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April 21, 1966 (Italy, Bologna)

Biography  Gea Garatti completed her musical studies, at the G.B. Martini Conservatory in Bologna, her hometown, and at the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia in Rome. After working as assistant Choir Director with many important Maestros she started her own career as principal Choir Director. From 2000 to 2011, as Choir Director, at the Rome O...read more

Biography  Gea Garatti completed her musical studies, at the G.B. Martini Conservatory in Bologna, her hometown, and at the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia in Rome. After working as assistant Choir Director with many important Maestros she started her own career as principal Choir Director. From 2000 to 2011, as Choir Director, at the Rome O...read more

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  • Repertoire (15)
Composer & WorkRoleProductions
Bellini
Il pirataChorus master1
Birtwistle
The MinotaurChorus master1
Brahms
Ein deutsches RequiemConductor1
Cilea
Adriana LecouvreurChorus master1

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Bologna, Teatro Comunale, Opera Season 2011/12 "LA TRAVIATA" Melodramma in three acts. Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. Music by Giuseppe Verdi Violetta Valéry YOLANDA AUYANET Alfredo Germont JAVIER TOME' FERNANDEZ Giorgio Germont STEFANO ANTONUCCI Flora Bervoix GIUSEPPINA BRIDELLI Annina ROBERTA POZZER Gastone de Letorieres VLADIMIR REUTOV Baron Douphol MATTIA OLIVIERI Marchese d'Obigny CHRISTIAN FARAVELLI Dr.Grenvil MASAHI MORI Giuseppe LUCA VISANI A commissioner SANDRO PUCCI Domestic by Flora MARCO DANIELI Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro Comunale di Bologna Conductor Michele Mariotti Chorus Master Lorenzo Fratini Directed by Alfonso Antoniozzi Scenes Paolo Giacchero Costumes Claudia Pernigotti Lights Andrea Oliva Production of the Teatro Comunale di Bologna 2010 Bologna, 22 February 2012 If he were not a great baritone, and if he had never dedicated himself to opera, Alfonso Antoniozzi he would always be a great man of theater by nature and his directorial debut did not surprise anyone among those who know him. His enhancement as a director must however be ascribed to the (not many) merits of the past management of the Comunale di Bologna, which entrusted him with an interesting Don Pasquale very low-budget in 2008 and in 2010 this Traviata with Mariella Devia, which this year is resumed with Yolanda Auyanet. First of all, it must be clarified that Antoniozzi has the cultural background to understand the libretto and of course the music of an opera. It would seem obvious but perhaps the most naïve spectators do not know that most opera directors do not know how to read music or even distinguish a septenary from an octanery. Often singers can consider themselves lucky when the director has at least taken the trouble to understand the plot of the opera. With Antoniozzi we are on another level: many small precautions that it is impossible to give an account of in a review show that Verdi's musical dramaturgy has been deeply understood and that the main focus is always on the actor, on the singing and on the psychology of the characters (not, for example, on expensive machinery, Corinthian columns, abstract geometries ...). In detail, this Traviata is therefore always perfectly usable. Nevertheless, in the general conception I cannot help but notice several inconsistencies that do not make this show fully successful. At a first level it will be necessary to question the transposition of the story to the 60s of the "dolce vita". Designed by Dumas son and Verdi to be absolutely current, for reasons of censorship, since the contemporary dress was judged too scandalous, La traviata was born already from the first of 1853 in a "transposition" in eighteenth-century clothes (century of unseemly volterriani enemies of the holy government), a tradition that survived until the late twentieth century. At the level of possibility, this story could have happened in 1753 as in 1853, as well as in 2012 (perhaps thinking not of a Violetta escort, who would risk ending up in parliament, but rather of a transsexual Violet). But this story tells us a lot about the founding values of the nineteenth-century bourgeoisie, which determine action. And what does it tell us instead of the 60s of the twentieth century, which in the eyes of us posterity are years of great social change also for the female condition? Not much. Given that love has always blinded men and women, a Violetta who embodied the 60s should at least have had a feminist friend who would try to make her understand that the Germonts, father and son, are a typical expression of the male oppressor, perhaps able to worship but not to understand the woman. Fortunately, there is no room for such considerations in this work. Transposition is plausible, but an end in itself. (Not to mention that in the 60s you would not have played a waltz at Violetta's house, but a record by Adriano Celentano, which would have caused many problems to the duet of the first act ...). Even in the absence of Celentano, the first act, set on a (neo)realist and cinematographic tone, is certainly the best of this set-up: the choir moves in a natural and fun way and the idea of a party in the inner garden of an urban villa (rationalist) is infinitely poetic because it allows us to situate the discovery of love, as described in the booklet, under the starry sky of a night that is about to end and that finally yields to a tired dawn that brings with it bitter reflections ("Ah, maybe it's him ... Always free"). Unfortunately, Andrea Oliva's lights are not up to the difficult task: the stars shine in a decidedly hysterical way and the light of dawn is just fake. The style remains realistic and resigned until the end of the first painting of the second act,when Violetta is enveloped by a strange sanctifying white light during the famous "Love me, Alfredo!". Antoniozzi then breaks the pact maintained so far with the spectators to indulge in some "directorial ideas". The party at Flora's house is strangely immobile and a bit didactic (Violetta is constantly in another space and with other lights than the other characters). The gypsy choir, one of those occasions in which the director could perhaps concede something to the show or perhaps – better – tell something relevant to his interpretation of the drama, is resolved as a static choral recital. Viewers on February 22, however, were able to enjoy a surreal Lynch moment when the projector brought to the stage to comment on the narration of the mattadori (with a video that peeked at "Blood and arena", they told me) did not give any sign of life, leaving the choir to stare at a white wall. But it was the last act that raised the most concerns. According to Antoniozzi the two Germonts do not reach Violetta's bedside until she has already died and what is seen and heard in the last act is only a self-consoling fantasy of the tapina, which actually dies alone (and without a bed). This knows who spent 14 euros to buy the theater program and read the "director's notes". The others will have wondered why no one seems to notice the corpse of a lookalike of the protagonist lying on the floor. It would rather be said that "the real one" is the one who sings while "the corpse" could be, I do not know, a part of her that is dead (hope? patience?). No one would ever guess that what you see, so gloomy and shabby, is a comforting vision. If illusory consolation was to be, then it would take roses and flowers, soft lights and we wanted well,perhaps in grotesque contrast with the violent reality of the facts. It would have been an idea (although not the idea expressed by Verdi's music). The third act of this staging, on the other hand, is only confusing. In fact, removed the conceptual encumbrance of the figure on the floor, it is a very traditional good third act of Traviata. Moreover, as thought by Dumas, Piave and Verdi, this last visit of the Germonts, who calculated with impeccable precision the moment of the fatal worsening to show repentance and contrite without risking unpleasant discussions about an impossible marriage, to me seems much more terrible than any death in solitude. In the role of Alfredo the indisposed Giuseppe Gipali was replaced for this premiere by the second cast, the Spaniard Javier Tomé Fernandez. The voice is beautiful and sonorous, but the technique is lacking. In essence, like many singers today, he is not able to sing piano above the passage and, wanting to rightly preserve a stamped sound, he is forced for example to break the line of "Paris, o dear", started with a beautiful piano, with sudden transition to the fortissimo when the melody rises. A bit the opposite of his father on stage, Stefano Antonucci,a baritone with a voice that is not really torrential, but with excellent diction, who tries to respect the detail of Verdi's writing with many half voices and many beautiful musical ideas, to which the vocal organ does not always prove to be up to par. I felt more intellectual admiration than physical pleasure in listening to this artist and I had no great regrets for the traditional cut of the cabaletta "No, you will not hear reproaches". Superlative the rehearsal of the choir prepared by Lorenzo Fratini and very good comprimari, coming from the choir or from the defunct "Scuola dell'Opera" (but it should be noted that Gastone – beautiful voice, for the rest – forgot to communicate the result of the game of cards in the second act). Michele Mariotti conducted an orchestra in dazzling form with great poetry, alternating with stolen sensitivity and rhythmic rigor, allowing himself some interesting underlining without ever losing sight of the support for singing. Great triumphant of the evening was Yolanda Auyanet, even in the absence of that E flat overlay of tradition at the end of the first act, considered by some to be an essential ornament to the character. Sweet and clear diction, soft voice, nice, ductile in agility and available to the bright pianissimi of "Alfredo, Alfredo..." (concertato II act) or the "Farewell of the past" as well as the openings of "Amami, Alfredo", sonorous and stamped in all its range up to a sensual chest voice ... Add to this a beautiful presence (not much enhanced by the costumes of Claudia Pernigotti, beautiful but unfortunately not very generous with the protagonist) and you can well conclude that the Auyanet is simply a dream Violet. Enthusiastic audience. P.V.Montanar
P.V.Montanari

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