Italian Night

Italian Night

Posted on

fri 23 Sep 2022, 08 pm
Saigon Opera House
07 Công Trường Lam Sơn, Bến Nghé, District 1, HCMC

From the organizer:

The Ho Chi Minh Ballet, Symphony Orchestra and Opera (HBSO) will present 18 guest artists and others who come from Italy in a concert of exclusively Italian music in the Saigon Opera House

In the 18th century and earlier Italy was the centre of European music. This situation continued into the 19th century when German music became increasingly influential. But by then Italy had become best known for opera, an art form it continued to dominate.

Thus, where Italy dominates, opera dominates as well. Out of the sixteen items to be played in Saigon, thirteen are from operas.

Rossini opens proceedings with an orchestral introduction (“sinfonia”) from his 1823 opera Semiramide. Semiramide was a queen of ancient Babylon, and Rossini composed this opera for his wife, a singer.

Next comes an aria, “Merce dilette amiche” (thank you, young friends) from Verdi’s 1855 opera The Sicilian Vespers. This opera was originally written in French but is often performed in Italian. The soloist in Saigon will be Pham Khanh Ngoc.

This is followed by two famous arias from Verdi’s opera Rigoletto, Caro nome (dear name) and La Donna e mobile (women are fickle), sung by guest soloists Francesca Benitez and Manuel Amati, plus Dao Mac and others.

Manuel Amati returns a little later with an aria from Donizetti’s opera Elisir d’amore (the love potion), but before that come two orchestral items. The first is the Intermezzo from Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, to be followed by Paganini’s Cantabile in D Major for violin and orchestra, with Lucrezia Constanzo, another guest artist, as violin soloist.

Another orchestral piece follows Amati, the Tarantella for Double Bass by Bottesini, with another guest, Diego de Santiago Botta, as soloist.

Local soloists return with Pham Trang and Duyen Huyen singing the love duet O soave fanciulla that ends Act One of Puccini’s La Boheme (the Bohemian girl). Pham Trang continues with the aria Di quella pira from Verdi’s La Trovatore, in which Manrico expresses his determination to save his mother from being burned at the stake.

There follows a famous chorus from Mascagni’s opera Cavalleria Rusticana, Gli aranci olezzano (the oranges bloom in the fields). This is followed by a large-scale piece from Rossini’s 1818 opera Moses in Egypt, featuring five soloists, chorus and orchestra.

Paganini’s Variations for cello and orchestra follow, with guest artist Enrico Mignani playing the cello.

The penultimate item will be another large-scale extract, with six soloists and chorus, this time from Rossini’s last opera, William Tell.
The conductor of this impressive event will be Paolo Olmi. The concert will also have the participation of vocal coach Vernocchi Vilma and choirmaster Tran Nhat Minh. Above all, Saigon is particularly happy to welcome the many visiting artists to this program.

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