Friday, January 3, 2020

Sebastian Geyer sings lead in Rossini rarity

Sebastian Geyer (center photo © Barbara Aumüller)
Barihunk Sebastian Geyer will sing the lead role of Don Pomponio in Rossini's rarely performed two-act comedy La gazzetta (“The Newspaper”). The performances at Opera Frankfurt will be the first ever of the opera with the company, which was written for Naples’s Teatro dei Fiorentini in 1816.

The opera ran for 21 performances, but was only performed one more time in the 19th century when it was performed during the 1828 Carnival in Palermo. The opera was not revived until a 1960 Italian radio performance and a subsequent staging in 1976 by the Vienna Chamber Opera.

However, the late 1810s were an incredible prolific period for Rossini, who wrote many of his most famous works between 1815-1819, including Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Otello, Mosè in Egitto, La Cenerentola, La donna del lago and  La gazza ladra, now best remembered for its frequently performed overture. The overture from La gazetta was recycled and used for La Cenerentola.

Geyer will sing Don Pomponio, who places an ad in the newspaper for a husband for his flirtatious daughter Lisetta. The opera satirizes the influence of newspapers on people's lives.

Rossini wrote the role for the great Neapolitan buffo Carlo Casaccia, because he could sing in the Neapolitan dialect. 

Opera Frankfurt's production will open on February 2nd with subsequent performances on February 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16. Tickets are available online.

Additional performances with the company this season include Faninal in Richard Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier and one of the officers in Henze's The Prince of Homburg with fellow barihunk Iurii Samoilov singing the lead role.

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