In 2005, Riccardo Muti left the Teatro alla Scala in Milan. In 2011, he was awarded an honorary position as conductor for life at the Teatro dell' Opera di Roma. This honorary position eventually led to an actual position as music director. However, after a few months of performances in Japan in the spring of 2014, news of his departure from the Teatro dell' Opera di Roma came to light. Around this time, it was also reported that Muti would not conduct new productions of Aida and The Marriage of Figaro at the Teatro dell' Opera di Roma. This decision turned out to be a happy and fortuitous event for Japanese fans, because it led to Muti deciding to conduct The Marriage of Figaro during the 2016 Wiener Staatsoper Japan Tour.
In the fall of 2014, Muti selected promising young singers for a production of The Marriage of Figaro in Rome. Eleonora Bratt (Countess), Alessandro Luongo (Figaro), and Rosa Feora (Susanna) are all starring in The Marriage of Figaro in the May 2016 performance at the Teatro dell' Opera di Roma in Rome (Luongo will play the role of the Earl in Rome). These singers are not yet well-known in Japan, but they are already highly regarded on the international stage.
In addition, Ildebrando D'Arcangelo, who will play the role of the Earl, is already a world-class baritone and has stated, "Muti taught me about Mozart's works."
During the 2016 Wiener Staatsoper Japan Tour, Muti's ability to spot talented singers, as well as his leadership, will become clear.
The Marriage of Figaro holds special meaning for Muti over the course of his career. It was Muti's debut production at Milan's Teatro alla Scala in 1980, and then a little over 10 years later he returned to the opera world at Wiener Staatsoper in 1993. Furthermore, it is well-known that Herbert von Karajan requested he conduct Mozart's CosÃ¬ fan tutte at the Salzburg Music Festival in 1982. At the time, Muti said to Karajan, "The only Mozart opera I have ever conducted is The Marriage of Figaro," to which Karajan replied, "That is precisely why I am asking you for this production." These memories most likely influence Muti's special passion for The Marriage of Figaro.
This tour de force rendition of Jean-Pierre Ponnelle's timeless production of The Marriage of Figaro, which holds a special place in Muti's heart, is only scheduled to be performed in Japan, so this production is not to be missed.