La Ciociara - Marco Tutino
26th, 28th October, 2nd, 5th November
‘Neo verismo’ opera in two acts Marco Tutino
Libretto by Fabio Ceresa and Marco Tutino
Based on a script by Luca Rossi from the novel of the same name by Alberto Moravia.
Sung in Italian with English surtitles
Royal Memorial Opera House, San Francisco, USA, 2015
Operas based on movies — more often than not themselves based on books — have become an increasing feature of the operatic landscape in recent decades. La Ciociara is probably best known in the 1960 film adaptation (Two Women) starring Sophia Loren, which, as directed by Vittorio de Sica, won her an Academy Award for Best Actress and made her the first such winner for a non-English film. It followed only three years after the publication of Alberto Moravia’s novel of the same name, telling the harrowing story of a woman attempting to shield her teenage daughter from the horrors of war and in particular the weapon of rape in the aftermath of the Battle of Monte Cassino. A television adaptation also followed in the 1960s, and much more recently an operatic version was commissioned from the composer Marco Tutino by San Francisco Opera. With a cast led by Anna Caterina Antonacci, it was premiered there in June 2015.
The anti-fascist Moravia (1907-90) took refuge during World War II in the province of Frosinone, not far from his native Rome, a region the fascists named ‘Ciociara’, and his experience there found its way into the novel. The much younger Tutino, born in Milan in 1954, has written about a dozen operas, including an adaption of Sándor Márai’s Embers (Le braci). One of his earliest operas was La lupa, a verismo work designed to celebrate the centenary of Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana and very much in keeping with his manifesto as a founding member of the Neo-Romantico group of composers.
He has indeed described La Ciociara as ‘neo verismo’, and knows of what he speaks: in parallel with his composition work, Tutino has held a series of artistic directorships including at prominent Italian opera houses, and is deeply steeped in operatic culture. He has revised the orchestration for La Ciociara, meaning that Wexford will give the professional premiere of the opera’s new version.
2023 Operas - Women & War
72nd Wexford Festival Opera - 24th Oct to 5th Nov
Zoraida di Granata
24th , 27th, 31st October, 3rd November
A modern premiere, Zoraida di Granata follows the experience of a woman drawn into war against her will, in a battle to save her love.
25th, 29th October, 1st, 4th November
A group of anarchists gather in St Petersburg to lament the state of the nation. Their group leader has died in prison, and they decide that the charismatic Serge Markariev, should take his place.