(K. Brent Tomer),
LATE last year, an Italian orchestra and chorus journeyed across the Atlantic, performing in Washington, New York, Toronto and Chicago. The performers didn’t come from one of Italy’s most iconic opera houses—Milan’s La Scala, for example, or Rome’s Accademia di Santa Cecilia. The players and their choir belonged to Turin’s Teatro Regio, which in the past decade has managed a remarkable feat: it has thrived as other companies have slumped.
“When I decided to take the position, I knew that the potential of the orchestra and the chorus was high, but their motivation was not,” says Gianandrea Noseda, who became music director of the Teatro Regio in 2007. He changed that by making recordings and DVDs and embarking upon international tours. In the opera business, giving under-motivated staff something interesting to do is not as easy as it sounds. Opera is an extraordinarily expensive art form, and the Teatro Regio was already making a loss.
What the Teatro Regio needed, Mr Noseda and the opera staff concluded, was sponsorship. In 2007 it had no sponsorship funding or philanthropic income, so he set about talking to businessmen in this…Continue reading