November Music

As usual now I’ll include a post on music events coming up in Lucca and its province during November. In a month, not particularly noted for a plethora of events there are several good things. I’m especially keen to attend the San Francesco silent film screening with musical accompaniment and both the comemmorative Masses for Puccini and Catalani respectively sound interesting. And then there’s Carmen too!



Great music anniversaries is the title of a concert on Saturday, November 23rd at 6 pm in the auditorium of Piazza del Suffragio for the start of the Boccherini music institute’s new academic year.

Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner, born two hundred years ago and Benjamin Britten, born one hundred years ago will feature in this important event. The Boccherini music institute’s orchestra, conducted by Egisto Matteucci, perform Britten’s Simple Symphony, Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll, the aria Ella giammai m’amò from Don Carlo (baritone Roberto Lorenzi ) and the overture from Verdi’s Nabucco. The Boccherini music institute’s choir, trained by Sara Matteucci, will sing the famous chorus Va pensiero.  Admission is free. Info:


From 27th to 29th November there will be three musical days dedicated to Puccini organized by the Sagra Musicale Lucchese and the Fondazione Giacomo Puccini. Wednesday 27th (9 pm, Casermetta di San Colombano) a conference Michele Puccini: the man, the scholar, the composer with Gabriella Biagi Ravenni and Luca Bacci. Thursday 28th (4.30 pm Casermetta di San Colombano) a conference on Giacomo Puccini, smoking, motorcars, diseases and remedies (effective or not) with Luca Berni. Friday 29th, a double appointment: at 4 pm guided tour of the Puccini Museum – book by phoning 0583 584028, at  6 pm (St. Martin’s Cathedral) Mass in memory of Giacomo Puccini, with the Chapel of Santa Cecilia conducted by Luca Bacci and organist Giulia Biagetti.



The Cluster association continues its series of contemporary music with a concert in the auditorium of the Fondazione Banca del Monte di Lucca on Thursday 7th with Aldo Brizzi (electronics) and Reis (vocals) who will play traditional and popular music from Brazil in classical guise. Friday 15th (Oratory of the Guardian Angels (Angeli Custodi)) Rossella Spinosa and Alessandro Calcagnile will play Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring one hundred years after its first performance. The piece will be introduced by the two artists. Thursday 21st (Auditorium Fondazione BML) Renzo Cresti will present the new CD by Stefano Giannotti the Giardino dinincantato with live performance of most of the songs. Finally, on Saturday 30 (Oratory of the Guardian Angels – Angeli custodi) a tribute by some of the Cluster group composers (F. Cipriano , G. Deraco , M. Fabbri , F. Favali , G. Lazzarini) to Verdi and Wagner with previously unreleased tracks . All concerts are at 9 pm. Free admission


Friday 29th at 9.15 pm the Santa Felicita choir  at the San Romano Auditorium will sing in a  concert of sacred music titled Requiem for Puccini , on the 89th anniversary of the composer’s death. The program includes the Messa da Requiem by Lorenzo Perosi, first performed in Rome on January 19th 1925 at Puccini’s solemn state funeral, the Requiem Puccini composed for Verdi, the Motet for St. Paulinus by Puccini and the intermezzo from Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana. Choirs participating include the Santa Felicita choir of Lucca and the Bruno Pizzi choir from Pisa, the bass Graziano Polidori with a group of soloists from his school , the “New Europe ” orchestra from Florence. Artistic Director Graziano Polidori. Chorus master: Silvano Pieruccini. Conductor: Alan Freiles. Admission is free.


Thursday 7th (9.15 pm) the Domenico di Lorenzo association concludes the “Lucca Comics and organs” concert season with a show in the church of San Francesco sponsored by the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Lucca. There will be a screening of the silent film Settimo Cielo by Frank Borzage from 1927 with organ improvisation by Edoardo Bellotti (see photo), organist, harpsichordist and musicologist , among the best-known and appreciated experts in Renaissance and Baroque repertoire. The show, produced in collaboration with the “Ezekiel 25.17″ Cineforum, will be presented by Pier Dario Marzi and has free admission subject to availability.

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The encounters resume in November with four concerts dedicated to ancient and contemporary music. Sunday 10th at 5.30 pm, at the Teatro Colombo Valdottavo, a concert given by the Tuscany Regional Network of flutes with music by Bach, Bonn, Handel and Boncompagni. On November 17th, at the Teatro Colombo at 5.30 pm, pianist Simone Soldiers will perform music by Mozart, Brahms, Schumann and Chopin. Sunday 24th at the Church of San Francesco di Borgo a Mozzano, at 4.30 pm composer Girolamo Deraco meets the public to discuss “composing today.” This is followed at 5.30 pm by a guitar concert given by the Giacomo Brunini and Dario Atzori duo who will perform a world premiere of music by Deraco and music by Rossini-Giuliani, Sor, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Granados and Gnattali. Entrance ticket € 8 (€ 5 for students). Booking:; info:


The Cultural Association of the Scompiglio di Vorno, conducted by Cecilia Bertoni, presents “Mozart’s Così fan tutte”, a project revolving around the great composer from Salzburg with concerts taking place until June 2014 at the Scompiglio. Antonio Caggiano is artistic director. The programming of the festival is spread along three lines: Mozart operas, works of composers from different eras dedicated to Mozart and ‘experiments’ by artists from diverse musical areas that are contrasted with Mozart’s soundscape. The events open on November 30th at 9 pm with a concert given by the Sentieri Selvaggi ensemble conducted by Carlo Boccadoro, with music by Filippo Del Corno, Arvo Pärt, Gavin Bryars, Charles Goldmund, Michael Torke and Carlo Galante. Tickets cost € 12 (reduced € 7). Info:


The Catalani club presents, on Sunday 10th at 5.30, in the church of Santa Maria Corte Orlandini, a Thanksgiving Mass with Gregorian chant, and polyphonic choral work of the fourteenth century sung by the Cantus Anthime choir conducted by Livio Picotti. After the religious ceremony, there will be a convivial meeting at the Puccini restaurant to celebrate thirty years of activity. Additionally, at the San Luca Palace, the club presents a series of three events dedicated to Pietro Mascagni at 9 pm: Friday 15th screening of the film Melodie Immortali (1952). Roberto Del Nista introduces on Friday 22nd a lecture and debate “Mascagni, who was he?” curated by Alberto Paloscia. Saturday 30th, a concert “Remembering Mascagni” introduced by Alberto Paloscia. Information and reservations 347 9951581.



Il Baluardo vocal group in Lucca celebrates five hundred years of Lucca’s walls with a concert on Sunday, November 10th at 5 pm in the Tobino Hall of the Palazzo Ducale. Free entry. The choir will perform songs from popular Tuscan, Italian and international repertoires, and will be accompanied on the guitar by Gabriele Cinquini and percussionist Joseph Favia, all conducted by Elio Ancients. After this, Il Baluardo continues with other events: Saturday 16th there is a dinner while on Tuesday 19th there is an “open test” at the choir’s headquarters (Via del Colletto 115 – Massa Pisana). For information call 348 2334867.


On Monday, the 4th, in the auditorium of the ASL of Capannori, at the social and health centre, at 9 pm there will be an evening entitled “Images and songs of memory”. The program includes images of the two world wars and traditional Alpine songs sung by the Pizzorne di Camigliano choir conducted by Luigi Della Maggiora. Admission is free.


On Saturday, November 23rd, at 8.30 pm, (repeated Sunday 24th at 4 pm), Bizet’s Carmen opens the opera season at the Teatro Del Giglio. Charles Goldstein conducts the Orchestra della Toscana, with the Coro della Toscana conducted by Marco Bargagna and the children’s choir of the Fondazione Teatro Goldoni conducted by Marisol Caballo. The main roles of the opera (Don Jose, Carmen and Escamillo) will be sung by Agata Bienkowska (23rd Nov), Annnunziata Vestri (24th Nov), Mickael Spadaccini (23rd) and Dario Di Vietri (24th), Paolo Pecchioli (23rd), and Valdis Jansons (24th). Director is Francesco Esposito. Stage-sets by Nicola Bruschi (see sketch of the first act). Tickets for the opera season go on sale on November 2nd.

(Teatro Del Giglio booking office email:, tel. 0583 465320).

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From November the “Puccini and his Lucca” International Festival offers two weekly concerts at 7 pm in the Oratorio di San Giuseppe at the Museum of the Cathedral of Lucca (Piazza Antelminelli, the square, next to the Cathedral), and in a heated auditorium during the winter.

Every Friday the “Puccini Opera Recital”  concert of arias and duets from the masterpieces from the works of Giacomo Puccini ; every Saturday ” A Night at the Opera ” , a recital dedicated to arias from Puccini’s operas and other famous composers such as Mascagni, Donizetti , Mozart, Bizet, Wagner , Bellini , Verdi and Rossini . Every evening there are two soloists from “Puccini and his Lucca ” accompanied on the piano by Diego Fiorini .
Tickets on sale from 6 pm to 7.15 pm on the day of the concert at the Oratorio di San Giuseppe; entrance adult € 20 ( concessions € 16 for residents of the province of Lucca, students under 23 and groups). Discounts for tickets purchased in advance by calling 340 8106042 or online at: or


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