The Iván Fischer Opera Company (IFOC) and the Budapest Festival Orchestra kicked off the Vicenza Opera Festival in Italy with resounding success. The ensemble wowed the international audience with Verdi’s Falstaff and a gala concert at the festival conceived and founded by Fischer.
The audience stomped passionately, gave a standing ovation and burst into loud calls of “bravo!” following the Iván Fischer Opera Company’s first performance in the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza. The breathtaking building, designed by Andrea Palladio and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, is the oldest Renaissance theatre still in use anywhere in the world.
Iván Fischer established this festival for the world’s opera fans with the hope of enriching the diversity of international festivals in Europe. In his direction, Fischer seeks a flawless, organic harmony between theatre and music, neither of which supersedes the other. The festival drew audiences from nine countries; it was their contributions which provided the funding for the performances.
Audiences in Budapest had the opportunity in March to see the same performance of Falstaff with which the troupe kicked off the Vicenza Opera Festival. The opera, co-directed by Iván Fischer and Marco Gandini, featured the strongest possible line-up of international singers: Ambrogio Maestri (Falstaff), Tassis Christoyannis (Ford), Eva Mei (Alice), Sylvia Schwartz (Nannetta), Laura Polverelli (Meg Page), Yvonne Naef (Mrs. Quickly), Xabier Anduaga (Fenton), Francesco Pittari (Dr. Caius), Stuart Patterson (Bardolfo) and Giovanni Battista Parodi (Pistola). The festival in the Italian city featured two performances of the opera, with the Budapest Festival Orchestra also playing a gala concert of works by Rossini, Mozart, Schubert, Donizetti, Dvořák, Verdi and Kodály.
The Vicenza Opera Festival will take place again in the autumn of 2019.