Monday, October 13, 2014

REVIEW: Martini's Il Maestro di Musica – Intermezzo

Dom Pedro V Theatre (Macao), Saturday October 11

The Macao International Music Festival this year featured Bellini's NORMA, something that I would really like to see, but unfortunately I was in Australia. Instead, I opted to go to an 18th century opera buffa composed by Giovanni Battista Martini called Il Maestro di Musica - Intermezzo (The Music Teacher). Even though it is just an Intermezzo which lasted only 45 minutes, I always think that visiting Dom Pedro V Theatre (one of the earliest western-style theatres in China and inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List) is a treat.


According to the programme, Il Maestro di Musica (The Music Teacher) "portrays an “inverted” generational clash between an old-fashioned student and a modernist music teacher. This is the cue for a reflection on the singing style and more generally on the evolution of taste, also filled with delightful winks about the mania and debilities of the teatro alla moda." The reality is that, perhaps due to the translation or the style, the narrative and the parody was just not apparent. Instead, the performance felt like a bit more of a recital connected by a theme.

This production by the Teatro Comunale di Bologna was beautifully trimmed down for the smaller Dom Pedro V Theatre. The Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, led by Paolo Mancini played with elegance, while tenor Aldo Caputo as the teacher and mezzo-soprano Antonella Colaianni sang with competence and confidence to very good effect. Unfortunately, even their animated dramatic style was not able to help bring the opera alive.

Here's a video of a performance at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna


________
IL MAESTRO DI MUSICA

Composer: Giovanni Battista Martini (1706-1784)
Production: Teatro Comunale di Bologna
Conductor: Paolo Mancini
Stage Director: Gabriele Marchesini

Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna 

CHARACTERS AND CAST
Tamburlano (The old teacher) - Aldo Caputo, Tenor
Olimpino (The young student) - Antonella Colaianni, Mezzo-soprano

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