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la Biennale di Venezia
Main Visual Music EN (new)


Don Giovanni in Venice

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23 > 25 September at 9:00 p.m.
Palazzo Pisani, Conservatorio B.Marcello of Venice
Labyrinth Opera
Three fragments from the Don Giovanni by Mozart and new compositions by Pierre Jodlowski, Michele Tadini, Maria Gabriella Zen, Marcello Filotei, Federico Troncatti, Martina Tomner (commissioned by La Biennale di Venezia) world premiere
Francesco Zorzini, Marco Marinoni (commissioned by the Conservatorio Benedetto Marcello of Venice)  world premiere
Free entrance
Pierre Jodlowsky The Ghost Women (3 video installations)
Michele Tadini Requiem_#2065 for female chorus and electronics
Maria Gabriella Zen Don Giovanni, variazioni sul mito. Melologo filosofico. 7 variations for female chorus, percussions (and organ in a distant room)
Marcello Filotei Walking Sax (un Don Giovanni improvvisato) for tenor saxophone and eight-channel magnetic tape
Federico Troncatti L'ateisto fulminato for organ and harpsichord, organ and piano and electronics
Martina Tomner Tempelmusik II for strings
Francesco Zorzini Serenata d’addio for strings
Marco Marinoni Black Drop for ensemble and live electronics (Marco Marinoni and Stefano Alessandretti)
from a concept by Luca Francesconi
project and dramaturgy Francesco Micheli
coordination Federica Parolini, Michele Tadini
actors Maria Pilar Perez Aspa, Chiara Stoppa, Stefano Orlandi, Gianluca Di Lauro
set design by the students from the Set Design course at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice, coordinated by Franca Nava
costumes and props from the Teatro La Fenice in Venice
technical director Carlo Pallieri
Women’s Choir of the Teatro La Fenice in Venice
Choirmaster Claudio Marino Moretti
Orchestra ensemble of the Teatro La Fenice in Venice
Conducted by Dario Garegnani
Percussion ensemble of the Conservatorio Benedetto Marcello in Venice
voice Manuela Agnesini
narrating voice Umberto Curi
soloists and orchestra groups from the Conservatorio Benedetto Marcello in Venice
conducted by Franco Massaro, Justine Rapaccioli, Michele Sacco
production La Biennale di Venezia, Conservatorio Benedetto Marcello of Venice, Fondazione Teatro La Fenice di Venezia, Accademia di Belle Arti of Venice
The Don Giovanni by Mozart becomes Don Giovanni a Venezia, a totally new opera installation that inaugurates the 54th Festival and presents itself as a synthesis of the themes running through it. A concentration of many simultaneous events – musical, scenic, theatrical, visual – dispersed throughout the spaces of the Conservatorio Benedetto Marcello in Venice and cyclically “switched on”, Don Giovanni a Venezia disrupts our perceptive habits and creates interference between different eras.
Conceived by director Luca Francesconi, Don Giovanni a Venezia is a singular experiment in production with young artists from the Conservatorio Benedetto Marcello and the Accademia di Belle Arti who will measure themselves on the professional stage against the singers and musicians of one of the major opera theatres, the Teatro La Fenice, against the composers, soloists and actors involved in this operation. A complex stage organization, engaging over 130 artistic and technical professionals, made possible by the joint commitment of four Venetian institutions: the participants in this project by the Music Biennale are the Conservatorio Benedetto Marcello, which not only put its young musicians and composers to work, but also offered its historic headquarters at Palazzo Pisani in Campo Santo Stefano, one of the most fascinating Venetian palaces, as the venue for the performance; the Teatro La Fenice, which involved its entire choir and orchestra ensemble, and opened its storerooms to lend the costumes and props; and the Accademia di Belle Arti, which will create the sets for Palazzo Pisani.

Three scenes have been selected from the original opera by Mozart, three key scenes – the duel between Don Giovanni and the Commendatore, the seduction of Zerlina, the death of Don Giovanni – which take place cyclically though shifted in time, like a non-synchronous loop, in three different places on the three different floors of Palazzo Pisani. Mozart’s three scenes, which serve as a “latch”, a refrainthat carries the spectator through the fabric of the opera, are interspersed with 8 original new pieces – commissioned to contemporary composers by the Biennale and by the Conservatorio Benedetto Marcello – woven into the Mozartian structure of the opera to shed light on the relationship with tradition. “It’s as if Mozart’s three scenes were meteorites exploding in the ancient salons, in the loggias, in the porticoes, among the monumental statues, the stuccoes, the paintings, the inlaid doors, the frescoed ceilings of the Venetian palace – says Luca Francesconi. As if the characters from Mozart’s Don Giovanni emanated from the history-laden walls of this seventeenth-century palace and came alive in the midst of our present”.

The venue of the Conservatory of Venice, Palazzo Pisani in its entirety, will host this “labyrinth-opera”, for which the audience will promenade through the halls and the salons, will walk through the courts and loggias, will move down the halls and go up the stairs of this ancient building. This itinerary will lead to a new perceptive experience, in which space and time will appear suspended.

Tying together the threads of this highly particular mise-en-scène will be director Francesco Micheli (a long-time exponent of experimental lyric theatre, winner of the Premio Abbiati 2009 for Bianco Rosso e Verdiat the Teatro Lirico in Palermo), while the musical dramaturgy, the creation of a harmonic framework will be the responsibility of Michele Tadini, who will supervise the entire operation from a centralized audio and video control room, made possible by the extensive wiring system of the Conservatory.

The actual musical plot of Don Giovanni a Venezia is composed of a kaleidoscope of pieces, written by composers of different generations and backgrounds summoned by the Biennale to address the theme of opera: twenty-six year old Swedish composer Martina Tomner, the author of Tempelmusik; French composer Pierre Jodlowski, who conceived a triple video installation with The Ghost Women; Federico Troncatti who evokes the Italian archetype of myth, L’Ateisto Fulminato; Venetian composer Gabriella Zen who, with the complicity of Umberto Curi, wrote a philosophical melologue entitled Don Giovanni, variazioni sul mito; Marcello Filotei, who invents an improvised Don Giovanni, Walking Sax; Michele Tadini, the author of Requiem_#2065; Marco Marinoni and Francesco Zorzini, directly from the Conservatory of Venice, respectively with Black drop and Serenata d’addio.