Alvise Casellati: The arts nurture our souls and without the arts we feel dry, less gentle, more rough… it does good to our souls like sports does to our bodies.

Alvise Casellati made his debut in Italy at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice in March 2011, where he conducted the Orchestra and Choir in the Concert for the 150th Anniversary of the Unification of Italy. As Resident Conductor of the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, he made his operatic debut in 2014 conducting Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia and later Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore. Ranging from symphonic to operatic repertoire, he has worked with the most important Theatres and Music Festivals. In 2021, he was a guest of the White Nights Festival, Festival dei Due Mondi di Spoleto with the Choir of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia at the Cathedral of Spoleto with a rarely performed programme (Holst, Kantscheli and Bernstein). He conducted for the first time Opera Italiana in Rome at Villa Borghese (Piazza di Siena) and Project Rebirth, the first and last post-pandemic opera concert in Central Park, New York, last summer, in honor of the 100th anniversary of Caruso’s death. He also recorded the project “Da Ponte & Friends” at the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza with Sky Classica Italia with the Orchestra of the Teatro Carlo Felice, a recording that will soon be distributed by Unitel. In recent years, he has conducted in the following Festivals: White Nights Festival, Arena di Verona, Festival di Ravello, Festival dei Due Mondi di Spoleto, Un’Estate da Re’ (Reggia di Caserta), Festival Bellini, Cartagena Festival, Festival di Venezia, Festival della Valle d’Itria, Emilia Romagna Festival & John Malkovich, Ljubljana Festival, Baltic Musical Seasons in Jurmala, Mittelfest in Cividale del Friuli, La Versiliana, Viva Musica! Festival in Bratislava and Gabala International Music Festival.He has collaborated with important Italian and international theatres/orchestras: Teatro Mariinsky, Teatro La Fenice, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Teatro di San Carlo, Teatro Regio di Torino, Orchestra Nazionale Sinfonica della RAI, Arena di Verona, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Coro), Teatro Carlo Felice, Teatro Petruzzelli, Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, Teatro Verdi di Trieste, Teatro Massimo Bellini di Catania, Orchestra Toscanini, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, National Youth Orchestra of Russia, Astana Opera, Opera Italiana Symphony Orchestra, Xi’An Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Philharmonic, Azerbaijan State Symphony Orchestra, Reno Philharmonic, Kiev Virtuosi Symphony Orchestra, I Pomeriggi Musicali a Milano, Orchestra Haydn di Trento e Bolzano, Orchestra Internazionale d’Italia, I Virtuosi Italiani, Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto, Orchestra Filarmonica Italiana, I Solisti Aquilani, Orchestra Sinfonica Abruzzese, Orchestra Sinfonica della Provincia di Bari, Orchestra della Magna Grecia, Orchestra Sinfonica Salernitana, Orchestra del Teatro Rendano, Orchestra Filarmonica di Torino, Orchestra Sinfonica di Sanremo, Orchestra Filarmonica di Benevento.

Maestro, thank you very much for accepting my invitation! It’s a pleasure to have the opportunity to chat with you. First of all, have a wonderful 2022! Tell us about the end of 2021 and, of course, about Ernani.

Ernani has proved a wonderful experience and the best way to end 2021 musically. The collaboration with the Fondazione Teatri di Piacenza, the Toscanini Orchestra, stage director and singers was fantastic. It’s a challenging opera of the first Verdi and it required weeks of hard work.  Everyone outperformed oneself at the Premiere and at the second performance achieving our objectives thanks to a great team work. It also was my first time after the pandemic that I performed in a theater with public at 100% capacity and sold out. The public displayed so much enthusiasm through each step of the opera rewarding us for all our efforts.  It was truly overwhelming and left me with a great sense of satisfaction. After this experience, I spent the end of the year devoting my time to physical training and healthy eating… as the Latins taught us:  “mens sana in corpore sano”.

Apart from the opera performances and, of course, Ernani, the beginning of your 2022 was signed by a few symphonic concerts in North Italy. What are the pieces of this repertoire that you’d name to describe yourself and what is the difference between the emotion felt on the opera podium and the one given by the symphonic one?

It always varies. I just performed Beethoven 5 and I would say that also Beethoven 9, Tchaikovsky 4, 5, 6, Dvorak 7 etc. are masterpieces where I recognize a lot of my inner and deep emotions.  Opera and symphonic concerts provide to me as conductor very different emotions. In symphonic concerts, the conductor has a story line in mind while in the opera the story is clearly written, and the music gives life to the text.  In the opera, there is a multidimension that symphonic concerts do not possess, but I would not prefer one to the other.  They are both essential to my life.  Moreover, it’s very important for an opera conductor to conduct also symphonic repertoire and learn how to perfect the work/sound of the orchestra.    

Read the entire interview here, in the 1th/2022 issue of OPERA Charm Magazine.

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