Sold out theater and a substantial waiting list for the opening night of the Magnani di Fidenza season organized by the “Tullio Marchetti” Music Promotion Group with the support of the Municipal Administration.

The first of the eleven titles between opera, operetta, symphony and concert is the highly anticipated Othello by Verdi who returns to the bourgeois stage after sixteen years.

The environment designed by Artemio Cabassi, set designer and costume designer, it is made up of ancient columns and massive walls that frame an elevated terrace open to the horizon. The lights of Riccardo Canessadirector of the production, after the flashes of the storm in which Otello sails, they create a soft and soothing environment crossed by dramatic sweeps of cold light when Jago’s lucid and cynical vengeful project takes shape and develops.

The costumes of the artists of the choir who impersonate the Cypriots are very accurate in their variegated simplicity and the sixteenth-century dresses of Desdemona and Emilia are very elegant. Strawberry red for the overalls of the children’s choir which also visually warms up, for a few moments, the icy dramaturgy of the second act.

Riccardo Canessa, at his second Othello in this theater, he recounts Verdi’s lyric drama while remaining very close to the Shakespearean source of which the work, with the necessary modifications and synthesis, is after all the faithful transposition. The key character in reading him is therefore “The honest Iago” whose good-natured face hides the evil that he cultivates in himself and recognizes in others, being thus easily able to manipulate them.

The directorial work made with Filippo Polinellimaking her debut in this important role, she is excellent.

The baritone is completely immersed in the character and exhibits with extreme naturalness “… doing absent-minded, nonchalant, indifferent to everything, incredulous, sparkling saying good and evil lightly as though having the air of thinking about anything other than what he says” meticulously described by Verdi to the painter Morelli. The musical rendering is also excellent for the full and bright timbre, the variety and precision of the phrasing, the attention to the scenic word, the elegance of the singing line. Forcing is never felt, not even in the dramatic “Creed” in which Iago, alone with himself, dismayed the public by revealing the deep and inescapable roots of his perfidy. A really great and lucky debut.

Gustavo Porta has to his credit about forty performances of Othello and knows well the difficulties not only vocal but also emotional of this role. After the blaze of “Esultate” she enters the character slowly, step by step, experiencing every emotion on her skin. “Inventing the truth” Verdi said.

Otello is a winning leader but lives Desdemona’s love as a gift he fears he does not deserve, so in the love duet the luminous softness of the tenor voice is traversed by small thrills of uncertainty and incredulity and which make the total defeat absolutely credible. emotional that will occur at the first insinuations of Iago. And we begin to descend the slope: “Now and forever goodbye” has the bitter color of despair, and the powerful oath “Yes, by the marble sky I swear!” sung with enthralling impetus.

The dramatic vocal color of Renata Campanella characterizes a Desdemona with a strong and strong-willed character, effectively rendering the idea of ​​the determination and courage of the daughter of the Venetian senator Brabanzio who, in the sixteenth century, married the Moor Othello and went to live in Cyprus with him without asking anyone’s permission.

The soprano’s singing line, always tense and controlled, is colored with tenderness of the duet of the first act but retains a solidity and fullness that give her character great incisiveness. This character stands out in the expressive composure of the scene of the fourth act: there is no trace of hope in his “Ave Maria” but there is only a conscious and resigned farewell to life.

The fresh and penetrating timbre of Pietro Brunettoa rookie in the role, he gives Cassio an extremely youthful and naive character that makes him all too easy prey, and involuntary accomplice, of Iago’s plots. Leonora Sofia she is a very present Emilia who, first helpless victim of her evil husband, participates with suffering and affectionate closeness to the misfortune that befalls Desdemona

The roles of Roderigo, Lodovico and Montano are effectively covered by Fabio Tamagnini, Juliusz Loranzi And Giulio Alessandro Bocchi which is also the voice of the Herald.

The “Fire of Joy” of the Choir of the Parma Opera directed by Giovanni Chiapponi sparkles and flickers adequately, the subsequent interventions are also precise and of the right intensity. Around the brazier and in the crowd they move sinuously, on the choreography of Cinzia Longhi, the dancers of Studio Danza Fidenza.

The boys of the Choir of White Voices of Parma Musicaleeducated by Beniamina Carrettathey are in tune and harmoniously homogeneous, good and casual even scenically.

The teacher Stefano Giaroli obtains from the musicians ofPhilharmonic Orchestra of Verdi’s Lands compact and rigorous sounds. The agile dynamic and timbral variations, from the more hesitant and rarefied sound to the excruciating power of certain dramatic explosions, arise from each other without interruption, making the musical narrative particularly compelling and its listening very engaging.

The public, visibly satisfied, rewards the whole company with applause and cheers, decreeing the success of the evening. An outcome of which the Tullio Marchetti Music Promotion Group is rightly proud, having once again demonstrated that even without huge budgets, unthinkable for provincial realities, theaters can be kept open by making quality productions.

The Magnani di Fidenza billboard now provides Nabucco November 17, Cinderella on 1 December, Il Paese dei Campanelli on 8 January as well as two symphonic concerts and six musical afternoons.

The review refers to the performance of November 5, 2022.

Fidenza – Magnani Theater: Otello