Festival Puccini and the artists of Pietrasanta
Opera is universally considered the most complete and varied form of theatre as it involves at the same time music, singing, acting and often dancing set in a scenic context, fruit of great talents and skills.
For the latest four centuries, melodrama has developed all sort of different techniques and amazing devices in order to support the emotions that music scores and plots create in the spectator. Only since the 20 th century, anyway, great names of the world of art have worked more constantly with directors, producers and composers. Famous artists as Picasso, Matisse, De Chirico, Balla, De Pero and Sironi offered their talent to opera and ballet in France, Italy and Russia. This interesting trend reached its peak at Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in the 1930s.
Unique and original is therefore the relationship that the Puccini Festival of Torre del Lago has established since the year 2000 with the sculptors of Little Athens , a group of international artists operating in Pietrasanta .
In Summer 2000 Japanese sculptor Kan Yasuda debuted as set-designer for Puccini Festival's new production of Madama Butterfly . Premiered during the 49 th season, the production then toured in Japan within “Italia in Giappone 2001” and in Spring 2002 at Wiesbaden International May Festival.
Following the huge success this first production received, Puccini Festival Foundation resolved to continue this fruitful experience with other world-known artists, who could put themselves to the test by dealing with the big, suggestive stage on the shores of Massaciuccoli Lake .
In 2002 Manon Lescaut was the second Puccini's opera to be “sculpted” by one of the great names of the world of art, Igor Mitoraj , who designed the wonderful sets and costumes for the Festival's new production, which opened its 48 th season.
In 2003 the stage of Torre del Lago hosted a new important debut: the famous Belgian painter, sculptor and illustrator Jean-Michel Folon designed sets for the new production of La Bohème , top title of the 49 th Puccini Festival. Thanks to a fruitful cooperation between Fondazione Festival Pucciniano, AKOUNA and IDEE FIXE, in Summer 2004 this production of La Bohème toured through France and Belgium. It will be back on stage in Torre del Lago in Summer 2005.
In 2004 , the Festival looks again to Pietrasanta to supply the talents of Italian sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro, who brings potent design ideas for a new production celebrating the centenary of the Maestro's most popular work, Madama Butterfly . Premiered in Torre del Lago just 100 years after its first success in Brescia on May 28, 1904 , the Puccini Festival production enjoyed a triumphant tour in Japan in September 2004, and will be staged again in Torre del Lago at the 51 st Puccini Festival.
Also in 2004 , Puccini Festival presents an exciting new production of Turandot with designs by Italian sculptor Pietro Cascella , who has plastically transposed the Maestro's music into a dream-like scenery, beyond the limits of time and space.
For its 2005 Season , Puccini Festival continues its co-operation with great names of the world of art for its opera productions: famous U.S. painter Nall will design sets for a new production of La Fanciulla del West.
In Summer 2006 Igor Mitoraj presented in Torre del Lago his new production of Tosca, the opening opera of the 52nd Puccini Festival, inside the project "Sculpting the opera": scenes and costumes by Igor Mitoraj, directed by Mario Corradi, with Norma Fantini, conducted by Maestro Alberto Veronesi
In 2007 new production of Madama Butterfly presented with designs by Italian painter Ugo Nespolo designed the wonderful sets and costumes. Puccini Festival continues its co-operation with great names of the world of art for its opera productions: famous U.S. painter Nall will designed sets for a new production of La Rondine.
The 2008 season presented a rich program of cultural events at the presence of excellent international names: a new production of Turandot will be staged, directed by Maurizio Scaparro, one of the most well known directors on the international scene, with settings by Ezio Frigerio outstanding figure of world-wide culture, and costumes by extraordinary costume designer Franca Squarciapino, Oscar Winner for the costumes of Cyrano De Bergerac in 1991. A new production of Edgar will be also produced, directed by Vivien A. Hewitt, with settings by Roger Dean, an internationally recognized artist and designer, whose evocative and visionary images with associated graphics, logos, and lettering, created a new genre of work. The fortunate staging of Tosca, directed by Mario Corradi with settings created by Igor Mitoraj for Puccini Festival 2006, and the production of Madama Butterfly, directed by Stefano Vizioli with settings by Ugo Nespolo created for Puccini Festival 2007.