Juvenilia @ Bregenz · July 22-23 2023
Dear Juvenilians,

For the first time we are visiting the Bregenzer Festspiele, Austria. From Saturday, July 22 until Sunday 23 you are warmly invited to join us for two outstanding operas: Giacomo Puccini's "Madama Butterfly" and Giuseppe Verdi's rarely performed "Ernani".

Sophisticated music theatre, top-quality entertainment for large audiences and a memorable open-air event – a winning combination that is to be found at Bregenzer Festspiele. The world’s largest lake stage is the main magnet of the summer festival, which attracts over 200.000 visitors every July and August. As the sun slowly sets over Lake Constance and the lights begin to sparkle along the shoreline, an audience of nearly 7.000 people is treated to spectacular opera productions in extraordinary, award-winning stage settings. Staging opera on the lake began in Bregenz back in 1946. Now it is the centrepiece of an internationally acclaimed festival which also includes among others an opera at the Festspielhaus, concerts by the Wiener Symphoniker and the Symphonieorchester Vorarlberg, and contemporary works staged at the Werkstattbühne.

Whilst the performances at the Seebühne are dedicated to the popular operatic repertoire, the production at the Festspielhaus presents little-known and rarely performed operas, like Umberto Giordano’s "Siberia" (2022), Arrigo Boito’s "Nerone" (2021) and Franco Faccio’s "Amleto" (2016). In 2010, Bregenzer Festspiele directed the spotlight on the Polish-Russian composer Mieczysław Weinberg’s "The Passenger" – and obtained an unparalleled success with this rediscovery.

»Festivals like this are an ideal gateway drug«, wrote the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. And ZDF heute journal, an evening news magazine on German TV, ran a feature captioned: »For a couple of weeks in summer, Bregenz is always a little bit Hollywood.«

With a fine Japanese-looking piece of paper, stage designer Michael Levine created a magical platform on Lake Constance for Cio-Cio-San’s touching story. Andreas Homoki, artistic director at the Zurich Opera House, uses atmospheric video projections and Antony McDonald’s colourful costumes to stage this heartbreaking opera in the beautiful lakeside scenery. Conductor Enrique Mazzola returns as musical director.

Cio-Cio-San Elena Guseva, Barno Ismatullaeva, Anna Princeva
Suzuki Fleuranne Brockway, Aytaj Shikhalizada, Annalisa Stroppa
B. F. Pinkerton Otar Jorjikia, Sergei Skorokhodov, Łukasz Załęski
Sharpless Domen Križaj, Brett Polegato, Yngve Søberg

Stage director Lotte de Beer and stage and costume designer Christof Hetzer work together on the fictional plot with references to the 16th century. The two have already demonstrated their creativity with historic material when they directed Rossini’s Mosè in Egitto in 2017. Once more, they work together with conductor Enrique Mazzola, who showed his passion for Verdi’s music when Rigoletto was staged on the Seebühne.

Ernani Saimir Pirgu
Don Carlo Igor Golovatenko
Don Ruy Gomez de Silva Goran Jurić
Elvira Guanqun Yu

Saturday, July 22
17.30 Aperitivo and Dinner in Bregenz
21.15-23.15 Giacomo Puccini's "Madama Butterfly"

Sunday, July 23
11.00-13:30 Giuseppe Verdi's "Ernani"
13:30 Lunch and farewell

Optional afternoon programme: Boat tour or hiking

Price details:
"Madama Butterfly": 25€ (Cat. 5)
"Ernani": 30€ (Cat. 3)
These prices are for under 35 (35 included). If you are above age, we kindly ask you to get your own tickets through the festival website. Do fill the form though so you can join the other activities, and we can also find you a room at Flint if you request one.

As Bregenz is very busy during the festival period, Juvenilia put an option on double bed rooms in a 4 star hotel at Dornbirn (20 min by train to Bregenz) to share (or not), 120€ per Person, breakfast included: https://www.dasflint.at/en/ Also check your travel plans since Bregenz can be hard to reach.

The deadline to register is June 16, 2023 23:59. The confirmation that your request can be satisfied will come within a few days (at most a week) of your registration. The payment should be done within a week after receiving the confirmation email. Please be aware that the ticket numbers are limited.

We are looking forward to seeing you soon in Bregenz!

The Juvenilia Board

PS: The performance of "Madama Butterfly" depends on the weather conditions. An alternative programme will be proposed in case the performance cannot take place. Take binoculars with you in any case!

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Madama Butterfly
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The Dramaturge's touch
The Japanese geisha Cio-Cio-San, called Madame Butterfly, revels in happiness when the US-American lieutenant Pinkerton marries her. Their love culminates in an enchanting duet. Soon after, however, a ship takes the soldier back home. It is a clash of worlds and values: While Pinkerton feels free and marries an US-American woman back home, Butterfly, full of love, hope and longing, waits for his return for three long years – together with their child. Singing her famous aria »Un bel dì vedremo«, she imagines the day she and her beloved husband will be reunited. Then, however, Pinkerton returns with his US-American wife and Cio-Cio-San makes an irrevocable decision.
As one of the most played operas today, Giacomo Puccini’s opera "Madama Butterfly" returns to the Seebühne for another summer.

Six years before "Rigoletto", Giuseppe Verdi had already composed a gripping drama about love and revenge: "Ernani" – his breakthrough as a composer. The opera was also based on a play by the French author Victor Hugo, whose text inspired Verdi's unique style with moving arias, stirring choruses and scenes of high drama. Three men driven by revenge and the love for a woman: The outlaw leader Ernani seeks revenge when he finds out that his father died at the hands of Spanish King Carlo – and even more so when Carlo declares his love for Ernani’s beloved Elvira. She, however, is supposed to marry Silva; a wedding that Ernani wants to prevent. On the other hand, Silva and Ernani share a common wish: revenge on King Carlo. As soon as the latter is elected as the new emperor at Aachen Cathedral, he orders the conspirators to be punished. It is only thanks to Elvira that he pardons them and even agrees to her wedding with Ernani. Then however, a hurt and angry Silva remembers a promise his rival once gave him and ruthlessly spins the wheel of revenge once more.
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