LSM Newswire

Friday, October 3, 2008

Italian Orchestra makes Canadian Debut




On the occasion of the 13th edition of the annual Italian Wine-Tasting, the Orchestra Internazionale dItalia - Italys flagship ensemble will perform at Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe Street, Toronto, as part of its Canadian debut tour, Monday, November 3 at 8 p.m. Canadian maestro Kerry Stratton will conduct the Orchestra in a concert called Gala Italia featuring operatic arias and orchestral masterworks mainly celebrating the 150th anniversary of the great Italian opera composer, Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924).

Tickets, $35; $25 seniors and students; and $20 group rate, are available through the Roy Thomson Hall Box Office, 416-872-4255, or via For more information, call 416-362-1422 or visit

The performance is supported by the Italian Trade Office, Italian Cultural Institute, International Touring Productions, the International Resource Centre for Performing Artists, and The New Classical 96.3 FM.

Joining Maestro Stratton and the Orchestra is soprano Francesca Ruospo from Italys Accademia Teatro alla Scala in Milan, in her Canadian debut. Award-winning Italian classical guitarist and recording artist Claudio Marcotulli also makes his Canadian debut, in the famed work for guitar and orchestra, Concierto de Aranjuez by Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo.

Among the musical highlights are Capriccio Sinfonico by Puccini and favorite arias from his operas. As well, the tour features the premieres of two new works by Italian composers, commissioned by Rai Trade, a branch of Italian Radio and Television network Carlo Boccadoros Fasi Lunari (Lunar Phases) and Gianluca Podios Di Fedro il gioco nascosto (Phaedrus Hidden Game).

This is the fourth tour in the International Visiting Orchestra Series, designed to bring world ensembles to the Canadian public.

With Maestro Stratton directing, the Canadian debut tour of the Orchestra Internazionale dItalia comprises performances in eight Ontario locations and a concluding concert in Montreal on November 10. Besides the November 3 Toronto concert, the Ontario dates are Port Hope (November 2), Welland (November 4), Orillia (November 5), Markham (November 6), Milton (November 7), Barrie (November 8), and Richmond Hill (November 9).


Founded in 1986, the Orchestra Internazionale dItalia grew out of the international orchestra of Jeunesses Musicales. It has gone on to perform throughout Europe, in Central and South America and in Asia, in festivals and concert halls, giving more than 900 symphonic concerts and performing for important opera festival productions. Many of the worlds greatest conductors and soloists have appeared as guests. In 1997, it received the European Prize for Culture as Symphonic Orchestra. Home base is the ancient and beautiful city of Fermo near the Adriatic Sea in central Italys Marche region. Since 2003, it has been resident orchestra of the Ventidio Basso Theatre in Ascoli Piceno.

The Orchestra comes to Canada direct from Italy, where it is giving a number of concerts under Maestro Stratton, performances that include Ascoli Piceno, October 24; Pesaro, October 25; and Fermo, October 26.


Still in her 20s, soprano FRANCESCA RUOSPO comes to Canada directly from La Scala, Milan, where she is starring at the Countess in Mozarts Marriage of Figaro in October. Born near the southern Italian city of Bari, she switched from piano studies to voice, going on to win scholarships, and top prizes in the Mario Lanza, Tito Schipa and Leyla Gencer international competitions. Having completed the two-year training at the Accademia Teatro alla Scala, she has sung operatic roles in Italy, and appeared internationally, performing in Chicago, in Strasbourg for the European Parliament, and in London, Abu Dhabi and Beijing.


Italian guitarist Claudio Marcotulli, soloist for the Canadian tour, is considered one of the most distinguished guitarists of his generation, both for the quality of his performances and his intriguing choice of repertoire. He won the 1984 Concours Ren Bartoli in France and first prize in Spains F. Tarrega Competition. Marcotulli has enjoyed worldwide tours and recorded CDs of operatic melodies and Vivaldi concertos on the pera Tres label. Among his performances with the Orchestra Internazionale dItalia were several involving the late tenor Luciano Pavarotti.

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