Friday, November 25, 2011
The musical numbers are sung in the original German, whilst the spoken dialogue is delivered in French - with subtitles in Italian – and the cast is an international mix of talented young singers and actors, who perform on rotation during the various evenings. On the Thursday evening performance I attended Australian tenor Adrian Strooper and Turkish-Dutch soprano Aylin Sezer were just perfect as the innocent lovers Tamino and Pamina, coloratura soprano Malia Bendi-Merad was a wonderfully restrained Queen of the Night, whilst bass Vincent Pavesi was an imposing Sarastro.
Without doubt, however, it was Thomas Dolié as Papageno, a fine baritone and great comic actor, and Dima Bawab as Papagena, who delighted the audience most, eliciting a round of spontaneous applause after their duet.
A final mention should also go to the charismatic actor Abdou Ouologuem – his sleight-of-hand “magic” opens and closes A Magic Flute and his elegant presence gently guides the players from one scene to the next.
Un Flauto Magico (A Magic Flute) continues at Teatro Argentina until 27 November, 2011.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
|Richard Gere introduces 'Days of Heaven' in Rome|
After the film, it was a contemplative Richard Gere who returned to the stage to discuss the film with Claudio Masenza. Explaining that he hadn't seen Days of Heaven himself for over thirty years, he confessed that he found it difficult to relate to the man he had just seen on screen and that his memories of making the movie, and that period of his life, felt rather dreamlike now. Thanks to Masenza's pertinent questions about the technical aspects behind the making of Days of Heaven, however, this turned into a brief, but fascinating conversation, full of revealing insights into what it was like for the young actor to work with the sometimes exasperating director Terence Malick in what was his first lead movie role. Commenting on Malick's obsessive reediting of Days of Heaven, Gere joked: If they hadn't taken it away from him, he'd still be editing it today!
On the following evening Richard Gere was back at the festival once more for the closing awards ceremony, where he was presented with the 2011 Marc'Aurelio lifetime achievement acting award, joining the ranks of previous winners Sean Connery, Sophia Loren, Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, and the 2010 winner Julianne Moore.
To get a taste of the atmosphere at the Days Heaven screening watch the video of Richard Gere on the red carpet and in Sala Sinopoli below (or click here to watch on YouTube).
Thursday, November 3, 2011
|Zhang Ziyi and Gu Changwei at Rome Film Festival|
Love for Life, the first fiction film from mainland China to explore the taboo issue of AIDS in the country, starring Zhang Ziyi alongside Hong Kong pop star and actor Aaron Kwok, is a devastatingly beautiful film, with two heartbreaking performances by both leads. It was warmly appreciated by the audience in Sala Sinopoli yesterday evening, and was greeted with long and rapturous applause and a standing ovation as the credits rolled.
To get a taste of the event watch the video of Zhang Ziyi on the red carpet and in Sala Sinopoli below (or click here to watch on YouTube).
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
|Bill Nighy on the red carpet at Rome Film Festival|
Page Eight was originally created as a television movie for the BBC, but this impeccably written and beautifully acted film has recently been shown on the big screen too at film festivals in Toronto and Warsaw. Page Eight stars several leading British names - Rachel Weisz, Michael Gambon, Ralph Fiennes - and one of my personal favourite actors, Bill Nighy, who joined the writer and director David Hare on the red carpet signing dozens of autographs and posing for photographs for fans. Later, as an unexpected surprise, they both appeared on stage in a packed Sala Sinopoli yesterday afternoon at the special screening of the film. After David Hare had explained a little about the production of the movie, Bill Nighy appeared to huge cheers and delighted the audience with a story of an Italian girl he had fallen in love with back in 1968 and making a plea as to whether she was in the audience! Unmissable!
To get a taste of the event watch the video of David Hare and Bill Nighy on the red carpet and in Sala Sinopoli below (or click here to watch on YouTube).
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
|Pål Sletaune, Noomi Rapace and Kristoffer Joner in Rome|
To the delight of festival-goers who lined the route of the red carpet, the stunningly beautiful actress broke from her entourage and came over to sign numerous autographs for her waiting fans. She was joined in the Sala Sinopoli by the director, co-star Kristoffer Joner, producer Turid Øversveen and composer Fernando Velázquez.
With its powerfully understated, yet highly effective performances by Rapace and Joner, and Sletaune's slow-burning direction which allows the film to really get under your skin, Babycall is a hauntingly atmospheric psychological thriller, and it received well-deserved warm applause in Rome yesterday as the credits rolled.
To get a taste of the event watch the video of Noomi Rapace on the red carpet and in Sala Sinopoli below (or click here to watch on YouTube).