As customary at monthly intervals, this post is all about music and related events in Lucca province for this December. Regarding what’s on offer I’d actually feel very much inclined to visit the Teatro San Carlo in Naples on one of the trips organised by the Cenacolo delle Muse of Lucca. How can I still be missing out on the oldest continuously used opera venue in Europe, older even than Venice‘s La Fenice and Milan‘s La Scala! A theatre for which Rossini wrote no less than ten operas and of which Stendhal wrote: “There is nothing in all Europe, I won’t say comparable to this theatre, but which gives the slightest idea of what it is like…, it dazzles the eyes, it enraptures the soul…”.
Well I suppose I’l have to be content with Lucca’s Giglio and Falstaff this December- not too bad after all!
FALSTAFF AND THEATRICAL BURLESQUE
The Teatro Del Giglio opera season’s second production is Verdi’s Falstaff on Friday 13th at 8.30 pm and on Sunday 15th at 4 pm. The title role will be sung by Bulgarian baritone Kiril Manolov. Nicola Paszkowski conducts the “Luigi Cherubini” youth orchestra, while the director is Mazzavillani Cristina Muti, with stage designs by Ezio Antonelli. The Municipal Theatre of Piacenza chorus is conducted by Corrado Casati. Info and reservations: 0583 465 330.
CATALANI AND PUCCINI – A COMPARISON
Saturday 7th at 5 pm in the St. Columbano guardroom a new book, “Puccini and Catalani “, by Riccardo Pecci will be presented by Michele Girardi who will compare the two Lucca composers who in 1890 vied for publisher Giulio Ricordi’s attention. He will also look at the relationships between Edgar and Loreley and the competition between Manon Lescaut and La Wally. Speakers include various personalities from political and cultural spheres.
CLUSTER CONCLUDES THE AUTUMN SEASON
The Cluster association, which performs contemporary music, closes this month’s autumn season with two events. The first is on Thursday, 5th at 9 pm in the Oratorio degli Angeli Custodi (free entry) with a recital by clarinettist Tony Capula who , with pianist Gerd Rosinsky, will present a mixed repertoire from young Lucca composers such as Girolamo Deraco and Federico Favali . Cluster’s last concert on Saturday 21st relates to Marcello Polacci’s exhibition held from 23rd November to 15th December at the Exhibition Hall of the Fondazione Banca del Monte di Lucca which uses the original sound of Manfred Giampietro entitled “Silent Geometry”, a piece written specially for this exhibition.
DOUBLE-BASSES AT THE SCOMPIGLIO
Saturday 14th at 7pm at the Scompiglio estate of Vorno there will be a double-bass concert by Ludus Gravis, conducted by Daniel Roccato, presenting “Images of initiation, ritual and catharsis ” with ancient madrigals and recent works rooted in a real or imaginary past , demonstrating how music remains always contemporary. Music by Mozart, Scelsi, Pärt, Gesualdo, Henze, Cage and Gubaidulina. Info: 0583 971125, 0583 971475.
GOSPEL WITH CHERYL PORTER
Saturday 7th at 9 pm at the Church of St. Anna (Lucca), there will be a concert by the famous international singer Cheryl Porter who, accompanied by her musicians, will range from Jazz to Gospel songs that made her world-famous. The evening’s event is a charity one and proceeds will go to the Lucca section of ABIO (Association for Hospitalised Children) to buy medicines for the Sister Ornella Ciccone mission (a missionary from Lucca), which manages the home for children with disabilities at the Cheshire Homes in Lusaka, Zambia (Africa).
READINGS AND CONCERT DEDICATED TO GIOVANNI BOCCACCIO
Sunday, 22nd at 9 pm at the Arté centre in Capannori there will be a show where poems and short stories from Boccaccio’s Decameron will be read by the “Musica Ricercata” ensemble with Giulia Peri soprano , Stephen Woodbury countertenor , Paolo Fanciullacci tenor and narrator , Marco Perrella bass and reciter , Michael Stüve director, vieille and violin . Free admission
CHRISTMAS MASS AT THE CONVENTO DELL’ ANGELO
On Christmas Eve at the Convento dell’ Angelo (above Ponte a Moriano) Midnight Mass will be celebrated with the Passionist Fathers and musicians of the Academy of Montegral under the musical direction of Maestro Gustav Kuhn. Masterpieces by Bach, Mozart, Puccini, Rossini and Franck will enliven the Christmas celebration. For the event there will be a free shuttle-bus service from the car-park at Ponte a Moriano (behind the Municipal Theatre) beginning at 10.30 pm and returning from 1.00 am onwards. Info 0583 406300 or: http://www.montegral.com.
MUSICAL ENCOUNTERS AT BORGO A MOZZANO
Ending on Sunday, December 8th, at 9 pm at the Church of San Francesco in Borgo a Mozzano will be the fourth season of “Musical Encounters at the Theatre” with a choral concert dedicated to the Llibre Vermell, a collection of Marian songs from a manuscript of Montserrat monastery dating back to the fourteenth century. Performing are the Fontegara consort, the “Santa Cecilia” choir of Pisa and the St. Andrea Collegiate Church choir from Montecarlo (Lu) conducted by Gabriele Micheli. Also on 8th December, at the Colombo Theatre in Valdottavo, Maestro Micheli will hold a seminar on choral singing for young music school students. Tickets (€ 8, reduced € 5 for students) can be purchased at the Church of St. Francesco or booked at email: stagione.concerti.valdottavo @ gmail.com.
THE “ALFREDO CATALANI” CIRCLE
The “Alfredo Catalani” circle is presenting on Sunday, December 8th at 5 pm a show in the Cavanis Auditorium of Porcari. In their programme is Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite featuring dancers Gisela Carmona Galvez, Zaloa Fabbrini, Cristiano Colangelo and Zhani Lukaj from the Agora Dance Group .The evening (free admission) will be introduced by Loredana Bruno. Tuesday, December 10th at 5 pm, in the Church of Santa Maria Corteorlandini the Feast of Aviation will be celebrated. During the Mass the music will be offered by the Catalani circle with soprano Silvia Tocchini and pianist Simone Soldati. Sunday, December 29th, the association is organizing a trip to the Carlo Felice Theatre in Genoa for a performance of Verdi’s Otello conducted by Andrea Battistoni. Information on 347 9951581.
EXCURSIONS WITH THE CENACOLO DELLE MUSE
The “Cenacolo Delle Muse” association is organizing, in December, two cultural trips. The first is on Sunday 1st, meeting 9 am at Viale Luporini, to Rome for Verdi’s Ernani, conducted by Riccardo Muti with F. Meli, L. Salty, I. Abdrazakov and T. Serjan. The second is on Sunday, December 14th leaving at 6 am to the Teatro San Carlo in Naples for Verdi’s Aida, conducted by Nicola Luisotti ; singers are K. Lewis , F. Sartori , A. Smirnova , C. Sgura and O. Anastassov . Before arriving at the Naples theatre there will be visits to the Villa Reale Carditello and the Royal Villa of San Leucio.
CHRISTMAS CONCERT WITH THE S. FELICITA CHOIR
The “Santa Felicita” choir and Lucca’s Misericordia are organizing a Christmas concert on Sunday, December 22nd at 9.15 pm in the Church of San Salvatore (Chiesa Della Misericordia). Taking part are the S. Felicita choir conducted by Silvano Pieruccini , the “Domenico Savio” choir of Livorno Cathedral conducted by Paolo Rossi , the bass Graziano Polidori with a group of soloists from his school , and organist Silvano Pieruccini . As on that day it’s also the 155th anniversary of Puccini’s birth, during the concert there will be a tribute to Lucca’s great composer. Admission is free.
CONCERT BY THE “G. PUCCINI” CHOIR OF CAMIGLIANO
There are three events promoted this month by Camigliano’s “Giacomo Puccini” choir conducted by Luigi Della Maggiora. Sunday 1st at 4.30 pm, at the “Chiavi d’oro” centre in Lucca, the choir will give a concert with a varied musical programme. Saturday 21st at 9 pm in the parish church of Porcari, the “Puccini” and the “Pizzorne” choirs will be guests of the “San Giusto” choir of Porcari in their traditional Christmas concert. Finally, on Sunday 29th at 4.30 pm in the church of Camigliano there will be a Christmas concert, “Around the Crib”, with the St. Andrew collegiate church choir of Monte Carlo conducted by Gabriele Micheli and the Aurelio Marchi choir of Monzuno conducted by Romana Benassi . Admission is free.
“THE GOBLIN AND HISTORICAL MEMORY” MUSICAL
The “Arcobaleno” Choir is presenting three shows at the Teatro Accademico of Bagni di Lucca for primary and secondary schools pupils. The shows, which will be on Saturday, November 30th (4.30 pm and 9.15 pm) and Sunday, December 1st (4.30 pm), will see the performance of the musical “The Goblin and Historical Memory”, written by Cristina Torselli and Marco Barsella for the Quincentenary of Lucca’s Walls. The songs are by Cristina Torselli, Nikolas Torselli Mario Trivellini. Participating in the dancing are children and young people in local pre-schools and secondary schools. Tickets cost € 5, and the money goes to charity. Information on 338 3153661 or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
CONCERTS EVERY FRIDAY AND SATURDAY AT THE ORATORIO DI SAN GIUSEPPE
The “Puccini and his Lucca” International Festival presents two weekly concerts at 7 pm in the Oratorio di San Giuseppe by the Lucca Cathedral Museum in Piazza Antelminelli.
Every Friday there is a “Puccini Opera Recital” and every Saturday “A Night at the Opera “. In addition, “Puccini and his Lucca” is also organizing special concerts during the Christmas season. On Christmas Day at 6pm there will be a “Puccini and traditional Christmas carols” recital. On December 26th at 7 pm, there will be a concert dedicated to “Puccini and the traditional Neapolitan song.” On Tuesday, 31st at 7pm there is a New Year’s Eve Gala concert “Mozart and Puccini “; on January 1st, 2014, again at 7 pm, a recital “The Women of Puccini.” Every evening there will be festival soloists accompanied on the piano by Diego and Flavio Fiorini.
Tickets on sale from 6 pm to 7.15 pm on the day of the concert at the Oratorio di San Giuseppe; entrance fee: adult € 20 (concessions € 16 for residents of Lucca province, students under 23 and groups). Discounts for tickets purchased in advance by calling 340 8106042 or online at: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“BOCCHERINI OPEN” ENDS
In December the Boccherini OPEN season sponsored by the Boccherini Music Institute ends. Tuesday 10th (9 pm) , in the Institute’s auditorium in the Piazza del Suffragio , there will be a concert and award of a special bursary offered by Lucca’s vocal group “Il baluardo “, conducted by Elio Antichi, with the aim of focusing attention on Lucca’s young musicians and musical talents. The evening will open with a performance, by “Il Baluardo”, of songs and, afterwards, the student award winner will give a recital. Sunday, 22nd (3.30 pm), there will be the big Christmas concert. Soloists, orchestra and choir of the Boccherini institute conducted by GianPaolo Mazzoli perform traditional Christmas songs. The concert will be preceded by the presentation of the new issue of the “Code 602 “music magazine produced by the Boccherini institute. Admission is free. Info: www.boccherini.it