Umberto Giordano (1867 – 1948)

Tragedy in three acts
Libretto by Luigi Illica
–in Italian with surtitles in German and English–

Coproduction with the Bregenz Festival

approx. 135 minutes 1 intermission

It is an immense act of love, when Stephana gives up her life as a courtesan in the elegant villa in Saint Petersburg to follow her true love Vassilli to the prison camp in Siberia. There, in exile, Stephana turns into an indefatigable heroine.

The effective and dense plot, the liveliness of the characters’ emotions, the striking choruses are rendered by Umberto Giordano in his Italian opera SIBERIA in the verismo tradition. Passionate torrents of feeling culminate in the erotic ecstasy of the lovers, overwhelming in their emotional genuineness that is reenforced by almost filmic flashbacks. Fascinating Russian sound, from the Hymn to the Czar, the Russian national anthem, to the popular Song of the Volga Boatmen, is integrated into the entrancing music.

Despite all the local color, SIBERIA for Giordano, the composer of ANDREA CHENIER and FEDORA, is a universally human drama: “Love and suffering have no nationality.” As a member of the “giovane scuola” (the young school), Giordano opposed the omnipresence of Giuseppe Verdi in the repertoire, aspired to realism on the opera stage, and found his orientation in the music of Wagner and Massenet. SIBERIA premiered in 1903 at the Teatro alla Scala instead of Giacomo Puccini’s postponed MADAMA BUTTERFLY.

A young artist from Moscow will stage this inspiring work for the Bonner Opera: the internationally up-and-coming director Vasily Barkhatov will make his debut in Bonn with this work here.

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