Amorosa Presenza: An Almost Modern Fairytale Revives Verdi Theater

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Photo credits Teatro Verdi
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by In Trieste

It was a grand opening night, between glitter and fur galore, as Teatro Verdi’s foyer was bustling with the famous in Trieste faces. 

There are few occasions to match the excitement and glamour of an Opening Night at the Verdi Theater, especially the premiere of the world’s newest opera: the Amorosa Presenza by an Oscar-winning composer Nicola Piovani.

Among the invited were mayor Dipiazza and his wife Claudia D’Atri, Il Rossetti’s director, Francesco Granbassi dressed to the nines, deputy mayor Serena Tonel in dark blue and many others.

The opera, which seemed a perfect quilting of the many operas we love and know, opens with a musical allegory where a girl meets a boy (disguised as a girl) on a summer’s day only to become infatuated with the boy her new acquaintance accolades. 

“I’m in love with Orazio!” exclaims Serena and to her sitter’s question “Who is Orazio?” The answer is “I never met him.”

An hour into the opera a banjo appears on the stage with the heroin singing “love, love, love” (in English) in the best tradition of a classical musical.

A forest creature takes stage right after and sets the background for the actions taking place. “Hot summer moving on, new season coming in, fall taking over with its chestnut smell, leaves turning yellow.”

Amorosa Presenza almost has it all. The second act’s opening had a little bit of Boheme in it, with snow falling down (reminiscent of carnival season in Boheme‘s second act), only to turn into Madama Butterfly when winter gave into spring and the cherry tree appeared on stage, continuing with a bit of Carmen and some Gershwin with a trombone accompanying singers 30 minutes into the second act which seemed almost entirely evocative of musicals.

The plot revolves around the imaginary love story, in the most Shakespearian way with a Jungian twist, where the main characters rediscover themselves while transported into the world of the opposite gender. Piovani virtuously explores the many sides of love and loneliness of living in the city in the 1970’s still relevant today. 

Sogno d’amore; pieno del desiderio e del languore” (a dream of love, full of desire and languor). 

Remarkable performances by Motoharu Takei (who at the last moment replaced Giuseppe Tommaso) and Maria Rita Combatelli were the cherry on top in this unique experience of the world premier of an opera written by an Oscar-winning composer. 

We suggest you see for yourselves tonight at 8.30 pm.

Box office open until 4 pm.

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