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FULL I NORMANNI A SALERNO (Marzano) Pompei 2023 Maria Sabatino, Chiara Polese, Davide Battiniello, Paolo Cutolo

Video Recording from: YouTube     FULL VIDEO          Qries

Information on the Performance
Information about the Recording
  • Published by: Eugenio Paolantonio  
  • Date Published: 2023  
  • Format: Streaming
  • Quality Video: 4 Audio:4
  • Subtitles: yessubs, itsubs, gensubs  
  • Video Recording from: YouTube     FULL VIDEO

A long-forgotten opera that deserved its (too brief) resurrection has been rediscovered some 185 years after the birth of musician and composer Temistocle Marzano. Marzano, Mercadante’s favorite student, was honored by Salerno, his adopted city, with the successful revival of his opera I Normanni a Salerno in that very city, Salerno, in January 2006.

This opera, which opened the Teatro Verdi in Salerno in 1872, was never performed again because of its complexity. Four acts, three hours of music, fifty orchestra members, forty choristers, more than fifty dancers and extras – that requires an enormous amount of effort. The re-production and edition of the opera came from Eugenio Paolantonio, chairman of the Salern organization, which maintains an informative website on the subject. The orchestral direction of the rediscovery was entrusted to Giovanni Battista Bergamo, who had made a name for himself in the past for his work in Italian musical theater. And the general effort encompassed virtually the entire place, as you can see from the sometimes touchingly naive performance photos – it was a labor of love.

The story takes place in the 12th century, when the Normans under Wilhelm Eisenarm, son of Tancredi d’Altavilla, come to the aid of the city of Salerno against the onslaught of the Saracens. The story recalls the resistance of the people of Salerno and the unhappy love between Bianca, daughter of King Guaimaro and fiancée of Guglielmo, and Ainulfo, traitor to his own people and their faith. He secretly breaks into the palace to kidnap Bianca before her wedding, but fails. He threatens to assassinate King Guaimaro and ultimately commits suicide to avoid vigilante justice from the people.

The re-performance was part of a larger project called “The Normans in Southern Italy”. So the majestic towers and castles along the south coast, where the influence of the Normans can still be seen, became venues for performances, including operas.

Composer, opera and historical setting: The opera I Normanni a Salerno was shown for the first time at the Teatro Verdi in Salerno on June 11, 1872 and was a great success with audiences and critics. The conductor was the composer himself, who, not least because of this success, had justified but later unfulfilled hopes that his work would also be performed on larger stages. However, the costs for the Salernese people proved to be too high, and oblivion descended on the work – it seemed forever. A commendable rescue attempt was made by the doctor and opera enthusiast Guglielmo Longo, who drew attention to the composer and his work in the 1930s and later again in the 1980s.

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