Puccini is part of 2010 Castleton Festival

Artistic Directors Lorin Maazel and Dietlinde Turban-Maazel announced last week that the second Castleton Festival will include a new production of Puccini’s “Il Trittico” that Maestro Maazel will conduct, his first performances of staged Puccini in the U.S.

The festival will take place over four weekends at the Maazels’ Castleton Farms property from Friday July 2 through Sunday July 25.

Lorin Maazel, left, with conducting master class fellows in 2009. Photo by Stephen Dareing.

The Castleton Festival grew out of the Castleton residency program for young artists run by The Châteauville Foundation, founded by the Maazels in 1997.  The Castleton Festival brings around 200 young artists including singers, conductors, instrumentalists, directors, costume designers and lighting designers to live on the property for six weeks to work with professional mentors and prepare the performances of the operas and concerts. 

In addition to four performances of all three one-act operas in “Il Trittico” (“Il Tabarro,” “Suor Angelica” and “Gianni Schicchi”), Maestro Maazel will also conduct the operas separately or in pairs during the festival (full schedule below).  He will also lead staged performances of Stravinsky’s “L’histoire du soldat” and De Falla’s “Master Pedro’s Puppet Show” as well as a revival of the Britten/John Gay chamber opera “The Beggar’s Opera.”  Timothy Myers, who was a Castleton conducting fellow in 2009, will return to lead three performances of Britten’s “The Turn of the Screw.”

All three opera productions and the staged Stravinsky and De Falla performances have been created especially for the Castleton stages by Castleton’s resident director, William Kerley, with sets and costumes designed by Nicholas Vaughan and lighting by Rie Ono.  “The Beggar’s Opera” is a revival of the 2008 Castleton Residency production and “The Turn of the Screw” is a revival of last year’s festival production.  The De Falla work, which is rarely presented as a fully staged piece, will feature puppets created and operated by Emily DeCola and Eric Wright from the New York-based Puppet Kitchen.

Four concerts featuring the Castleton Festival Orchestra, comprised of young professional musicians and advanced music conservatory students, will be held during the Festival.  Three concerts will be conducted by Maestro Maazel: an all-Italian program on Saturday, July 3; an all-French program on Saturday, July 10; and an all-Beethoven Festival finale concert on Sunday, July 25.  An all-American program will be presented on Friday, July 16 led by the young conductors selected for the Maazel Master Classes that are supported by Rolex as founding partner.  Maestro Maazel will conduct Gershwin’s “An American in Paris” at this concert.

Performances are held in the intimate 140-seat custom-built Theatre House which has an orchestra pit that holds 20 musicians, and a 400-seat Festival Tent that will be specially erected on the property.  This year’s tent is almost double the capacity of last year’s.

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