Voice Academy 2018 – Mozart and Da Ponte
29 October – 4 November, 2018

VOICE ACADEMY 2018 – MOZART and DA PONTE
Direction : Ivan Alexandre, musicologist, producer and director of the Voice Academy, assisted by Julien Benhamou, director of casting and of artistic coordination of the Opéra National de Bordeaux and Alain Perroux, director of artistic administration of the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence.
Guest Professor: Dame Felicity Lott
Lyric artists selected:
Soprano : Sandrine Buendia and Marie Perbost
Mezzo-soprano : Adèle Charvet and Violette Polchi
Tenor : Paco Garcia and Sebastian Monti
Baritone: Michał Janicki
Bas baritone: André Courville
Pianists and song coach: Edwige Herchenroder and Karolos Zouganelis
In 1783, Mozart was finally established in Vienna. The triumph of his Entführung aus dem Serail had just given the German troupe of the capital its legitimacy and fame. When suddenly the emperor changes his mind. As popular as it is, the German Singspiel is not prestigious enough for such a glorious court. Thus, Joseph II founds an Italian opera buffa company, supervised by the compositor Antonio Salieri…

… where Mozart yet again hopes for success. But the story slows down. Two attempts fail, and it is not until three years later that he gets the troupe to perform a work of his.

What a masterpiece! It is his Nozze di Figaro that he manages to give to the Burgtheater on the 1 May 1786, while the Mariage de Figaro by Beaumarchais remains prohibited in Vienna. Not quite as successful as the Serail, but still resounding enough for the emperor to edict a special rule: the encore on ensembles became illegal! Only arias could be sung twice if the clapping demanded it.

It’s that the rivals in melody – the Paisiello, the Cimarosa, the Salieri – enchant the public, while nobody, neither before or after, could rival with the dazzling duos, trios, sextets and finales of the Figaro.

In this field, Mozart can thank his muse, but also the poet who made this miracle possible: the abbot Lorenzo Da Ponte, cooperative and inspired librettist who, like him, possesses the magical gift of banishing the borders between buffo and seria, between large and small, between game and life.

After the founding Figaro, the partners would together create Don Giovanni (Prague 1787) and finally Così fan tutte (Vienna 1790), trio of masterpieces unique in its density, its diversity, its cruelty, its simple truth.

It is to this bottomless triptych that the second edition of our Voice Academy was devoted to, under the supervision of Dame Felicity Lott, who knows these characters, this singing and these feelings better than anyone.

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