The Piccolo Opera Festival, awaiting the 16th edition, is already at work and has commissioned two Under 35 artists – for Italy Sara Caneva (born in 1991, currently researcher at the University of Birmingham) and for Slovenia Juraj Marko Žerovnik (born in 1993, now a Master’s at the Ljubljana Academy of Music) – the composition of a chamber work, the world premiere of which will close the Festival in the symbolic location of Piazza Transalpina.
The GO project! Borderless Opera Lab, proposed by the Piccolo Opera Festival has, in fact, been financed and included in the official program of GO! 2025 and is an integral part of the activities of the European Capital of Culture 2025. The Opera Lab is part of a broader agreement which sees the Festival as the protagonist of various appointments and projects until July 2025, which have already been financed and included in the calendar of GO! 2025. The new musical theater page – the Go! Borderless Opera – which will flow from the pens of the two young authors, intends to confirm the union of Gorizia and Nova Gorica as a center of excellence in which the language of next generation musical theater can be developed, promoting integration and cultural sharing.
The two composers are emerging signatures of today’s musical world and have the task of narrating in music the themes of the European Capital of Culture and the territory of Nova Gorica – Gorizia, on the basis of a research on the history and identity of the territory which involves artistic and local culture of other artistic disciplines.
The creative journey has already begun, which is being structured and will continue in the form of an artistic residency, with online and live meetings. At the end of January the two young people will both be in Gorizia and Nova Gorica for the first time, for a first residence in presence and to personally experience the territory they will tell in music.
The libretto of the opera will be in several languages, to restore the many linguistic and cultural roots of the area and enhance its very peculiar identity. The operation will benefit from the collaboration and supervision of the director and teacher Igor Pison for the dramaturgical part, of Metka Malčič of the University of Primorska for the linguistic part and of the well-known composer and director of the Chigiana Music Academy Nicola Sani for musical consultancy.
For the musical part, Music Biennale Zagreb and the Imago Sloveniae Foundation of Ljubljana will be involved, both project partners, who will support the young composers also thanks to various workshops. Fondazione Imago is also a co-producer of the operation: with it, in fact, the project participated in the call for emerging artists announced by the EFA (European Festival Association).
The ensemble of the work will involve some soloists, various actors and other artists, with an orchestral team of 15-20 elements, expression of the GO! Borderless Orchestra, the cross-border orchestral academy born on the occasion of the Concert for the visit to Nova Gorica-Gorizia of the Presidents of Slovenia and Italy Borut Pahor and Sergio Mattarella (21 October 2021). The opera will have its own staging of sets and costumes, designed and built ad hoc.
Juraj Marko Žerovnik, born in Fiume and educated between Croatia and Germany, is now postgraduate specializing in Ljubljana, with Vito Žuraj. He began his activity as a composer from a very young age and saw his works performed as early as 2009 (his “Magnificat”) and 2011 (“Allegro molto passionate for trio with piano”). Žerovnik performed his Piano Concerto as a soloist with the Varaždin Chamber Orchestra under Pavle Dešpalj. The Croatian National Theater in Rijeka commissioned the piece Ištipana hartija for soloists, choir and symphony orchestra, which was premiered in 2016 under the baton of Ville Matvejeff and with soloists Dubravka Šeparović-Mušović and Giorgio Surian. He is a lecturer, pianist and teaching assistant at the Music Academy of the University of Pula.
Sara Caneva is a composer, conductor and sound artist; nominated for Classical: NEXT! 2020 Innovation Award and selected for the “La Maestra Conducting Competition” at the Philharmonie de Paris, from 2016 to 2017 she won the YAP lei at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, where she composed and conducted a new opera diptych.
His music has been commissioned and programmed by institutions such as Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Fondazione I Teatri, Romaeuropa Festival, Salzburg Mozarteum, Bludenzer Tage zeitgemäßer Musik, Moscow Philharmonic, MusiikkItalo Camerata, BEAST, and broadcast on the Italian, Austrian and French national radios. Since 2018 his pieces have been published by Edizioni Suvini Zerboni.
Sara Caneva has been composer in residence in various structures around the world developing mixed technique compositions and multidisciplinary projects. You have conducted several world premieres throughout Europe, including works by Balch, Zuraj, Xiao, Panni, Kallionpää. You have also collaborated with the Ensemble Modern, BCMG, Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto, ORT, Danubia Orchestra Óbuda and the Ensemble ‘900 of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia. In 2019 you brought the multimedia work “Trilogy in two” by A. Liberovici on a tour with Helga Davis and the Schallfeld Ensemble.
The 2022 edition had already ended in the suggestive Transalpina Square with the first step of the GO project! Bordeless Opera: last July 17, in fact, the opera “La cantante” was staged, world premiere by the Tuscan composer Maurizio Agostini, directed by Vanessa Codutti. The soloists and the GO! Borderless Ensemble were directed by Igor Zobin.
In recent days the evening was broadcast on TV Koper Capodistria, while on Rai del Friuli Venezia Giulia the Italian version will be broadcast on 8 January at 9.15 (repeat on 11 January at 21.20).