Baroque music and theatre

Location and authors at European level

Speaking of baroque music in Piedmont means speaking of a vast European level production which flourished between 1600 and 1750, with the violin school founded by court artists like Giovanni Battista Somis, who in 1740 inaugurated the Teatro Regio in Turin, and Giovan Battista Viotti, who was one of Somis’s most brilliant students and today gives the name to the prestigious Viotti Award, taking place every year in Vercelli. A lovely example of a baroque theatre in Turin is the Teatro Carignano, designed by the architect Benedetto Alfieri. It was inaugurated by Easter 1753 with the Calamita dei cuori by Carlo Goldoni, with the music of Baldassarre Galuppi. An important restoration work, completed in 2009, enhanced the historic hall making it the most modernly equipped for live performances in Italy. Even the Teatro Regio Torino, realized by Benedetto Alfieri in 1740 immediately became an European point of reference for capacity, the magnificent decorations of the hall among which the vault painted by Sebastiano Galeotti stands out with the impressive scenery and the technical equipment, as well as the quality of the performances. Destroyed in 1936 by a fire, the Theatre was rebuilt between 1967 and 1973 according to the plans of the architect Carlo Mollino. During the Eighteenth century famous Italian composers created music for the Regio, among them Galuppi, Jommelli, Cimarosa, Paisiello and foreign composers such as Gluck, Johann Christian Bach and Hasse; additionally, the most famous castratos and prima donnas of the period sang there. The dancers did not stir any less interest, performing the two entr’acte dances and in the final choreographic act which accompanied each opera.

The golden age of baroque music relives today in Piedmont in the various artistic experiences proposed by the ensembles followed by a faithful and passionate public, with program of ancient music repertoires – often carried out with instruments that are authentic pieces of art, from the prestigious tradition of master luthiers and wood carvers of Piedmont. Among the most important temples of baroque music in Turin, the ancient Savoy capital, we find the Musici di Santa Pelagia, the Corale Stefano Tempia, the Accademia del Santo Spirito and the Accademia del Ricercare; in the Cuneo area, to bring prestige to the baroque polyphony on an international level is the Montis Regalis in Mondovì with its Orchestra, founded in 1994. For various years, additionally, the Accademia Maghini had organised the international festival of baroque music in Turin and in Piedmont, “Back to Bach - Bach for everyone, everyone for Bach”, with the participation of the Conservatories of Turin and Cuneo, and the cooperation of the Intrecci Barocchi show.


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