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Diplomacy

Italy and Japan partners in a multi-year musical programme with Odessa Opera Theatre

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Italy and Japan partners in a multi-year musical programme with Odessa Opera Theatre

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On June 8, at 4 pm, a press conference will be held at the Odessa Opera and Ballet Theatre to present a multi-year programme of musical events, thanks to the partnership between the musical institutions of Odessa, the Italian diplomatic representations and the Japanese government with the Yamaha Corporation, which recently gave a donation of musical instruments and stage equipment to the Theatre.

The meeting will be opened by the General Director of the Odessa Opera House Nadezhda Babich with a welcome greeting to thank the Italian Embassy, ​​the Italian Cultural Institute in Kyiv and the Honorary Consulate of Odessa, the Japanese Embassy and the Yamaha corporation for financial contributions given to the Theatre. Unfortunately, both the Japanese ambassador and the president of Yamaha will not be present for safety reasons. But Japan will be represented by the Maestro Hirofumi Yoshida, musical director of the philharmonic of the Teatro Comunale Pavarotti-Freni in Modena, the Japanese conductor with the greatest expertise in Italian opera music.

The project includes a series of musical events over three years:

  • 2024, November: performance at the Odessa Opera of Puccini's operas “Gianni Schicchi” and “Suor Angelica”, never performed in Ukraine.
  • 2025, March: Tour of the Odessa orchestra in Japan, with concert in the prefecture of Kanagawa, the Japanese region where Yokohama is located (sister city of Odessa).
  • 2025: opera singing students' competition, with an international jury at the Odessa Theatre, to select talents to be sent to Italy with scholarships to improve.
  • 2026: world premiere of a new opera, with musical composition and libretto created by an Italian-Ukrainian collaboration.

Representing the Italian Government will be the Italian Ambassador Pier Francesco Zazo, the Director of the Italian Cultural Institute Carlo Colonnella. Also scheduled are interventions by: Carlo Antonio De Lucia, Italian director who will put on stage “Suor Angelica”, Oksana Taranenko, Ukrainian director for “Gianni Schicchi”, and Chiara Demelio (on video call), teacher at the Brera Academy in Milan, set designer of both plays.

Following the conference, a concert of arias by Verdi, Puccini, Rossini and Donizetti will be held. Mascagni, Leoncavallo, performed by Ukrainian singers. The Odessa Mayor Gennadiy Trukhanov and the Deputy Governor Shalyhailo are expected to attend. The concert was organised thanks to the financial support of the Italian Cultural Institute in Kyiv and the Italian Honorary Consul in Odessa Vladyslav Shtamburg.

Either the concert, or the events programme are the result of the planning and work of the opera and ballet production company Opera Production CD, which in cooperation with the director of the Odessa Theatre Mrs. Babich, aims to perform new Italian titles, never included in the Theatre's playbill and intend to establish new collaborations not only with Italy and Japan, but also with other foreign theatres. An achievement of this collaboration was the concert played by the Opera Theatre Orchestra in the Hemicycle Hall of the Italian Parliament, the 22nd of February 2024, on the anniversary of the second year of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The Odessa Journal
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