Giulietta e Romeo


Nicola Vaccaj Giulietta e Romeo opera to libretto by Felice Romani. Directed 2018 by Cecilia Ligorio at the Palazzo Ducale, Martina Franca, Italy as part of the Festival of the Valle d’Itria. Stars Leonor Bonilla (Giulietta), Raffaella Lupinacci (Romeo), Leonardo Cortellazzi (Capellio), Paoletta Marrocu (Adela), Vasa Stajkic (Tebaldo), and Christian Senn (Lorenzo). Sesto Quatrini conducts the Orchestra Academy of the Teatro alla Scala and the Chorus of the Teatro Municipale, Piacenza (Chorus Master Corrado Casati). Set design by Alessia Colosso; costume design by Giuseppe Palella; lighting design by Luciano Novelli. Directed for TV by Matteo Ricchetti; sound recorded by Rino Trasi and Giuseppe Famularo. Sung in Italian, this is the only video available of this opera. Released 2019, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

The ducal palace in Martina Franca would appear from pictures on the Internet to be maybe the most sadly rundown and neglected building in Italy that is still safe enough for tourists to enter. But the pitiful condition of the building doesn’t keep the locals from trying to have a summer festival there featuring Italian opera. Because the venue and its outdoor stage are so primitive, we exclude a recording made there unless a champion appears to certify that the recording has merit. And so doth Hugo Shiley come to the rescue in the July 2019 Gramophone ( pages 93-94) where he states, while lauding all the singers and the artistic team, that this hugely obscure opera is “an excellent, highly effective piece” receiving at Martina Franca a “performance that does it justice.” When we saw all this from Sir Shirley, we yanked Giulietta off our excluded list and marched it straight to the head of the Journal.

Here’s a nice PR photo of Giulietta and Romeo followed by a YouTube clip: