The Iván Fischer Opera Company and the Budapest Festival Orchestra kicked off the Vicenza Opera Festival in Italy with outstanding success in October 2018. The international audience at the Teatro Olimpico was enchanted by the ensemble’s performance of Verdi’s Falstaff, and by a gala concert at the festival, which was conceived and founded by Iván Fischer.
The breathtaking building, designed by Andrea Palladio and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, is the oldest Renaissance theatre still in use anywhere in the world. As Iván Fischer puts it, “this is one of Europe’s most remarkable treasures. It is a place that takes us back to our roots.”
The Festival Orchestra’s musical director established this festival for the world’s opera fans with the hope of enriching the diversity of international festivals in Europe. In his direction, Fischer seeks a flawless, organic harmony between theatre and music, ensuring neither supersedes the other. In the first year, the festival drew audiences from nine countries, and their support provided the funding for the performances. The event, featuring some of the world’s best singers and costume designers in collaboration with the Budapest Festival Orchestra, offers a real alternative to international opera trends, with a repertoire encompassing all opera genres ranging from the Baroque to modern.
Following Falstaff, Iván Fischer brings a Baroque opera to the stage in 2019: Claudio Monteverdi’s piece, La favola d’Orfeo. The BFO will also perform an orchestral concert at the Teatro Olimpico, and for the first time will bring its chamber music ensemble to perform at schools, nursing homes and hospitals in Vicenza. As with their Community Weeks in Hungary, this allows those who cannot make it to the festival’s main events to experience the orchestra’s music.