Nino Rota opera double feature directed 2017 by Cesare Scarton at the Reate Festival.
La notte di un nevrastenico (The Night of a Neurotic) to a libretto by Riccardo Bacchelli. One act of 41 minutes. Stars Giorgio Celenza (The Neurotic); Carlo Feola (The Consierge); Daniele Adriani (The Commendatore); Sabrina Cortese (She); Antonio Sapio (He); Vincenzo Carni (A Floor Boy/Hotel Staff); Maria Rita Combattelli, Lucia Filaci, Siri Kval Ødegård; Mariangela De Vita, Vincenzo Carnì, and Giacomo Nanni (Hotel Staff).
I due timidi (The Two Timid Ones) to a libretto by Suso Cecchi D’Amico. One act of 64 minutes. Stars Giorgio Celenza (Narrator), Sabrina Cortese (Mariuccia), Daniele Adriani (Raimondo), Chiara Osella (Mrs. Guidotti), Antonio Sapio (Dr. Sinisgalli), Mariangela De Vita (Mariuccia’s Mother), Giacomo Nanni (Vittorio, the Consierge/A Guest), Lucia Filaci (Lucia, a Maid), Maria Rita Combattelli (Maria, a Maid), and Siri Kval Ødegård (Lisa, a Maid).
Gabriele Bonolis conducts the Reate Festival Orchestra. Set design by Michele Della Cioppa; costume design by Anna Biagiotti; lighting design by Andrea Tocchio. Directed for TV by Maxim Derevianko; sound recording by Giacomo De Caterini. Released 2019, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA
Nino Rota wrote nearly 200 firm scores including The Godfather. On this disc are 2 of his 11 operas, both set in hotels calling for similar casts — an easy double bill. La notte is a comedy about a nervous fellow trying to sleep where patrons in adjacent rooms keep him awake, mostly having noisy sex. I timidi has an improbable farcical plot about mixed up lovers and bogs down, per Andrew Mellor writing in the April 2019 Gramophone at page 113, with music that is too serious. Mellor winds up calling these “nice little discoveries” perfect for university-level student productions. Clive Paget, writing in the June 2019 Opera News pages 54-55, takes this double dip slightly more seriously as a blend of Rota’s “accessible brand of film music with a dash of Puccini.” He praises the singing, but pans the comedy for being “played broadly” and accuses Maxim Derevianko of “rudimentary camera work.”
The official clip from Dynamic below suggests that print critics may have have a tendency to take themselves too seriously. (The trademark for the Festival Reate looks looks confusingly like the trademark long used by François Roussillon).