Fondazione Teatro Donizetti

The newly founded Fondazione Teatro Donizetti was established in 2014 and is based in Bergamo.
It is a non-profit organisation whose surplus is not distributed to its members.

The Fondazione’s objectives are those of fostering culture and the arts and the promotion of community interest, especially among the young, in theatre and music through educational and cultural initiatives. The Fondazione seeks to sustain, encourage, and stimulate cultural growth, the activities promoted by the Donizetti Theatre, and the necessary structural adjustments to enhance the Theatre’s functionality.

In addition to that, the Fondazione aims to promote prose, dance, music, literature, culture, and arts through a comprehensive programme which integrates production, distribution, updating, training, and hospitality. Moreover, the Fondazione aims to foster relationships with national and international bodies in order to actively promote the cultural heritage of Bergamo and of its Theatre.

Besides managing and administering the movable and immovable property of the Donizetti Theatre, the Fondazione plans and organises the opera seasons, at times in collaboration with other theatres or institutions, and it may also deal with further promotional and complementary activities.

The members of the Fondazione are divided into: promoting founders, participating members, and partners.


President: Dott. Giorgio Berta

Board of Directions:

President Dott. Giorgio Berta
Vice President Dott. Alfredo Gusmini
Advisor Sig. Emilio Bellingardi
Advisor Dott. Simona Bonaldi
Advisor Dott. Enrico Fusi
Advisor Dott. Giovanni Thiella
Advisor Dott. Alessandro Valoti

Board of Patrons:

President Sig. Roberto Sestini
Vice President Dott.ssa Simona Bonaldi
Advisor Dott. Gualtiero Baresi
Advisor Sig. Emilio Bellingardi
Advisor Sig.ra Giovanna Terzi Bosatelli
Advisor Avv. Laura Colnaghi Calissoni
Advisor Dott. Alfredo Gusmini
Advisor Comm. Angelo Piazzoli
Advisor Dott. Antonio Punziano
Advisor Sig. Maurizio Radici
Advisor Sig. Roberto Sancinelli

Statuary auditor:
Dott. Marco Rescigno


Massimo Boffelli

Artistic Directors

Francesco Micheli

Artist Director of festival Donizetti Opera Festival

Born in 1972 in Bergamo, he graduated in Modern Literature at the Scuola d’Arte Drammatica Paolo Grassi, in Milan. His professional career developed in two directions over the years: on the one hand, his work as artistic director of internationally significant festivals and his central role in developing innovative projects in the opera field; on the other hand, his work as director in Italy and abroad, as well as his teaching career.

From 2012 to 2017 he was the artistic director of Macerata Opera Festival, the glorious festival which has been taking place in the charming setting of the Sferisterio since 1921. He took just four years to revamp the festival and bring it back to the fore as an internationally reknown event acclaimed by critics and audiences. He created an original festival which promoted research and excellence, celebrating opera as a priceless common good.

Since December 2014 he is the artistic director of Fondazione Donizetti, where he has been bringing about a complete perspectival revolution in the role and works of Donizetti by importing into the city of Bergamo the values and ideas of his artistic project. He founded two main festivals: the Donizetti Night in June and the Donizetti Opera Festival in autumn, which hosts the rarest works of the composer from Bergamo.

Micheli also expresses his artistic creativity through a series of projects, in collaboration with various theatres, aimed at bringing the public closer to the opera world. His commitment to disseminating knowledge about opera made him a prominent cultural figure in Italy as author and presenter of TV shows dedicated to opera on Sky Classica and Sky Arte, as well as a weekly TV programme on Rai 1 (Italy’s national public service station).

As far as his work as director is concerned, after his debut with As.Li.Co. (Italian Association of Opera Concerts), he directed several operas in numerous national and international theatres becoming a major part of his repertoire: from the Fenice Theatre in Venice to the Verona Arena ; from the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino to the Massimo Theatre in Palermo; from the Comunale in Bologna to the NCPA in Beijing.

Maria Grazia Panigada

Artistic Director of the Theatre Season and Altri Percorsi

Maria Grazia Panigada is theatre advisor with considerable professional experience of narrative theatre in the museum context. By adopting a didactic approach, she has been leading theatre workshops aimed at students, teachers, and adults for twenty years. Lately, she has tested the narrative approach in museum guides and museum mediators.

As far as her role as artistic director is concerned, she curates the Theatre festival, plans and coordinates cultural events and shows which involve several Italian institutions.

From 2000 to 2010, she curated the Altri Percorsi festival of the Donizetti Theatre in Bergamo, where she also worked as artistic director and coordinator of a scientific committee from 2005 to 2010 curating the theatre and Carnevali festivals. Since 2015, she is the artistic director of the Donizetti Theatre and the Teatro Sociale in Bergamo for the theatre sector, and she is artistic advisor for the events organised by the Department of Culture of the Municipality of Bergamo.

Among her publications and essays: Città luogo d’incontro. Altri percorsi 2006-2009, “Quaderni dello Spettacolo”, n. 87, Teatro Donizetti, Bergamo, 2009; “La scuola e la città: progetti per un sapere condiviso” in Teatro, didattica attiva, intercultura. Teatri visibili e teatri invisibili, Milano, Franco Angeli, 2009; “La risposta dei ragazzi: alcune riflessioni” in Emozionalità e teatro, Milano, Franco Angeli, 2008.

Maria Pia De Vito

Artistic Director of Bergamo Jazz

Singer and composer, in 1976 she started her concert career as singer and multi-instrumentalist in research groups on ethnic music and classical music in the Mediterranean, Balkan and South American areas.

Since 1980 she has been active in the jazz field at international level, she collaborates with musicians such as John Taylor, Ralph Towner, Rita Marcotulli, Ernst Rejiseger, Enrico Rava, Enrico Pieranunzi, Guinga, Norma Winstone, Steve Swallow, Gianluigi Trovesi, Danilo Rea, Enzo Pietropaoli, Paolo Fresu, Paolo Damiani, Cameron Brown, Ramamani Ramanujan, David Linx, Diederik Wissels , Area, and she performs in special events with musicians like Joe Zawinul, Michael Brecker,Peter Erskine, Kenny Wheeler, Miroslav Vitous, Nguyen-Le, Uri Caine, Dave Liebman, Billy Hart, Eliot Ziegmund, Steve Turre, Maria Joao, Monica Salmaso, Art Ensemble of Chicago and many others, participating in major international festivals.

Her research on singing and voice covers different fields of action: from the personal elaboration of the Neapolitan language and culture through improvisational music and the encounter with different cultures (the most recent: Brazil by Guinga, Chico Buarque and Ivan Lins), improvisation and electronics, proximity to baroque music, the work on the song form without gender limitations. Since 2007 she has been very active with the Dialektos duo with the British pianist Huw Warren, with whom she recorded two CDs for the Parco della Musica label, playing all around Europe and touring the Far East.

She was the protagonist of the work Diaro dell’assassinata, at the San Carlo Theatre of Naples in April 2014, always with Huw Warren by her side. In 2011 she launched the project Il Pergolese, that she then recorded for the prestigious ECM label, with François Couturier, Anja Lechner, Michele Rabbia, performing in major European festivals and theatres.

In 2016 she performed at the Lyon Opera in a “carte blanche” of 5 projects she directed. The cd Core [coraçao] was presented at the Auditorium in Rome and the Blue Note in Milan, a work of his in Neapolitan versions of songs by Chico Buarque, Egberto Gismonti, with Chico Buarque as guest on two tracks, the arrangements by Roberto Taufic, and the great musicians Huw Warren on the piano, Gabriele Mirabassi on the clarinet, Roberto Rossi on percussion. Even the Large vocal ensemble “Burnogualà” is guest, directed by the same De Vito, who is currently involved in the Moresche project recordings and other inventions

She was Nominated by the American magazine Down Beat among the ten artists of the year in 2001, in the category “Beyond Artist”, together with artists such as Joni Mitchell and Caetano Veloso, in 2008, 2009, 2011 she won the “Top Jazz” , the critical referendum held by the magazine Musica Jazz, and from 2010 to 2018 she won the popular referendum of the magazine JAZZIT, as well as the Musica e Dischi 2012 award for the best international production with her album Mind the Gap.

In 2016, she was awarded with the Career Prize from the association Musica Oggi. She has been a lecturer in Jazz Singing at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory and at Saint Louis Music College in Rome. She currently teaches at the Domenico Cimarosa Conservatory in Avellino. From 2016 to 2018 she was the artistic director of the Jazz section of the Ravello Festival, one of the most prestigious international classical music festivals.