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.
Music Director of the Donizetti Opera Festival
Riccardo Frizza (Brescia 1971), who studied at the Milan Conservatory and the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, is considered one of the leading conductors of his generation, particularly dedicated to the Italian opera repertoire of the 19th century.
He is a regular guest at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Teatro Regio in Turin, the Fenice in Venice, the Opera in Rome, the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, the Festival Verdi in Parma, and the Macerata Opera Festival. Abroad he has conducted, among others, at the Opéra National de Paris, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the San Francisco Opera, the Metropolitan Opera of New York, and the Bayerische Staatsoper (Bavarian State Opera) in Munich.
In the symphony field he has been on the podium of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (National Academy of Santa Cecilia), the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, the Sächsische Staatskapelle (Saxony State Orchestra) in Dresden, the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano “Giuseppe Verdi” (Symphony Orchestra of Milan), the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, and the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. His engagements in recent years include Norma at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Rigoletto at the Liceu in Barcelona, Lucia di Lammermoor at the Teatro la Fenice and I Puritani in Budapest, Falstaff at the Festival Verdi in Parma, Il pirata at the Teatro alla Scala, Anna Bolena in Rome, Falstaff in Dallas. He was invited to give a Lectio Magistralis at Chicago University as well as at the Italian Cultural Institute.
Since 2017 he has been music director of the Donizetti Opera Festival in Bergamo, where he conducted Il castello di Kenilworth in 2018 and Lucrezia Borgia in 2019 for the first performance of the new critical edition of the score published by Ricordi and Fondazione Teatro Donizetti (Donizetti Theatre Foundation). His Donizetti repertoire includes Lucia di Lammermoor, L’elisir d’amore, Linda di Chamounix, Maria Stuarda (at the MET with Sondra Radvanovsky), La fille du régiment, Lucrezia Borgia (at the San Francisco Opera with Renée Fleming), Roberto Devereux (again in San Francisco), Anna Bolena (at the Rome Opera).
Scientific Director of the Donizetti Study Centre
Professor Emeritus of the University of Ferrara, he is president of the National Edition of Donizetti’s Operas. From 1992 to 2000 he represented Italy on the board of the International Musicological Society. He is the musical director of the Institute of Renaissance Studies in Ferrara and a member of the scientific committee of the «Saggiatore musicale». He directs the series “ConNotazioni” (Lucca, LIM) and the periodical «Musicalia» (Pisa, Fabrizio Serra). He is a member of the scientific committees of the Edizioni Nazionali (National Editons) of the works of Andrea Gabrieli and Vincenzo Bellini. He is a consultant of the Deutsche Rossini Gesellschaft (German Rossini Society).
In 1989, he received the Dent Medal, the annual international musicological award of the Royal Musical Association. A visiting professor at the University of Chicago (1992), he was appointed an honorary member of the American Musicological Society in 2001. In 2015, the Société Suisse de Musicologie (Swiss Society of Musicology) awarded him the Glarean Prize.
He has published, among others: Monteverdi, Turin, EDT 1985 (in Spanish: Madrid, Turner; in English: Cambridge, Cambridge University Press); Il secolo cantante. Storia del libretto d’opera nel Seicento, Bologna, Il Mulino 1990 and Rome, Bulzoni 2003; Metro e canto nell’opera italiana, Turin, EdT 2007; Rossini. L’uomo, l’artista, il mito, Turin, UTET Grandi Opere 2018 (in German: Rossini. Künstler, Mensch und Mythos, Leipzig, Leipziger Universitätsverlag 2019).
He edited the volumes Il madrigale tra Cinque e Seicento (Bologna, Il Mulino 1988), Libretti d’opera italiani (together with Giovanna Gronda: Milan, Mondadori 1997), Rossini nelle raccolte Piancastelli di Forlì (Lucca, LIM 2001), and the critical edition of: Rossini, Sinfonie giovanili (Pesaro, Rossini Foundation 1998); Marenzio, Il nono libro di madrigali a cinque voci (Milan, Suvini Zerboni 2000).
In addition to numerous articles in specialist journals and conference proceedings, he has published on Donizetti: Donizetti ritratto in piedi, Bergamo, Sestante 2016; the critical edition of Anna Bolena, Milan-Bergamo, Ricordi – Donizetti Foundation 2017; Gaetano Donizetti. Carteggi e Documenti 1797-1830, Bergamo, Donizetti Foundation (Edizione Nazionale delle Opere di Gaetano Donizetti), 2018.
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.