The Latest in Italian theatre extravaganzas returns to the stage this month with Francesco Micheli’s new opera.
Guided by Elio on a journey into artistic past, and created by the artistic direction of Micheli, “Cantiere Opera” will be running for two weeks at the Niccolini Theatre, beginning January 31st. The opera will feature the works of six prominent Italian composers and opera stars, reminding viewers of the importance that opera plays in the history and culture of Florence, and the rest of the country. Each of the ‘lessons’ will pay tribute to Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi and Puccini, with the sixth focusing on an unpublished work still in the making: Nicola Campogrande’s “De Bello Gallico”.
In an era focused on digital entertainment, the ability to entertain audiences with opera remains a continuous challenge, especially in regards to targetting a younger clientele. This project is specifically targeting ages 16-21, while maintaining the classic composers known to man, especially those of Italian descent, and bringing an innovative approach to their work through the two-week run of Teatro #BellaStoria.
Micheli recognizes that local Florentines may take their chance to live in a place so rich in beauty and history for granted, which is why it is important to remind audiences why opera should continue to be a staple not only in learning, but in seeking entertainment. In a city that essentially symbolizes dreams coming true– with an endless list of highly recognized artists and composers being of Italian descent– it’s not hard to integrate that mentality into his own work. Micheli loves opera for the energy and electricity it brings, and he hopes to recreate that with “Cantiere Opera” this season.
For Elio, a long-running career in opera has not prepared him for the endless potential that a unique show like this may bring. While he voluntarily does not want to know what to expect on opening night, everything in this show is “new and interesting” for him, and will surely allow audiences to gain a new perspective on the world of opera.
“Cantiere Opera” will include videos, readings, improvisations, opera singing, piano music, and comedy. The two weeks have been strategically divided into two-day slots for each composer and artist being commemorated (Rossini for January 31st and February 1st, Bellini for February 2nd and 3rd, etc.).
Micheli’s opera intends to reincarnate some of Italian’s finest, as without them, we would have lost out on the opportunity to explore all artistic potential with this form of entertainment, and to integrate it into our learning experiences. As a country that has been built upon its artistic and cultural potential, Italy is, in a way, obliged to keep opera alive. By passing it along to younger generations, Micheli plays his role in doing so.