
In 2013 she sings the role of Violetta all around Europe (Palermo, Vienna, Madrid, Genova) and Japan in Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata, also making her first appearance at the Montecarlo’s Operà with the direction of Marco Armiliato. She is the first ever to sing the role of Violetta at the new Muscat Theatre in Oman.
In 2014 she’s once again called by Laurent Pelly for the role of La Comtesse Adèle in Rossini’s Le Compte Ory, directed by Stefano Montanari at the Lyon Operà.
Among the numerous prizes she has received for her work, outstanding awards include the Ester Mazzoleni Special Prize, 2008, and the International “Mimosa d’Oro” Prize, 2008, which was bestowed by the City of Agrigento. In 2010 she was awarded the first Opera Oscar for the most popular soprano by the Verona Arena and it was in this same city that she won the Zenatello Prize for the best soprano in 2008.
Her recordings include El rapto en aus dem Serail with Sir Charles Mackerras and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra; the film Mozart in Turkey shot in the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul; Die Zauberflöte in the Paris Opera House; and CDs for Dynamic (Les Huguenots, Lucia di Lammermoor, La cambiale di matrimonio, Les contes d’Hoffmann), Bongiovanni (Ascanio in Alba), Arthaus Musik (Die Vögel, Die entführung aus dem serial-hangar 7), TDK (Die Zauberflöte, Les contes d’Hoffmann), Naxos (Lucia di Lammermoor, La cambiale di matrimonio), and Brilliant(Les Pecheurs de perles).
Pellegrini, Sergio (Conductor): As clarinettist he collaborated with many orchestras like Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, Orchestra del Teatro San Carlo di Napoli, Orchestra Toscanini of Parma, Orchestra da Camera Italiana with Maestro Salvatore Accardo, Orchestra da Camera di Mantova, Orchestra del Teatro Regio di Parma.
As for XX Century music, he collaborated, as principal clarinet, for two years with the “European Music Project” of Ulm (Germany). In 1993 he won the National competition for wind instruments groups “Amilcare Ponchielli” of Cremona.
In 1997 he founded The “Parma Opera Ensemble”, today denominated Solisti dell’Opera di Parma, formed, along with him, by prestigious instrumentalists. The group was later on denominated I Solisti del Teatro Regio di Parma. This ensemble played at the Rossini Opera Festival of Pesaro, the Teatro Regio of Parma, the Teatro Grande of Brescia, the Teatro Municipale of Piacenza, the Unione Musicale of Torino, the Sagra Musicale Umbra, the Festival Internacional de Musica of Cambrils, the Chelsea Festival of London, the Kyoi Hall of Tokyo, the Tofokuji Temple of Kyoto, at the “Otobutai festival”, at the Ginko Hall of Fukuoka, the Festival of S. Feliù de Guixols, at the headquarter of the United Nations and at the Carnegie Hall, in New York, at the Festival of Reus. Besides, he has been invited by the Philarmonic of Mosca to the Tchaikovsky Hall; to San Pietroburgo, Kaliningrad, Liepaja and Riga.
Since 1999, as president and artistic director of the Orchestra del Teatro Regio di Parma, which he founded, in Parma he took part to all the opera, symphonic and chamber music seasons, and to the Festival Verdi, until 2012. This activity provided the Orchestra 180 workdays per year. The Orchestra played in International festivals, in Opera and concert seasons all over the world: Italy, France, Spain, USA, Germany, Mexico, India, Japan, Korea and China. The Orchestra was – between 2003 and 2007 – conducted by Bruno Bartoletti and collaborated with conductors such as Muti, Maazel, Temirkanov, Bartoletti, Chung, De Burgos, and Plasson.
As orchestra conductor he collaborated as guest conductor with orchestras like the East European Philarmonic Orchestra, the Russian Philarmonic Orchestra, the Orchestra Philarmonic of Arad (Romania), Philarmonic Orchestra of Bakau (Romania), with the Orchestra del Teatro Olimpico of Vicenza and the Philarmonic Orchestra of Oporto (Portugal) both in opera and symphonic seasons.
With the Orchestra of Teatro Regio di Parma he collaborated with soloists like Nikolaj Luganski, Corrado Giuffredi, Andrea Oliva, Andrea Bacchetti and singers like Leo Nucci, Vladimir Stoyanov, Fiorenza Cedolins, Desirèe Rancatore, Roberto Aronica, Roberto Scandiuzzi, Luca Salsi. In March 2012 he conducted the soprano Barbara Frittoli at the Lisinski Concert Hall of Zagabria.
He collaborated in several recordings – both as clarinetist and artistic director of the Orchestra del Teatro Regio di Parma – with Sony, Unitel e Stradivarius.