Verdi's "Giovanna d'Arco"- a special opera with a turbulent history

Origins of the Opera:

The story of Joan of Arc has inspired countless artists over the centuries. Friedrich Schiller's “Die Jungfrau von Orleans” in particular fired the imagination of his contemporaries in the 19th century, including Giuseppe Verdi and his librettist Temistocle Solera, who used the material for Verdi's seventh opera “Giovanna d'Arco” commissioned by Scala impresario Bartolomeo Merelli. The dramma lirico premiered on February 15, 1845 at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan. The production led to a serious disagreement between Verdi and Merelli. The resourceful Milan music publisher Giovanni Ricordi seized this opportunity and promptly secured the rights to the work. The handwritten score and many other original documents are now in the Archivio Storico Ricordi, which is part of Bertelsmann and is one of the world’s foremost privately owned music collections.

The opera was initially a great success, but just twenty years after its creation, it was hardly performed any more. In Germany, it had to wait nearly a hundred years for its premiere, which took place at the Berlin Volksoper on 27 January 1941 as a huge Nazi propaganda spectacle with a specially newly translated, linguistically adapted libretto.

The Berliner Operngruppe production is based on the critical edition by Alberto Rizzuti published by Ricordi in 2008.

The Berliner Operngruppe (Berlin Opera Group)

The Berliner Operngruppe is a private initiative that, for several years now, has devoted itself to the performance and rediscovery of rare Italian operas. Under the leadership of conductor Felix Krieger, it has united professional musicians, music students and amateurs since 2010 to rediscover and put on semi-staged performances of special works of opera literature. Since 2017 it has been supported by Bertelsmann as its main sponsor.

“Giovanna d'Arco” featuring:

Berliner Operngruppe Orchestra

Berliner Operngruppe Choir

Luciano Ganci: Carlo VII (tenor)

Maria Katzarava: Giovanna d'Arco (soprano) Alfredo Daza: Giacomo (baritone)

Andrés Moreno García: Delil (tenor)

David Oštrek: Talbot (Bass)

Felix Krieger: Conductor

Steffen Schubert: Choir Coach/Director

Isabel Ostermann: Stage Design