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The Fenice Theatre Reopens

VENICE, 1 December 2003 - On Sunday 14 December, The Fenice Theatre Orchestra and Choir conducted by Riccardo Muti will open the Inauguration Week celebrations of Venice’s re-built Fenice theatre almost 8 years after it was destroyed by fire on 29 January 1996. The President of the Republic, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi will attend the inauguration.

The week of inaugural events (14 - 21 December 2003) will continue as follows: on Monday 15 December, a concert by the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Christian Thielemann; on Wednesday the 17th, Myung-Whun Chung will conduct The Orchestra and Choir of the Saint Cecilia Academy of Rome and the Aurelian Treble Voice Choir; on Thursday 18 December, Marcello Viotti will conduct the The Fenice Theatre Orchestra and Choir; on Friday the 19th Elton John will give his first ever performance in Venice; on Saturday 20 December Mariss Jansons will conduct the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra; on Sunday 21 December, the celebrations will close with the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, conductedOn Sunday 14 December, The Fenice Theatre Orchestra and Choir conducted by by Yuri Temirkanov. The 2004-2005 Opera Season will open in November 2004 in the rebuilt Fenice Theatre with a new staging of La Traviata, conducted by Lorin Maazel.

The concert on 14 December will open with Ludwig van Beethoven’s overture, The Consecration of the House. Maestro Muti has put together a programme based on Venice’s grand musical heritage and includes: Igor Stravinski’s The Symphony of Psalms, followed by Antonio Caldara’s Te Deum and Three Symphonic Marches by Richard Wagner. All three composers have ties with Venice: Stravinski was laid to rest in a cemetery on the island of San Michele; Antonio Caldara was a Venetian composer and key figure in the artistic life of Venice during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and Wagner, who was very attached to Venice and had sojourned there on numerous occasions, wrote the second act of his Tristan and Isolde and part of Parsifal there. He also presented one of his early symphonies in the Sale Apollinee of the Fenice in 1882 and died in Venice the following year (1883). During the concert, solos will be performed by: Patrizia Ciofi; Sara Allegretta; Sonia Ganassi; Sara Mingardo; Mirko Guadagnini; Roberto Saccà; Michele Pertusi; Nicolas Rivenq.

Works by Richard Wagner will also be performed on Monday 15 December which is the second evening of the Inauguration Week. The London Philharmonic Orchestra directed by Christian Thielemann, will open with a prelude from the first act of Lohengrin, followed by the intermezzo from Giacomo Puccini’s Manon Lescaut. Then again back to Wagner, with the Vorspiel und Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde. Two of Richard Strauss’ symphonic poems, Tod und Verklärung and Till Eulenspiegel will close the evening.

On the third evening, Wednesday 17 December, the Orchestra and Choir of the National Academy of Saint Cecilia in Rome, conducted by Myung-Whun Chung will perform Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 3. The solo will be sung by Petra Lang. The late Luciano Berio, who passed away on 27 May, requested their presence in a letter addressed to Giampaolo Vianello, Director of the Fenice Theatre Foundation, (Fondazione Teatro La Fenice).

The premiere of Ouverture written by Emanuele Casale, a young composer from Catania, will open the evening on Thursday 17 December, which is the fourth event of the Inauguration Week. The Fenice Theatre Orchestra and Choir conducted by Marcello Viotti will perform the Lou Salomè's Suite No.2 in honour of the Venetian conductor, Giuseppe Sinopoli. At the end of the evening, Viotti will conduct Gioachino Rossini’s Messe Solennelle; the choir will be directed by Piero Monti. During the concert, solos will be performed by Sara Allegretta; Sara Mingardo; Mirko Guadagnini; Nicolas Rivenq.

Elton John will take the stage at the Fenice on Friday 19 December. He is considered to be one of the most famous and acclaimed singer song writers of the European pop music world. He has a long standing relationship with Venice and usually spends the best part of the year in his home on the Island of the Giudecca.

The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Mariss Jansons, will open the sixth concert of the Inauguration week with their first performance in Venice. On Saturday 20th December, they will play Carl Maria von Weber’s Euryanthe overture, followed by Robert Schumann’s Symphony No. 2 and Mussorgski’s Pictures from an Exhibition.

The Inauguration Week events will draw to a close on Sunday 21 December with the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Yuri Temirkanov. The Russian conductor has been a guest of the Fenice, for which he feels particular affection, on many occasions, and returns this time with his own orchestra, and with the “Abbiati” Italian critics award. The programme for the evening will be Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4 and Le sacre du printemps by Igor Stravinski.

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