Joseph Rescigno to Conduct Rare Staging of Rossini's LA GAZZETTA at Boston's Paramount Theater, 4/6-9
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by BWW News Desk
Joseph Rescigno will conduct a rare staging of Rossini's opera buffa, La gazzetta, ossia Il matrimonio per concorso ("The Newspaper, or The Wedding Contest"), presented by the New England Conservatory at Boston's Paramount Theater, April 6-9, 2013. The fully staged production with all-student cast and orchestra will be directed by NEC's Chair of Opera Studies, Joshua Major.
This will be the American premiere of a new critical edition of the opera (2002), by Philip Gossett and Fabrizio Scipioni, who in 2011 discovered previously unpublished music from the opera at the Library of the Conservatory of Palermo - nine pages of recitative and a quintet - which will receive its world premiere at these performances.
Maestro Rescigno believes that the scarcity of performances of La gazzetta in American opera houses has two primary reasons: "It is very long and needs cutting, and the Neapolitan dialect for the character of Don Pomponio is quite hard to learn. For that matter, even La Cenerentola and L'Italiana in Algeri have only become fairly common in the last 40 years, though my uncle, Nicola Rescigno, opened the Dallas Opera with L'Italiana in 1957. But especially before the 1950s, Rossini operas beyond IL Barbiere di Siviglia were hardly ever heard on this side of the Atlantic."
Joseph Rescigno, who grew up speaking the Neapolitan language with his great-grandmother, will be coaching the singers portraying Don Pomponio in pronunciation as well as interpretation. Describing the differences between Italian and Neapolitan, he says, "It is more than an accent. There are quite a few different words; and they are much more numerous and more different than, for example, the differences in usage between British English and American English. Probably the best comparison I can make is to imagine a German opera in which one character sings in Yiddish."
Mr. Gossett, an internationally renowned expert on 19th-Century Italian opera, will be a consultant to this production, writing out recitatives for the singers and advising on appropriate 19th-century ornamentation. He will also participate in a panel discussion, The Musical Work in Transit: Revision, Reception, and Edition, on Wednesday, March 13 at 4:30 p.m. in Pierce Hall at New England Conservatory; and deliver a lecture, Rossini's Comic Opera, "La Gazzetta," Complete for the First Time Ever, on Wednesday, April 3 at 5:00 p.m. in the Keller Room at NEC. Both the panel discussion and lecture will be open to the public, free of charge. In recognition of the service Mr. Gossett has done for opera, he will be the recipient of an honorary doctorate from the Conservatory and will give the Commencement address at the annual Commencement Exercises, Sunday, May 18.
The Paramount Theater • 559 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02111
New England Conservatory Opera
Tickets: $20, $16 for students/seniors; 2-for-1 with WGBH Member ID, online at
FREE EVENTS, OPEN TO THE PUBLIC:
Rossini's Comic Opera, "La Gazzetta," Complete for the First Time Ever
Photo Credit: Richard Brodzeller