I am glad to announce the publication of my article Opera or ballet? Ottorino Respighi vs. Sergei Diaghilev: a study of the sources for La boutique fantasque, Le astuzie femminili, La serva padrona,«Archival notes», Venezia, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, II, 2017, pp. 1-16. (issn: 2499-832x).
It has been a honor and a pleasure to conduct the Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana in two semi staged performances of Paisiello-Respighi’s La Serva padrona. Serpina: Raffaella Palumbo. Uberto: Francesco Leone. Vespone: Sandro Dieli.
On July 7th we performed in the amazing Palazzo Riso in Palermo, and on July 9th in the marvelous Palazzo d’Aumale in Terrasini.
Dan Turello wrote this article on my research at The Library of Congress, during my Kluge Fellowship. He describes my quest to reconstruct the entire score of Paisiello’s La Serva Padrona, which Ottorino Respighi orchestrated for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in 1920, but was not staged and considered lost.
Short excerpt from the article by Dan Turello:
Sometimes a few missing pages can make it a challenge to reconstruct an entire work. This was exactly the case when current Kluge Fellow Elia Corazza discovered the autographed orchestration of La Serva Padrona, an 18th century opera written by Giovanni Paisiello and then adapted by Ottorino Respighi for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in 1920.
Corazza, a composer, conductor, and musicologist, with training in piano, composition and orchestral conducting, as well as a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Bologna (Italy), became interested in La Serva Padrona as a part of his broader effort to rediscover some of Respighi’s lost works. Respighi became popular in Italy after the First World War, just as Fascism was taking hold in the country. During these years, Respighi transcribed various works of pre-romantic music created by Italian composers including Monteverdi, Paisiello, Cimarosa, and Rossini, that had long since been forgotten and seldom, if ever performed.
World premiere in Bologna of the intermezzi made by Diaghilev for the Ballets Russes. The musical reading of the young conductor Elia Corazza was outstanding.
Thanks to his enthusiasm on the project, to his work on every stage of the production, to his critical knowledge of the repertoire and to his demonstrated conducting talent, the young conductor premiered Paisiello-Respighi’s chamber opera giving an outstanding musical reading: the Orchestra of the Teatro Comunale was committed as ever before, with an urging narrative rhythm and the music put in evidence in its shining and energetic liveliness.