This May, the Mascarade Opera Foundation is gearing up to present a top music festival, featuring artists of international caliber and bringing opera and jazz to some of the loveliest locations in Italy.
Festivalino, as the showcase is called (although, it must be said, that diminutive -ino fails to do the event justice!), will get underway on Wednesday, May 3 at Florence’s Palazzo Corsini al Prato, where the foundation runs its opera training and performance programme. The festival is set to go all out on its opening night with a gala dinner, followed by a concert headlined by a big band, an 18-member orchestra starring, for one night only, internationally respected emerging talents such as French singer-songwriter Camille Bertault and American pianist, bandleader and composer Steven Feifke. (Feifke has worked with Mascarade on previous projects such as the New Generation Festival and he recently won a Grammy for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album.) The Thursday will see another Florentine session with a chamber music recital and afternoon tea in the bucolic Corsini gardens.
On the Friday, the festival will take the train north to Venice with a gala night held at the La Fenice Theatre. The world-renowned opera house will welcome the young artists of Mascarade Opera to the stage in an inspiring opportunity to perform in an unforgettable setting. The opera scenes will be directed by French stage director Jean-Romain Vesperini and the Orchestra of the Teatro La Fenice will be conducted by Maestro Jonathan Santagada as some of the most famous four-singer composers in operatic history will delight the audience: Gioachino Rossini’s La scala di seta and La Cenerentola, Gaetano Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. The Teatro La Fenice Orchestra will be conducted by Maestro Jonathan Santagada for the occasion. A gala dinner in the opera house’s stunning Sale Apollinee will bring the evening to an end. The four-day extravaganza comes to a close with a charming lunch at Harry’s Dolci with calming views over the Giudecca Canal.
“The Mascarade Festivalino is pure magic,” remarks Alatia Bradley Bach, a patron and supporter of Mascarade Opera. “To hear world-class opera in the intimate setting of the Corsini Limonaia, followed by dancing to a Cuban swing band in the palazzo and gardens is truly what life in Italy is all about. Nowhere else in Florence will you find such a chic, sophisticated group of Florentines and expats of all ages enjoying la dolce vita. The music, the setting and the people are all flawless.”
“This year’s edition of the Festivalino is not to be missed: not only are we returning to the main stage of Teatro La Fenice in Venice for our annual showcase of some of the finest young opera talents today, we are also debuting the Daisy’s Big Band in Florence led by an extraordinary jazz composer and pianist who has just won his first Grammy,” explains Maximilian Fane, president of Mascarade Opera Foundation. “For those who want to see the opera and jazz stars of tomorrow in action, this is it.”