He’s the owner of a newspaper stand who seems to know everyone. A gender-fluid street philosopher who breaks societal norms just by being himself. A manipulative intruder who pulls the strings of all the characters in Così fan tutti. In our Trilogia Mozart Da Ponte, Don Alfonso – portrayed by baritone Riccardo Novaro – is all that… and so much more.
Trilogia Mozart Da Ponte is set in Brussels in the year 2020. The French creative arts company Clarac-Deloeuil > le lab is using Mozart to kick the ‘here and now’ into overdrive by making maximum use of video technology. In parallel to rehearsals for the three operas, the company also mobilized a full film crew and, with all the singers from the cast in tow, made its way to twenty-three surprising locations in Brussels. We went along to the set to talk to le lab directors Olivier Deloeuil and Jean-Philippe Clarac.
It can be quite challenging to get hold of a conductor in the final stretch before an opera premiere, let alone when he’s conducting three productions at the same time. We did however manage to talk to Antonello Manacorda, who will guide our orchestra through the Trilogia Mozart Da Ponte, about the musical genius from Salzburg.
Whatever politicians may be claiming, nobody is better suited to embody “the voice of the people” than our Choir. From partying peasants to wide-awake soldiers, from experienced sailors to loyal servants: no challenge too great for our choristers. In the Trilogia Mozart Da Ponte, for once, they can just be themselves: Brusseleirs in this present day and age. In a two-part documentary we follow them in their preparations for our Mozartian triptych.
A new decade got under way just a little while ago. That sort of ten-year milestone may seem arbitrary, but it is already clear that we face major changes in the near future. If recent years are anything to go by, we can expect a turbulent period in both politics and society, in the context of an ultra-rapidly changing world. That kind of climate forces us to move with the times. We must not, we cannot, sidestep the burning issues in society today.