La Scala – the Most Famous Italian Theatre Is in Astana to perform Falstaff by Verdi and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony under the baton of Zubin Mehta

From September 1 to 9, the first Kazakhstani tour of the Chorus and Orchestra of the famous Milanese Teatro alla Scala at the Astana Opera is taking place within the framework of the EXPO-2017 program under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Eni, an Italian energy company working in the country since 1992, is the Sole Official Sponsor of the event; Social Partner “Samruk Kazyna Trust” has also supported the tour.


The Teatro alla Scala, founded in 1778, is considered among the most important Italian cultural institutions and one of the main Opera Houses worldwide. Many operas by the most prominent Italian composers of the XIX and XX century were premiered there, including Verdi’s Falstaff, in 1893. Alongside its rich Opera and Ballet Season in Milano, la Scala performs regularly in all the main venues of the world, accomplishing its mission to promote Italian culture and musical heritage. Throughout its history, the Teatro alla Scala has realized over 800 performances in 39 countries.

Giuseppe Verdi’s fascinating comic opera Falstaff will be held on September 1, 4, 6 and 8 inder the baton of M°Zubin Mehta. Arrigo Boito’s libretto is based on the works of W. Shakespeare – the comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor and scenes from the history play Henry IV.

Dreams and reality, past and present are intertwined in an unusual, fascinating production that combines different styles and eras. Touching and unpredictable story about the adventures of the aristocratic bon vivant Sir John Falstaff is favored by the listeners from different countries thanks to its cheerful confusion of events, many funny tricks and antics, and also tenderness, gentle melancholy and nostalgia for the glorious past.

Stage Director Damiano Michieletto, Set Designer Paolo Fantin and Costume Designer Carla Teti set the story in the “Casa Verdi”, the Retirement House for Musicians founded by the composer: Falstaff is himself an aging singer dealing with the last temptations and illusions of love. The production creates a connection between Verdi’s last opera and his charity underlining a common atmosphere of melancholy and the composer’s profound humanism.

Charismatic Ambrogio Maestri – the most celebrated performer of the role of the aristocratic bon vivant Sir John Falstaff – will shine in the title role. The singer’s sensational debut (in this part) took place in 2001 at the Verdi Centennial on the historical stage of Teatro Giuseppe Verdi in Busseto with the Teatro alla Scala orchestra. After that, more than 250 brilliant performances in the role of Sir John Falstaff were held with great success at around 30 of the world’s most famous venues. The acclaimed italian soprano Carmen Giannattasio will star as Alice Ford and baritone Massimo Cavalletti will portray Ford. The rising stars of Italian singing Rosa Feola and Annalisa Stroppawill play Nannetta and Meg Page, Yvonne Naef will be Mistress Quickly, Francesco Demuro will be Fenton. Luca Casalin will be Dr. Caius, Francesco Castoro Bardolfo and Gabriele Sagona Pistola.

The artists will perform under the leadership of the outstanding Maestro Zubin Mehta, who already conducted this producrion at La Scala and at Salzburg Festival. The Choirmaster is acclaimed Maestro Bruno Casoni, a much beloved figure at La Scala.

L. van Beethoven’s magnificent Symphony No.9 will be performed on September 7 and 9 at the Main Hall of the Astana Opera. The great German composer was nurturing the idea of creating this work throughout the entirety of his artistic life. Putting F. Schiller’s ode An die Freude (Ode to Joy) to music was his long-cherished dream. His monumental, epic work epitomizes the heroic idea and themes of struggle and victory, striking depth of vision and wealth of innovative solutions. For the first time in the history of musical art, choir and vocal soloist were used in a symphony. It is symbolic that the final part of the crowning opus of Beethoven’s creative work became the anthem of the European Union.

Zubin Mehta, renowned master of large and deep operatic and symphonic canvases, who has made an enormous impact on the world musical culture and was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, will be conducting the performance featuring the Teatro alla Scala Choir and Orchestra. Maestro Bruno Casoni is the Choir Master.

Let us note that the first tour of the Teatro alla Scala in Kazakhstan took place in 2014 shortly before the Day of the Capital: from June 30 to July 4. Milanese ballet company that became the first guest company at the Astana Opera, presented to the residents and guests of the capital L. Minkus’ ballet Don Quixote staged by R. Nureyev. In addition, the management of the two opera houses signed a memorandum of cooperation.

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