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    Julius Caesar di Battistelli opens the season of the Rome Opera and triumphs

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    The continuous and pressing tension, generated by the magmatic musical flow of Giorgio Battistelli and a powerful staging conceived by the director Robert Carsen made the opening of the 2021-2022 season of the Opera di Roma triumphant with the tragedy “ Julius Caesar ” . The audience that crowded the Costanzi Theater on November 20 for this world premiere of the work expressly commissioned to the Roman composer on an English libretto by Ian Burton let themselves be conquered by the nervous and complex structures of contemporary music light years away from the cantability of traditional titles. of melodrama.
    The orchestra of the Opera di Roma, led by Daniele Gatti, on his farewell after three years as musical director, and the choir offered a remarkable performance. In the audience, among the personalities who did not want to miss the show, there was also the new mayor of Rome Roberto Gualtieri, who is the president of the Teatro dell’Opera Foundation.
    The great merits of Battistelli, fresh from the Leone d’Oro for Lifetime Achievement, who built an enveloping and solid sound network with sudden bursts emphasized by percussion and brass, was joined by the staging designed by the Canadian director. Carsen set the story that traces Shakespeare’s masterpiece in today’s Rome. The temple of the politics of the city gives way to the seats of a modern-day Senate among which characters in suits, ties and briefcases move. The plots and the power games, however, are the same, the scene – the director suggests – can take place anywhere in the world.
    This is how the modern Cassius and Brutus, fearing tyranny, decide the plan to eliminate Julius Caesar, just when the people want him to be proclaimed king. The curtain rises precisely on the demonstration of supporters who praise their idol. The strength and popularity of the winner, however, are seen as a danger. The omens of a soothsayer and the black dreams of Calpurnia, Caesar’s wife, which prevent him from appearing in the courtroom on the Ides of March, will be of no use.
    Just Brutus, loved by Caesar, will deliver the fatal blow after the ambush of the group of conspirators. “We will be remembered for those who fought for the freedom of our country”, they say after the assassination. And when the people, ready to follow new leaders, pretend to know the truth, Brutus’ reply is: “Caesar was ambitious and I killed him. I love Caesar but I love Rome more”. However, it will be the ghost of the victim to take revenge, pushing the architects of the conspiracy to suicide in a crescendo ‘noir’ that culminates in the ghostly image of death that pervades the classroom.
    Battistelli, who was in the audience, defined his work in two acts “ Hamlet, of doubt, a psychological work rather than on violence. It is a dense, somber writing. On the dramatic and musical level, there are parts where the off-stage singing fits into the orchestra, hybridizations between orchestral and human sound. “A particular appreciation goes, in this regard, to the 70 artists of the choir, instructed by Roberto Gabbiani, called to overwork in giving a voice to the Roman people.
    At the end, the public rewarded everyone with long applause and stamping of feet that dominated some haggard ‘buu’ from the galleries. Particular tribute for the composer greeting on stage with Carsen and Gatti. Many praise for the cast, mostly native English speakers: Clive Bayley (Julius Caesar), Elliot Madore (Brutus), Julian Hubbard (Cassius), Ruxandra Donose (Calpurnia, only female role), Dominic Sedgwick (Antony), Michael Scott (Casca), Hugo Hymas (Lucius), the sets by Radu Boruzescu, the costumes by Leon Carvalho, the lights by Peter Van Praet and Carsen himself.
    The consents, ultimately, have made the success of the risky decision to open the season with a work commissioned today. Al Costanzi had not happened for 120 years, when for the inauguration of 1901 Pietro Mascagni’s ‘Masks’ was chosen which in Rome, directed by the author, was well received but turned out to be a fiasco in the other five great Italian theaters in which it was performed simultaneously. (HANDLE).

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    Source From: Ansa

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